How to Hire a Freelancer

Does your growing business need a freelancer? From simple data entry to large-scale projects requiring highly-specialized skills, the right freelancer can help you reach your goals and streamline your business — all without the commitment and cost of hiring a full-time employee.

Here are some tips to help you find great freelancer candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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What is the cost of hiring a freelancer?

The cost of hiring a freelancer depends on the project and the freelancer’s area of expertise. For example, according to Indeed Salaries, freelance graphic designers earn an average of $26.32 per hour, freelance photographers earn an average of $36.65 per hour and freelance writers earn $19.26 per hour on average.

Freelancers with more technical skills, such as freelance web developers or software engineers, may charge more for their services. Additionally, freelancers may charge on a project basis, rather than an hourly rate. Project rates can vary based on the scope of the project, skills and time required and other factors.

Why hire a freelancer?

Hiring a freelancer allows you to work with an expert at a reduced cost. The right freelancer can hit the ground running with minimal training and complete both short-term and long-term tasks and projects with maximum flexibility, quick turnaround times and low overhead.

Contributions of a great freelancer:

  • Understand project briefs to produce accurate, high-quality work
  • Handle multiple projects through to completion, consistently meeting tight deadlines
  • Communicate effectively across multiple channels (email, Zoom, online collaboration tools, etc.)
  • Provide out-of-the-box, innovative solutions to meet project goals
  • Help with time-sensitive projects or unexpected issues outside of normal working hours

What are the different types of freelancers?

When hiring a freelancer, it’s important to understand the specific kind of freelancer you need for your business. Whether you need someone to take product photos for your website, write articles for your blog or build your entire website from scratch, there’s a freelancer that can get the job done. Here are some common types of freelancers to help you find one that meets your needs:

  • Freelance photographer: Takes clients on photoshoots, snaps product shots for online stores, etc. Also performs post-production photo editing.
  • Freelance writer: From creative writing to copywriting to articles, ebooks, speeches and press releases, freelance writers can tackle a wide range of writing projects and tasks. 
  • Freelance designer: Provides a wide range of design services, from logo development to website design to branding to photo retouching and everything in between.
  • Freelance web developer: Designs and builds websites to a client’s specifications.

Where to find freelancers

To find the right freelancer for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Ask for referrals: Reach out to friends, family members and/or professional connections and ask if they know or have worked with a freelancer they’d recommend.
  • Freelancing platforms: Check out online marketplaces where you can get in touch with freelancers, review proposals and see their rates upfront.
  • Portfolio sites: Behance, Dribbble, GitHub and other portfolio sites where people show off their best work can be a great source for finding freelancers that meet your exact needs.
  • Post your job online: Try posting your freelancer job on Indeed to find and attract quality freelancer candidates.

Skills to look for in a great freelancer

Freelancers are often top experts in their field, providing specialized work to fill the skills gap at your company. To find a freelancer that matches your company’s needs, look for qualifications and work experience that reflect top freelancing skills, especially in the specific industry you’re hiring for.

Freelancer qualifications:

  • Portfolio or samples of work
  • Specialized skill set
  • Knowledge of online collaboration tools, such as Asana or Trello
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Project management skills
  • Flexibility and self-discipline

Writing a freelancer job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified freelancer candidates. A freelancer job description should include a compelling summary of the role or project, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your freelancer job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting:

  • freelancer
  • freelance
  • contract
  • part-time
  • remote
  • independent contractor
  • short-term
  • remote work from home

Interviewing freelancer candidates

Hire the right freelancer for your business by asking targeted interview questions that will reveal a candidate’s ability to seamlessly transition to different projects, manage demanding workloads and deadlines, and communicate consistently and effectively across a wide variety of channels.

Strong candidates for freelancer positions will be confident answering interview questions on the following topics:

  • Time management
  • Past freelancing experience
  • How they measure and communicate results
  • Personal work process
  • Freelance rates, fees and payment schedules

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of common interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a freelancer

When should I hire a freelancer?

It might be time to consider hiring a freelancer when you need someone with specialized skills to complete a specific task or project, but don’t have any current employees who have the bandwidth or the right skill set. Instead of hiring a new employee, hiring a freelancer can help you fill gaps in your workforce at a reduced cost.

How do I keep my freelancers happy?

To keep freelancers happy, start by developing an onboarding strategy that sets clear expectations about the task or project, gives them the right details to get started and puts them in contact with people who can answer their questions. Be responsive and give them frequent feedback to let them know how they’re doing. Avoid micromanaging if possible. Additionally, make sure to pay your freelancers correctly and on time to reduce frustration.

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021