Last month, we wrote about how to find work if you’re a freelancer. But what if you’re on the other side, a business who needs to hire a freelancer for one of your projects? This is how we spend most of our time at Daylancer, finding the best freelancer for a given project. This month, we wanted to share some of our key learnings to help you do the same.
First, it’s important that you spend some time thinking about the exact scope of work you want the freelancer to complete and the qualifications that you need. Write this down in a detailed job description. Include things such as:
- A high level overview of your company and why it's a great place to work
- The scope and potential timeline of the work
- The absolute minimum qualifications a candidate should have before applying
- The additional qualifications your ideal candidate might have
- The soft skills that are important to you
- Location requirements and whether the project can be done remotely
A good job description will help identify your ideal candidate and save you time when posting it online. It will also help you recruit the best candidates. If candidates see a well written job description, they’ll know they’d be coming to work in a professional environment for a well-run business.
Once you have the job description complete, try one of the strategies below to find the perfect freelancer for your job.
LinkedIn has a variety of options to help you find a freelancer. First, you can post a contract position on their Jobs page. This is a fairly straightforward process. I’ve been able to start from scratch and have a posting up in less than 30 minutes. However, to post a job is not free. You pay for each day that your job posting is live. LinkedIn will promote your job according to how much you have it budgeted for. The more you pay, the more people see your posting and the more applicants you’ll get. The minimum amount you can budget is $5 per day. LinkedIn will advise you on how many applicants you can expect to receive based on your daily budget, the number of days your posting is active, and the type of candidate you are hiring. For example, a 30-day posting for a software sales manager at $5/day is expected to yield 14 applicants.
For free, you can also post an update on your LinkedIn profile stating the type of freelance candidate for which you’re looking. Ask your network to help you promote it by liking or sharing. I see people do this all the time and their posts spread quite quickly.
You should also look for potential candidates on your existing network. You never know which friend or ex-colleague of yours might do freelance work on the side, or might be transitioning to freelance full-time. In the LinkedIn search bar, just type in the type of candidate you’re looking for, such as “freelance software developer.” From the list of results, you can filter by a number of different criteria, including degree of connection. I’d recommend starting with your 1st degree connections. If you see a 2nd degree connection that could be a fit, ask one of your mutual connections to introduce you.
Post on Other Job Boards
Indeed is another popular job posting site where you can post contract positions. They have a system similar to LinkedIn to promote your posting and get it in front of more people. They call it “sponsoring” your job. Using the same example of a 30-day posting for a software sales manager at $5/day, this would be expected to yield 12 applicants.
Two great places to post your jobs for free are AngelList and Albert’s List. AngelList has a simple and straightforward process to get your posting live quickly. There are a ton of contract postings on this site. Albert’s List is run as a Facebook group and they have different groups for different metropolitan areas. For example, there’s one for the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City area. You just need to request access to the group and then follow their rules for all of your postings. While neither of these sites were built specifically for freelancers, they have a large following from this group.
Find an Applicable Meetup Group
Meetup is a resource for finding groups oriented around a specific purpose or theme. Search for professional groups in your city, and you will surely find several that fit the niche of freelancers for which you’re looking. Start off with a general Freelancers or Digital Nomads group. If you’re looking for a contract sales specialist, find a group of sales professionals that get together regularly. In San Francisco, for example, there are a ton of meetup groups for software developers. Once you find an applicable group, you can email the group organizer and ask for advice on the best way to get your posting in front of their group. Or you could attend their next event in person and network with their members.
Hire a Recruiter
Along with doing full-time placements, many recruiters also do placements for contractors. There are a number of independent recruiters who would love to help you find a list of qualified candidates and set up interviews. If you don’t know a recruiter, just do a search on LinkedIn for some in your area, or ask around within your network. This can be one of the most costly options. Many professional recruiters charge a finder’s fee equal to 20% of the first year salary if you hire one of their candidates. The fee would be similar for a contractor, just over a shorter time frame. However, this can be a great option if you have the funds and don’t have the time to do all of the sourcing and screening of candidates that will be required. Recruiters specialize in sourcing the specific types of candidates you need and then getting those candidates in front of you.
Alright, you probably knew that a shameless plug for Daylancer was coming. But seriously, we think Daylancer is the best way to find and hire freelancers. With many of the tools above, you’re spending money to post jobs on a website and get a list of interested candidates. But that doesn’t mean any of them are actually qualified. As a next step, you’ll have to spend time reviewing their resumes, emailing with them back and forth, phone screening, etc. There’s a lot of time required just to find three candidates that you’d even like to interview. With Daylancer, we do all of that work for you. Once we learn about your ideal candidate, we’ll source and screen candidates for you. In a week, you’ll get three vetted and qualified candidates ready to be interviewed, and it won’t break the bank. We connect you with candidates at a fraction of the cost of traditional recruiting firms.
I hope these tips help you find the perfect freelancer for your project.
If you have other tips, please share them in the comments section!
Written by Frank Garza, Founder at Daylancer