Ever found yourself stuck in a situation when there's a lot of work to be done and innovation to unleash?

However, it's not always possible for you to hire a full-time employee with a winning resume. That's why today, almost half of hiring managers are working with freelance professionals, and given the current pandemic situation, this number is expected to grow even more in the coming years. 

Besides, choosing to work with freelancers isn't only subject to whether you should hire a full-time employer or not. And, now that remote work is universally accepted, freelance platforms like Upwork make it pretty easier for businesses to find some of the best talents with ultra-niche skills.

However, the question is, how can one be assured they hire the right person? Will they be good at the job? Or worse, will they even deliver within the deadline?

These are all pretty natural and legitimate concerns. But, we have got your back. Let's look at some proven tips on how to use Upwork effectively to hire the right freelancers for any project.

So, let's dive in!

upwork for business

How to use Upwork effectively

When it comes to finding the most skilled candidates, businesses should set their priorities straight. For instance, on Upwork, companies can post job descriptions, search through a list of qualified candidates instantly, and view portfolios to find the talent that best fits their requirements. Knowing what you desire to see in a candidate can definitely help your team move ahead with the selection process.

Set a right budget

Before starting a search, you need to set a realistic budget for the work you want to be done. Of course, we all may have budget constraints; however, choosing the lowest-priced freelancer may not always be a sound strategy. 

Think of it like this; you hire someone to write an article, then end up killing most of your time communicating back and forth and editing a zillion drafts. How much are you actually saving? Now, compare it to hiring someone who charges a few bucks more, but they get it right the very first time with the least edits.

Of course, a higher price doesn’t ensure quality work either. Therefore, be sure to plan the right budget and timeline required for a job.

Add a clear job description

The more clear you are regarding your expectations and the deliverables, the better they can ascertain whether they’re a good fit. Besides, the more details they get upfront, the more specific their proposal will be.

But don’t worry, composing an attractive job post is pretty straightforward. You don’t need a complete job description; rather, you should include the project start and end dates, description of the work you want to be performed, deliverables you hope to receive, budget, payment terms, etc.

Review cover letters

Cover letters can help you filter potential candidates and better understand their skills. Likewise, you can ask them to perform a small, paid task or solve some queries to help narrow down your choices. For instance, on Upwork, you can also add screening questions to your job posts.

Review relevant portfolios

To further narrow down job applications and assess their work experience, have to look at their portfolio. 

For instance, web developers can provide a list of websites they’ve previously worked on. And, if you want to find a graphic designer, looking at their design portfolio can provide you an overview of their design style and past ideas, and you can estimate how well that suits what you have in mind.

Shortlist the freelancer

You need to review all the proposals generated from your job post. Toss out any bids that don’t fit your requirements or fail to impress you.

Again, you can include a short test in the job post to see how well they follow directions and notice the details.

You can gather more fitted proposals by filtering for particular requirements and inviting only those who stand out. Upwork also offers a rating feature, enabling you to isolate the best within a specific tier quickly.

Conduct an interview

Phone interviews are ok when a video isn't available. However, most freelancers work remotely, so this might be the only opportunity to “meet” them in person. This way, when you conduct a video interview, you can better sense the candidate's skills and fit than talking to them over the phone.

Check references

To identify the candidates who have made it this far and analyze how they performed in the past, you may verify references and check their social media profiles, such as LinkedIn. The basic purpose is to ascertain whether or not the candidate will be a suitable fit for your business, both in terms of skill set and personality.

When it comes to selecting freelancers specifically, you can also look at their client testimonials or reviews, which are readily available through Upwork.

Hire the best talent

Well, congratulations, you have finally found the ideal person! Now is the time to assign the project to them and roll out the details. While discussing the project details, remember that both of you are negotiating an agreement covering every detail about the project, including the payment terms. Besides, unlike a regular employee, you don’t have to manage freelancers.

All you need to do is be super clear about your expectations. You can also provide related work samples or share project-related documentation. And, if they require access to internal systems, have their permissions set up so they can be productive from day one.

The Bottom Line

When looking for new hires to fill an open position, businesses often face multiple challenges and obstacles. Sifting through infinite proposals, identifying quality applicants, and making a choice that will fit strongly with your existing team culture or sales strategy may seem daunting. However, with freelance platforms, finding the perfect fit is possible.

Besides, when it comes to attracting and choosing a highly qualified freelancer, the Upwork marketplace makes it pretty easy to find suitable candidates. So, what are you waiting for? Hire quality talent for your business now!

Editor: Richa Sharma

Frequently Asked Questions

To succeed on Upwork as a freelancer, create a strong profile, focus on a specific niche, craft tailored proposals, maintain competitive rates, meet deadlines, communicate effectively, seek feedback, and invest in continuous learning. For clients, provide clear project descriptions, review freelancer profiles, shortlist candidates, conduct interviews, set milestones, ensure secure payments, leave feedback, and foster long-term working relationships. Following these strategies enhances your chances of success on the platform, whether you're a freelancer or a client.

Upwork can be suitable for beginners as it offers access to diverse freelance opportunities and helps build portfolios. However, it comes with tough competition, fees, and high client expectations. Success requires patience, persistence, and a commitment to delivering quality work to build a strong reputation. It's wise to explore additional avenues for freelance work, especially when starting out.

To win your first client on Upwork, focus on creating a professional profile, specializing in a niche, and crafting tailored proposals that address client needs. Set competitive rates, start with entry-level jobs, seek feedback, build a portfolio, and be responsive in your communications. Persistence is key as it may take time to secure your first client.

The choice between Upwork and Fiverr depends on your project's complexity and your preferences. Upwork is ideal for complex, long-term projects with a wide range of freelancers, while Fiverr is better for quick, predefined tasks offered by freelance professionals. The decision should be based on your project's nature and your preferred hiring process.