Hiring freelancers can free up your time and help take your business to the next level. But hiring and managing remote freelancers is quite a bit different than hiring and managing someone that will work in the next cubicle. In this new mini-series, we are bringing you 3 secrets to hiring and managing remote freelancers. We want you to reap all of the benefits a remote freelancer can bring to your business without all of the headache. Today we are going to focus on Secret #1: Master the Interview.
Find the Right Candidates to Interview
There are a lot of freelancers with a wide variety of skillsets. You need to first focus on zooming in and narrowing down the candidates before spending time and energy interviewing them. While some positions are perfectly suited to an inexperienced freelancer with the desire to learn, others require a high degree of experience and specific skills that not everyone will have or be able to master.
- Determine the skills a remote freelancer will need to possess in order to successfully fulfill the requirements of the task. Be specific. For example, don’t just say that the freelancer needs to be an efficient communicator. How will they be expected to communicate? Speaking over the telephone requires quite a different skill set than writing emails or blog posts. Using a simple email program is quite a bit different than being able to navigate a complex computer program.
- Determine the set up and certifications that a remote freelancer needs to have already or be willing to get. How proficient do they need to be before beginning? How much will they be able to learn as they go? Are you able to set up this new hire or should they already be an expert?
- Determine the qualities you want in a freelancer. Think about your business and company culture as well as your own personal values. What type of person fits into that persona? Hiring a person with the personal virtues you desire is much easier than trying to build a culture with a person who has differing values.
Once you narrow down your search criteria, you should be able to quickly go through the candidate profiles and determine a short list of people to bring on for an interview.
Master the Interview Process
Now that you have your short list of potential candidates, you are ready to start the interviews.
The interview is critical to ensuring that you find the right person for your specific needs. No one wants to waste the time, energy and money in redoing the process all over again if a new hire doesn’t work out. So here are a few tips to master the interview process with a remote freelancer so you can be more productive.
Validate your Criteria
Have a list of questions ready and available to confirm all of the criteria you laid out. If your position is highly technical, you may ask to see proof of expertise or administer your own test. You may choose to ask a few behavioral type questions to determine how the candidate responds to different situations. You could also ask to see the candidate’s online profile with examples of previous work. The key is to validate that the candidate is a great match for your business before you make an offer.
Honesty is the Best Policy
If a remote freelancer already has experience in the virtual world, the chances are he or she is already used to the expectations that come with the territory. But do not make that assumption. Instead, be brutally honest about your expectations. It is far better to lay out exactly what you expect right from the beginning rather than find yourself with surprises later on. This goes both ways. Directly ask the candidate what their expectations are from you and your company. When it comes to finding the right remote freelancer, honesty is definitely the best policy.
Sure, the candidates might sit halfway across the world from you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t interview them face-to-face. Take advantage of technology and set up a video conference for your interview. Body language and facial expressions often say a lot more than words alone. You can feel out the candidates a lot quicker if you can see their faces as you talk.
The first step is to find the right candidates. The interview is your opportunity to make sure you’ve found the best candidate to hire.
In order to master the interview with a remote freelancer, you’ll likely have to tweak your interviewing style a bit. But if you spend some time analyzing the type of freelancer that is the perfect match for your company and the specific position you need to fill, and then validate those qualities in your interview, you’ll ensure that you are hiring the ideal remote freelancer for your business!
Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship. She writes a blog, Engineered Motherhood, for working mothers who need help balancing career growth and time management.