Official Team Flexiport-How About Freelancer Hiring Pitfalls?

January 2, 2018 | Author: | Posted in Online Jobs

Everyone has at one stage of life burnt their proverbial finger, investing in a freelancer. Be it an agency, an small organisation, a startup or a large conglomerate, all have at one point of time or the other engaged with a freelancer to get a “one time” project done.

Getting a freelancer is possibly the easiest thing to do in today’s life and times. All you need to do is use social media to publish a “requirement” or use any of the hundreds of portals that help you connect to freelancers. Many of them come with a variety of models to take care of interests of the assignment provider, as well as the service provider.

The problem areas of hiring a freelancer, thus aren’t really a part of this cycle.

All “hire a freelancer” problems begin with understanding persona behind a freelancer. Most cos look for freelancers, they way they look for employees, and start with a Job Description. And here begins the walkway to disaster zone.

Freelancers normally work on multiple assignments, with multiple customers, at the same time. This is natural, and part of the standard operating procedure of freelancers. A freelancer doesn’t have a steady income, and tends to hedge this way to ensure that they are not without a steady source of work and hence revenue. A freelancer thus tends to assign only a small portion of their time to a customer or a project.

A freelancer requirement isn’t a planned activity really, for most looking for getting an assignment done. They are a fire-fighting story. An assignment that needs to be delivered within a short span, for an entity without skills or resources to get it done, often calls for frantic searches done at the last minute. And typically, quotations and delivery timelines end up shocking someone looking to get things done on time.

Remember, a freelancer quotes by either the project, or the hour. They don’t need to justify their charges. A freelancer also comes up with deadlines like “ten hours, delivery in seven days”. If one is lucky, one may get deadlines that “ten hours, one day”, but only if the freelancer has no other assignments loaded up with them.

Freelancer hiring is essentially getting a checklist done. We recommend that the following checklist be used as a point of reference, to manage your freelancer hiring needs done.

·     Build a database of acquisition nodes – Keep ready an index of places where a freelancer can be hired from, and keep your contact databases updated and refreshed.

·      Research and Scope your requirement well – Do a thorough research of various aspects and points of delivery. Do note that a freelancer quotes ONLY for what you require them to do, and is not really required to cover points that you haven’t asked them to do. Many a time, gaps around delivery happen around the “assume” factor. So make sure you don’t leave anything to guesswork, and get as minute and detailed in your description of project, as possible.

·     Skill vs Cost vs Time – Hiring a freelancer is very often, a trade off between these three. A freelancer not very skilled may come at a low price, but often end up with huge timelines to delivery. And associated completeness factors. A highly skilled freelancer may deliver faster, but charge much more for delivery. Mix these three points well, before you choose your freelancer.

·      References and Experience check – People who have spent a good time in freelancing normally are helpful in helping you surmount various challenges you may have, right from your scoping document, to delivery engagement. However, do collect references from your freelancer, of work done earlier. Speak to some of the people they have done work for, and understand more about the freelancer you plan to hire. Do note that this is tricky ground, so tread carefully.

·      Need vs Greed – Many freelancers end up agreeing to your terms and collecting your advance payments, and then delay the process of delivery. This is a standard pitfall. Weigh your options well to isolate need-greed stories and space out payments and delivery stages correctly.

·      Backup and Continuity Planning – The most crucial aspect of any project is backup and continuity planning. Your freelancer is human, and may end up facing standard worries like health issues, family emergencies, travel exigencies and so on. Do check with your freelancer if they have anyone else to step in to do your work, in case such a situation does happen. A good freelancer normally works with others in the same domain to ensure that they provide backup continuity. However, do keep another freelancer on hand to ensure that your project does not suffer delivery time issues.

Over and above all, do remember that a freelancer is contracted for a task. They are not an employee. Understanding this one major difference would go a long way for you to choose and get good value from a freelancer engagement.

Happy Hunting.

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About Author
Team Flexiport aims to reach out to all the diverse independent business professionals and industrial experts to add them to a network of 50,000+ freelancing professionals and industrial experts to grow mutually.


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