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TAG | tips

Jun/10

16

How to Successfully Hire Freelancers

See the below tips on successfully hiring freelancers to ensure your experience on GetACoder is all you are looking for and enables you to reach all of your goals.

Job Posting
Creating successful job postings can take a little trial and error. Your job posting should neither be to restrictive or too open. This will enable you to receive the optimal range of candidates for your position. Being too tough may turn off qualified candidates and not having enough requirements can mean you find yourself lumbered with hundreds of unqualified applicants to screen. Make sure you include job details and minimum requirements as well as any skills needed.

Screening
This is normally the easiest step in the hiring process. You may often find a large number of junk applications. Screen and immediately remove any applicants who did not follow instructions as well as those who submitted generic cover letters (report these as spam). Normally the next best step is to begin by eliminating the highest and lowest priced providers and focusing on those in the mid range. Don’t waste hours on this, review the top 5-10 applicants profiles and invite the top 3-5 for interview or screen them further with 2-3 test questions.

Interview
USE THE PHONE! For ninety percent of positions it is crucial to use the phone to test applicants ability to communicate and understand your needs clearly. Do not hire without interviewing. Give all the instructions and requirements and make sure this is a good fit.

Test
Select the top 2 candidates form your interviews and give them a paid test. Just as if you were hiring them on a probationary period.

Hire
Hire the top performer, but keep the second place candidate on call if possible for the future in case something happens. This will save you hours of screening and interviewing later.

Detailed Instructions
This is where most business owners and hiring managers fail miserably. Freelancers may be awesome but they cannot read minds. You must spell out every detail, step and instruction in detail. If you do not, do not expect them to produce the results you want. Do not waste your time and money. Take 5-10 minutes to draft specific instructions. Or you can have them draft their idea of what they think you want and edit it to save time. This is the number 1 reason outsourcing fails to meet expectations. Get it right the first time.

Constant Contact
Maintain constant and regular contact. Do not just assume everything is OK and on track. Do not harass the provider – give them the space to produce, but arrange at least weekly meetings or email updates to make sure things are moving in the right direction. Once a week updates can been done in a few minutes on Skype and will save you from surprises. Savvy business owners will also have an assistant to routinely monitor freelance employees feedback ratings. This can catch dips in quality or personal issues that may arise before they bite you in the rear. Do not forget everyone loves to be appreciated. If that is not your style, play good cop vs bad cop and have your assistant compliment them when they have done a good job and make them feel appreciated – they will work twice as hard!

Tim picked up the travel bug at a young age from his missionary parents. After building several million dollar enterprises he is now a freelancer, business consultant and professional writer who has adventured through much of Europe as well as North and South America. Thanks to outsourcing Tim has now joined the ranks of those living the jet set lifestyle as an international nomad on the constant exploration of new sights, sounds and tastes. Tim is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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May/10

19

Three Tips To Retain Customers

Once you have worked for a few different customers, you will find yourself wanting to be able to stop bidding on new projects and work for the same set of clients, repeatedly. The problem that many providers run into is that their customers do not request ongoing work. This may leave you wondering why and what you can do to reverse this trend. Here are three tips that you can follow throughout your career so that you can find yourself working for a select group of clients and never going without work again.

Bid Realistically

This is a point that can not be stressed enough. You may win bids on a regular basis by exaggerating your skills, but you will never have a return customer. You even risk that you will not get paid for work that is shoddily done or if your skills do not truly match the job posting. If you lied by exaggeration when applying for a job, GetACoder can not in good faith guarantee your work or that you will receive your payment. By bidding realistically you protect yourself from lack of payment while encouraging buyers to invite you to bid on future work. One off projects may pay, but return customers make a career.

Meet Deadlines

Every buyer has a desired deadline for completion of their project. You would, too, if you posted a job. Once a deadline or timeline is agreed on, it is set in stone. You need to treat it as though it is the most solid object in the world. You have to meet every deadline in order to retain customers. There are no if, ands, nor buts when it comes to a deadline.

Be Available

Would you send more work to a provider who you can not get to answer your emails? What if you asked them to be on IM at a certain time and they might or might not be there? Make yourself available to your clients and potential customers at convenient times in their time zone. You may have to lose some sleep occasionally, but going the extra mile to be available to them will stand out in their minds and go a long way to being sent repeat work.

These three tips are easy to follow. If you doubt how effective they are, turn them around. Look at them as if you were the buyer and think about what you would want in a provider. Ongoing and repeat work is the bread and butter of every successful freelancer on GetACoder. Become one of them.

Jerry Coffey is a freelance writer living in the United States. He writes web content, blog posts, SEO articles, and has been published in American newspapers. Mr. Coffey has produced a few thousand articles that have been published across the web as well as several thousands of blog and forum posts. He has worked in hundreds of different niches and enjoys using a conversational tone while imparting a worthwhile amount of information to his readers. He has been widely published in the fields of astronomy, marketing, and management. Jerry is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder team.

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