Hiring the best freelancers on Upwork is a daunting task.
Finding the right people to work for you and provide you with the quality services that you need can be a challenge for any business owner or entrepreneur. This is especially true if you’re looking for someone to work on a few projects short term.
Even still, there’s no doubt that human resources are an important element for any endeavor, and more business owners are turning to freelancers to help meet their talent needs.
If you’ve sought to contract freelancers for your projects, you’ve most likely heard of the platform Upwork; this platform has become the most-consulted platform for bringing on freelancers, boasting over 12 million freelancers that are active on the platform.
The majority of freelancers that can be found on Upwork are from diverse backgrounds and are located in many different parts of the world; if you’re looking to select freelancers from your local area, this may not be the most effective option for you.
To put it in perspective, you’ll be more likely to find a qualified freelancer that is based outside of the U.S. than to find a U.S.-based freelancer that is willing to work on your project within your particular budget.
If you’re looking for locals, you may want to use a local job board, LinkedIn, or Craigslist to find freelancers or contractors that are in your immediate area. You can post U.S.-only job listings on Upwork, but be prepared for a limited pool and a higher price point.
For jobs that don’t require a U.S.-based freelancer, Upwork can be a valuable resource in finding high-quality talent that provides the results you need.
Here are 5 tips to help you hire the right people on Upwork.
Tip 1: Write an Accurate and Precise Job Description
Upwork allows you to post a wide range of job types; you can post work that is for a one-time project, a short-term project that may require a larger scale of time and dedication, or even post a position that is for recurring work on a consistent basis.
No matter which position you are contracting, you should be clear and concise about the job requirements in your post. You want to be upfront and explicit about what the freelancer can expect when and if they are accepted for the position.
Most employers on Upwork try to keep things short and simple, but giving some background is advisable; freelancers applying for your position will have no idea about who your company is, what they do, and what you expect from them in terms of job function.
You can also include a link to any relevant background information, business mission statements, and even job requirements/required experience.
At the end of the day, it’s a straightforward process to create an Upwork job post. Check out our guide on how to post on Upwork for more details and walkthroughs.
Tip 2: Use Specific Screening Questions
Upwork allows employers to ask applicants any questions that they see fit, so you should tailor those questions to directly reflect the skills and characteristics that you’re looking for in an applicant.
For example, if your company or project’s mission is important, ask the applicant to describe how they connect with your mission or what they think about it.
Not only do you want to find people who can provide the right skill set, but you also want to find team members that understand what you do and are able to align with your vision and purpose.
Asking detailed questions that require a written response will also provide you an opportunity to check out the applicant’s handle on English grammar and comprehension; remember, many applicants are from other countries, so English may not be their first language.
Finally, gear your questions towards their specific work experience and skills in relation to your project or position. You want to find out if they can meet the requirements on a technical level.
Tip 3: Invite Attractive Candidates to Apply
Another benefit for employers when seeking freelancers on Upwork is that you can invite the candidates you’re interested in to apply to your position. With so many people on the platform and so many job postings, some of your top applicants may miss your post altogether.
Upwork offers a candidate search feature that allows you to identify the candidates that may match your job description and skill sets; with a simple button, you can invite them to apply and ensure that they don’t miss out.
Invite as many as you think are qualified, as not all that you invite will apply.
Tip 4: Interview Top Candidates
It’s very easy to sort and filter your applicants on Upwork, and you can even ask any follow-up questions to get a better feel for the applicant before the interview.
Once you’ve selected a pool of favorable applicants, you can invite them to participate in a video interview. Keep in mind the time zone difference and try to schedule the interviews at a time when they’d likely be working, depending on your project.
Options for your video interview include the Upwork video conference platform, Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, or any other that your applicant can access.
Keep an eye out for a few key elements:
- Vision and alignment with company attitudes
- Skill set in relation to job responsibilities
- Prior experience
- English level
- Internet stability
Sometimes a video interview may not go well due to technical issues; if a strong internet connection is a requirement for your position, it’s definitely something to keep in mind when making a final selection.
Tip 5: Select Two to Three Finalists and Provide a Paid Test Project
One of the best things you can do to ensure you’ve made the right choice is to create a simple test project that your final candidate(s) will be paid to perform; this ensures that you will get high-quality work on your projects and won’t end up dissatisfied.
Create a simple project that can be done within a few hours; set a fixed fee for the project, and then review the results. It can be a good tactic to choose 3 applicants, have them all do the test project, and choose the one that performs the best.
It’s also best to determine whether or not it’s worth it to pay a higher price for someone a bit more experienced; if the less experienced applicant shows that they can do the project and will be able to learn on the job, you can save some money on labor.
Sometimes, they can’t do it; using the test project will help you understand you need to go with the more experienced choice.
Bonus Tip: Use Fiverr for Quick, Simple Projects
If you have a project that’s simple and only takes a few hours to complete, a popular option is to use Fiverr instead of Upwork. It’s likely that those on Fiverr are only looking for one-time projects that are quick and straightforward.
When you have a project that will take a bit longer, such as weeks, months, or even ongoing, you’ll find applicants that are more geared towards these kinds of job offerings on Upwork.
Curious about how Upwork compares to Fiverr? Take a look at this side-by-side Upwork vs Fiverr guide for some more insight.
Final Thoughts: Hiring Top Freelancers on Upwork
So, to sum up:
- Create a concise and accurate job post
- Ask relevant screening questions
- Invite applicants to apply
- Conduct video interviews
- Carry out test projects with top applicants
If you follow these five steps, you’re likely to contract the most effective freelancers on Upwork for any and all types of projects your business is looking to complete.
When you have a quick, simple project that you need completed in a jiffy, don’t hesitate to look to Fiverr, as the platform is designed for exactly that.
Have you used Upwork or Fiverr? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments!