Get the job done easily and on demand with these best practices for finding, hiring, and working with oDesk freelancers.
Act professionally to attract professionals
By representing yourself and your company in a way that is respectful and businesslike, you’re more likely to attract top talent. Write job posts that are complete and professional, and add a verified payment method to demonstrate your business’ legitimacy.
A little effort goes a long way in finding the right freelancer
Hiring online is a lot like hiring offline—the right person is out there, but finding them takes some initiative. These steps will help you search successfully, vet candidates effectively, and get your project off the ground with the right freelancer in place:
- Post a detailed job description with clear goals, realistic deliverables, and defined time frames. Ask applicants to answer a few key questions in their applications to help narrow down the field.
- Set realistic rates. This will attract quality candidates with the skills to deliver on your project in a professional, timely way.
- Decline an applicant if they’re not the right fit. Freelancers have a limited number of applications, so declining an application allows them to pursue other opportunities.
- Once you have narrowed down the field, evaluate the top applications by considering all available candidate information. Personally interview a few candidates before making a hire.
- An advantage of hiring online is the ability to “test drive” a candidate. Set up a small project (you can limit the contract hours) to get a better sense of their skills before you hire long term.
Great management begins with great communication
Just as with any team, clear and straightforward communication is key to keeping a project on track.
- Begin the project with a kick off meeting to introduce yourself, establish ground rules, and set mutual expectations. This is especially important if you’re working with a freelancer for the first time. The more info you give your freelancer about the project and your business, the better.
- Keep your timeline on track by responding promptly to requests for additional information, instructions, or other clarifying data.
- Review the work and check in on a regular basis. Ask your freelancer for periodic status reports to track progress.
- Give kudos for a job well done and share constructive criticism to improve performance and create a positive, long-term working relationship.
Stay on top of your weekly routine
Check your freelancer’s Work Diary to see work-in-progress snapshots throughout the week. At the end of each week, review the summary provided of all weekly work and payments. If there are discrepancies, try to work it out directly with your freelancer. If you are unable to come to a resolution, you may file a dispute through oDesk.
Last, but not least…
The entire oDesk community depends on honest and objective ratings and feedback. Once the contract is over, please take some time to evaluate and share your experience.