An SOP to Hire Best Freelancers for Creative Roles

An SOP to Hire Best Freelancers for Creative Roles

Hiral Rana on June 19, 2021 in Recruitment Process

Creative marketplaces like UpWork, Fiverr, and Freelancer are used by enterprises and SMEs to outsource creative work like writing, editing, graphic designing, coding, etc. These top three marketplaces alone have over 200 million registered freelancers and there are over 1.1 billion freelancers all over the world. They make up for 35% of the total workforce.

So, even if you went to only of these marketplaces to look for a creative freelancer to work on your project, the entire process could prove to be tiresome and time-consuming. It is also quite possible that you might not get the anticipated result from the hired freelancer, especially if you don’t have a proper evaluation process in place.

To save you from the horrors of hiring the wrong freelancer, we’ve put together an ultimate SOP for hiring the best freelancers for creative roles.

But before we share expert tips and tricks to hire the best freelancers, let’s take a look at the top freelancer marketplaces:

  • UpWork: Specializes in Finance, Marketing, Writing, Programming, and More. It is known for the added layer of security.
  • Fiverr: A marketplace created to support the gig economy. From voiceovers, influencer marketing to animations, you can buy or sell any gig on this platform.
  • Freelancer: It has over 20 million registered users that you can hire for technical, professional, and creative projects. It is known for its contest feature.
  • 99Designs: A specialized marketplace to hire freelancers for creating infographics, logo designing, illustrations, book covers, and other related projects.
  • Evanto Studio: Again a specialized marketplace where you can hire producers, programmers, web designers, and digital creatives.

You can also check out Topal and Crew if you are hiring freelancer designers and developers. These platforms operate in the most streamlined manner with proper processes for NDAs and contracts for intellectual property and ownership of assets.

For organizing an effective interview meeting, you can also add notes so that the prospect and you both are on the same page. These notes also help you document the process thoroughly and make your remote/in-house hiring process smoother.

An SOP to Hire the Best Creative Freelancers

  1. Detailed Project Description

    It’s a general notion that using these creative marketplaces to hire freelancers usually requires just a few clicks. This notion can’t be more wrong.

    For quality work, you will need to put in efforts to create a detailed job description of the project to post on these marketplaces. Working out details at the last minute might cause communication and misunderstanding between you and the freelancer.

    Having clarity about your requirements would definitely help you get the right end result and also eliminates unnecessary back and forth.

  2. Set Expectations from the Beginning

    Since you will be hiring a remote worker, communication becomes the most crucial element to make this kind of working arrangement a success. And one of the aspects of good communication is to set the right expectations.

    Expectations for deadlines, quality, and other project-oriented expectations like SEO-friendliness of the content, or the size of the logo, etc. should be made clear and documented from the very beginning.

    Also, like an ecommerce site that has a proper eCommerce fulfillment process, make sure your freelancers have a proper process to deliver their work. And if they don’t, then help them create the same for delivering your projects.

    In our experience, we’ve found that the best way to set clear expectations is to provide reference links or portfolios to the kind of work you are expecting.

  3. Set a Proper Screening Process

    To find the right freelancer from the sea of freelancers, you will need to have a proper screening process in place. Having such a process will help you find the right person with the required knowledge of the subject and tools and software. You would also want to understand their mindset and their level of motivation to work on your project.

    Don’t forget to ask for work samples and references before interviewing anyone. Then you will have the right context for the interview.

    Quick tips to set up a screening process to hire for freelance projects:

    • List down the required qualifications and experience
    • Have an onboarding process in place
    • Have a small test to assess technical and soft skills
    • Set up interviews with the shortlisted candidates

    Pro Tip: Having a screening process is not necessary for small and short-term projects. But definitely, a must if you are tying up with a freelancer for a longer duration.

  4. Pay Fairly

    Money is among the most important motivators for humans to work sincerely and if they are underpaid, they tend to lose the motivation to match the deadlines or the quality standards you had set.

    Hiring a freelancer might be a more economical choice, but it doesn’t mean you don’t pay them for what they deserve. If you cut corners in paying them, you can expect the same from their work.

    Freelancers might not be your full-time employees but they do represent your company and culture. Especially if you outsource a lot of work, you want all your freelancers on your side, speaking good about their working experience with your company.

  5. Have them Sign Contracts

    If you are building a working partnership with a freelancer, then it’s important to have them sign a contract that clearly states the scope of work, expectations from them, deliverables, deadlines, their compensation and other perks (if included), and other business targets.

    Some essentials to include in your freelance contract:

    • Additional work scope – if applicable
    • Payment terms, conditions, methods, schedule
    • Customer notes and comments
    • Termination clause – the deal breakers go in this section
    • Ownership and copyright
    • Legal terms
    • Deposit or retainers – if applicable
  6. Be Thorough About your Research by Asking Questions

    Firstly, don’t hire the first freelancer you see. Make sure to search the marketplace and shortlist the freelancers that fit your requirements.

    Once you’ve shortlisted a few freelancers, be upfront by asking all the necessary questions. There’s no dumb question so be up-front with your questions. Ask about their current projects, what file types they deliver the work, their process for revisions, etc.

    Moreover, asking questions and details last minute might cause the deal to fall through, so make sure to straighten all the wrinkles beforehand.

Lastly, Trust Your Instincts

Not everything that glitters is gold. And not everyone who looks great on paper is as great. So, if you start having second thoughts after getting into the conversation with the freelancer, then trust your gut to not move forward with them.

It’s easier to end a relationship before the real work starts. Save your time, efforts, and money by not moving forward with a freelancer whom your gut doesn’t approve of.

Hiral Rana

Hiral Rana is a Digital Marketing Consultant with over 10 years of experience. She's passionate about all things Digital & Social Media and has conducted training programs at institutes like GLS University and L.J. Institute of Media & Communications. Hiral also shares her insights and knowledge with the audience of publications like AdWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine, Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner to name a few. You can follow her on Twitter @IamHiralRana.