In today’s economy, small-and medium-size businesses (SMBs) can achieve a competitive advantage through freelancing. Hiring freelancers or contract talent can help fill key skill gaps, balance staffing during busy cycles or low times, and more.
Although there is a large pool of talent available in the marketplace, business owners find it difficult to navigate all of the various freelancing sites and platforms, much less sort through the volume of freelancer profiles.
Despite the growing number of freelancers, there is a huge gap in small business owners’ utilization of this talent. A survey by Manta reveals that small businesses have been hesitant to take advantage of the ever-growing pool of freelance talent because of the time required to find the right candidate. Closing this gap – matching SMBs with the right freelance fit - can help SMBs scale operations much faster.
Are you looking to scale your conscious business? Click here to watch a recent webinar replay of Elizabeth Eiss sharing helpful tips with Shift/Co members.
What to Look for When Hiring Freelance Talent
If you decide to find a freelancer or contract talent yourself, develop a thorough approach to vetting credentials.
- Can the freelancer back up claims of accomplishments and skills with actual jobs and references?
- Are they willing to provide work samples or participate in a small test assignment to verify skills?
- Ask the freelancer to be clear about fees and any possible extra charges. In turn, state your budget and make sure they are comfortable with those parameters.
- Confirm their availability. The best freelancers typically have a number of jobs underway, and a full slate of clients. Find out how much time they really have available to dedicate to your job.
- Is the freelancer punctual and do they meet deadlines? Finally, do they keep lines of communication open? Do they respond to urgent queries promptly, or are there long delays in communication?
- Plan on how to integrate the freelancer into the core team. Treat them as a valued team member who is augmenting core team skills, experience and bringing outside perspective.
One of the most common challenges in hiring freelancers occurs when business owners try to find the one person who can do everything, which often doesn’t work out. Rather than attempting to find a single freelancer to handle all their requirements, a business owner is better off to prioritize their needs and to break down jobs down into smaller, more digestible parts and find freelancers that specialize in the different areas.
It’s also more cost effective! The rate for a generalist may be lower but the time to do the work could be longer because the level of specialized expertise in a specific area is missing. You get more for your dollar by breaking the job down to assign lower cost pieces to a generalist, and the specialized pieces to the expert who may cost more but gets the work done better and in less time.
Finding the RIGHT Talent with Freelancing
An increasing number of SMBs have turned to ResultsResourcing for its curated freelance staffing model.
ResultsResourcing helps clients get clear about what they really need (both skills and experience), and then invites ONLY pre-vetted freelancers to interview for the roles. This saves business owners immeasurable time and ensures that the right resources are not only a fit for the role, but a personality and culture fit for the business. This curation process frees the business owner to focus on growing their business.
After the ResultsResourcing team determines that a freelancer has the right skills and traits for a particular job, they conduct a live virtual interview. ResultsResourcing narrows the choices down to a Talent Pool of three recommended candidates. Then the client conducts their own interview to make the final selection—knowing they’re selecting from only the best freelance professionals available for their job.
For many clients new to hiring freelance talent, the biggest obstacle is the reluctance to hire someone working virtually. By opening up to remote arrangements, clients discover a larger pool of potential talent available across the country and are more likely to find someone with the specific skills and experience required.
Results Resourcing is a Shift/Co partner offering members a discount on talent curation services. For more information, check out this recent webinar.
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This article was originally shared by ResultsResourcing.