Is it good news that more than ⅓ of adults classify themselves as freelancers? If you are a creative agency seeking quality freelance talent, the answer isn’t so simple.
There’s no shortage of freelancers out there, but how do you ensure you hire the right one that can bring a competitive edge and an exceptional specialized skills set to your business? How do you enlist a true artist and not an impersonator?
Talented freelancers are found round the world. Competition among businesses is fierce and that has led to the demise of both the interview and the “test” work of yesterday. If you are in the market for a quality freelancer, these are surefire ways to tell a great candidate from a good one:
No matter where a candidate went to school or where they have worked in the past, their portfolio is what matters most. Resumes are only words on paper – portfolios showcase skill in action. Don’t get distracted by projects with big name design and advertising programs. Some of the best creative freelance talent have taken unconventional paths. Instead, as you evaluate a portfolio, look for the fine details that show expertise in the skill you are seeking. If you need a Photoshop expert, for example, ask yourself if the candidate’s work highlights their ability to build advanced, detailed composites. Overall, you need to answer the question, “does this freelancer display a mastery in the field you need?” The best way to achieve this is to complete a detailed analysis of their portfolio.
Freelancers generally have a very strong work ethic because they have the rewarding experience of working for themselves. However, there are some that are not used to deadlines or the expectations found within top-notch agencies. They have either never worked in this type of environment or opted out because they couldn’t keep up. When you set out to find your next quality freelancer, start your research by critiquing their personal descriptions. Do they highlight hitting deadlines, unselfishness and caring for their clients? They should, but you can’t simply take their word for it. Reach out to their former employers to find out more about performance. If you are conducting your freelancers search through enterprise-grade freelance platforms like Coworks, you can often skip this step as they vet talent beforehand.
Gary Swart, the CEO of Odesk, believes clear communication is the key characteristic to any successful freelancer. Before you decide to hire a freelancer, test them to make sure they can communicate well both on the phone and through email. Are they clear defining their rates, deadlines and creative vision? Also, make sure they can collaborate with a team. Do they have experience working through team communication platforms? Find out.
A valued freelancer is one who can do more than provide an extra set of hands. They need to be able to contribute to their assigned project’s vision. They need to be able to think like a full-time member of your business and know your clients inside and out. Choose a candidate who can think critically and ask the right questions and approach problems from multiple angles.
Do you want more advice on hiring the right freelancers for your business? Give this post a read.