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How to find great freelancers: the easy way

This article is a useful guide to the best ways to find great freelancers – including strategies to make sure the decision is correct based on project and business needs.

Working with freelancers allows companies to tap into a range of specialized skills, without having to commit to a full-time salary to do so. In other words, you can increase your staff and your abilities without having to increase your physical strength.

Freelancing (the economy of the gig) is a growing trend

Finding freelancers online is becoming a popular trend for start-ups, small businesses and even large organizations.

According to a 2016 report by Upwork, "one-third of companies used freelancers. Of these, 55% expected to employ more freelancers the following year. "

The report concludes that the reason organizations work with freelancers is because most possess high quality skills and in demand, which is a useful solution when it is difficult to find qualified employees .

History of the Word "Freelance"

Did you know that the word "freelance" dates from the 1800s? The term is in a book called Ivanhoe written by Sir Walter Scott who states:

"I offered Richard the service of my Free Spears, and he refused them – I will drive them to Hull, seize the ships and embark for Flanders, thanks to the restless times, a man of action will always find a job. "

The current definition of a freelancer is a person who works with an employer of his choice as a self-employed (contract worker). During the 12 – 14th centuries independent soldiers were engaged by the army. The word freelance was replaced by stipendiary which means that the soldiers received an allowance (compensation) for their efforts in the wars.

Whether a contractor or an employee looking for talented freelancers, here are the best ways to find qualified freelancers online:

1. Determine Your Project Needs

Before working with a freelancer, it is essential to determine the budget, the scope of the project, the required turnaround time, and the experience or skills required.

The rate confirmed to pay a freelancer is different from an hourly rate for an employee because most freelancers charge through the project. It is important to determine what are the minimum and maximum rates based on cleared rates for freelancers in the region.

Also, if you decide to hire international freelancers, an online search based on the needs of the project can identify the rate based on the location of this freelancer.

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If the goal is to pay low rates with the hope of receiving quality work, it is best to pay the freelancer what he deserves.

There is truth in the expression "You get what you pay for".

From an ethical point of view, full-time freelancers are self-employed. While it may save money to haggle a bit, you do not want to go overboard and compromise the relationship you make with the freelancer. Trust goes both ways. If you make the freelancer feel uncomfortable, this person might not be "available" for your next project, which means you will start from scratch.

Once the freelancer is selected, ask the person to send a payment estimate that includes a work order, an independent contract described, the number of revisions included in the price and the preferred method of payment .

2. Ask the right questions

Get to know the background of every freelancer. Before agreeing to work together, arrange a pre-screening interview.

Before discussing, give an overview of the project. See how much research each freelancer does before the call. It shows how hungry or interested they are in your homework.

You can also:

  • Discuss why they chose to be independent and how long they have been doing it.
  • Ask them if they have any experience with similar projects.
  • Specify how they prefer to communicate when they are working on a project – email, phone, chat, etc.

It is also perfectly acceptable to ask for samples and references.

3. Defining Clear Expectations

Time is a limited resource and it should not be wasted. For large projects, try a three month contract to test the fit.

For the first 90 days, pay attention to:

  • Speed ​​of execution – are the milestones met on time?
  • Communication – is it really a two-way street?
  • Quality – does the work meet your standards

Where Should You Post Self Employment Opportunities?

It is there that you can be out of date using a traditional job site or a new age by testing independent websites.

Traditional Jobboards

Designed more for standard job postings, most of these sites do not have the filtering and communication features available on freelancer websites. You can try to post an assignment to freelance this way. However, once you have experienced the depth of resources on independent websites today, you can reconsider your decision.

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Websites for freelance

Some of the best independent sites to check include:

  • Behance, Adobe's freelance site, is an incredibly visual way to search for design talent.
  • Dice containing resources for technology, security clearance, financial services, energy and hospitality.
  • Evanto Studio – a community of designers, developers and creatives.
  • Fiverr- all marketing and digital marketing from creation to optimization.
  • is the world's largest market for paragliding and crowdsourcing in number of users and projects.
  • contains a database of more than 3 million professionals, including marketers, designers, architects, lawyers, administrators, developers and business services.
  • HireMyMom – Connect with a network of professionals who have opted for work from home to have more time with their family.
  • MediaBistro- offers a range of media creation and development services focused on business success.
  • People by Hour – change the world, a happy freelancer and a client with both skills ranging from graphic design to software development.
  • TaskRabbit – Do it yourself! You have a repair or need help to lift heavy objects, that is your site.
  • Sologig – specialist in information technology (IT) and engineering.
  • Upwork- software development, creative services, accounting, architecture and more. It features a list of skill categories so comprehensive, it's more than a page.

Do not Forget the Value of Word-of-Mouth

In the end, finding the right freelancer, is to build a relationship. If you have colleagues in the same industry who have used freelancers, ask for contact information for the people who stand out the most. It is not unusual either that established freelancers rely more on referrals than on independent sites.

More and more small businesses use freelancers

Studying trends in small business hiring, SCORE found that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of small businesses employing freelancers (independent contractors). Here's more of what they found:

  • Freelancers are the new "go-to" resource, posting a 37% increase over other categories of hiring.
  • The biggest deciding factor in choosing a freelancer is that of specialized expertise.
  • Technology, bookkeeping / bookkeeping, marketing, manufacturing, sales, strategic planning and logistics were the areas most likely to be outsourced.

Are freelancers the right choice for your business?

In an insightful article, RecruiterBox describes some of the pros and cons of hiring freelancers.

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  • A cost saving of 20 to 30% for work per project – because you do not have to provide them with equipment, offices, benefits or pay taxes on it 39; employment. You do not even have to go out of income tax when you pay a contractor – everything is the responsibility of the freelancer.
  • If that does not work, it's easier to end a relationship with a contractor. You just pay the bill and move on.
  • You can find a freelancer very quickly. Hiring someone takes a lot more time.


  • The freelancer works for himself. Therefore, their main goal is to develop their own business.
  • Even the most dedicated freelancer will not be as invested in your business as a real employee.
  • Freelancers are not always workers aged 9 to 5. This can be a bit of a problem if you need someone for a specific part of the day.

Other things you should consider are that there are legal and tax implications that separate freelancers and employees. If you hire someone as an employee, you must follow all the labor laws and administer income taxes and payroll taxes. Plus, if the skills you need also require a thorough knowledge of your business, you want to establish a long-term relationship with a freelancer or consider hiring an employee.

What is your experience with hiring freelancers? Tell us in the comments below.

Author: : Makeda Waterman is an online media journalist passionate about the art of painting. help people succeed with four years of writing experience. . His articles are featured on CNBC Make It., Yahoo Finance News, Fast Company, Glassdoor and Elite Daily. His expertise is technical, marketing and commercial writing. Visit to learn more.