Finding the right talents and building up a solid team is probably the most critical factor of success for any business. If you work with freelancers and have a remote team, this is even more critical. Based on our experiences on Proteams, we put together the most critical 5 criteria that should be considered before hiring a freelance professional.
Experience level is pretty much the level of service quality. Freelancers gain unique experiences and build new skills while working with different clients and facing different challenges in different sectors and locations. An experienced freelancer will avoid problems or solve them much more easily, and hence will give you fewer headaches compared to a less experienced one. Your business can certainly benefit from their unique experience and expertise that you may be lacking.
Higher experience level and solid references also mean stronger communication skills, and ability to work with tight deadlines. While working with a freelancer, you may not have continuous communication as they may be working in different locations, time of the day, and also working for different clients at the same time. Freelancers with more experience know the importance of communication and deadlines better and can handle these situations more professionally.
Skills are the most critical criteria that can make your search smarter. Try to be as specific as you can when you make your search. Do you need a UX designer for a social app? Then use all related keywords or tags in your search that may be relevant such as UX + UX designer + User experience + Social + Social app. But you should be careful with your search keywords and avoid broadening the search results too much.
And try to stick with specific skills that you need even it takes more time to find the right person. If you have a website developed with Python, do not work with developers who haven’t worked with Python before, even though they tell you that they can adapt easily. Trying to save time on your search process may result in long-term problems for your business.
If you are looking for unique skills in new technologies or in creative services, you may have to look at specific places like groups on social channels, or even blogs about these topics. Looking for freelancers with unique skills will be much more time consuming, and will require a higher budget as they are highly demanded.
Once you think you find the right pro for your job in terms of capabilities, you need to make sure if they are available for the time frame that you need your job done.
Some freelancers handle several clients at the same time, and especially if you have a small budget for your job, you will most probably match with one of them. While some of the freelancers handle this situation professionally, some others, usually the ones that get hired with the lowest bids, have problems managing their time when they get hired by more clients than they can handle. In such a case you’ll face with many problems including late deliveries and quality issues. The best tip for you to avoid these types of freelancers is to avoid the lowest bidders or profiles with lowest rates for your job post.
Another way is to evaluate their situation during your first interview and make sure that you’ll work with them if they dedicate themselves to your job, deliver you a quality output and deliver on time. Using milestones is the best way to be sure that you are working with the right pro. If you get the feeling that your pro is not dedicated to your job as much as you want, get rid of that pro right after the first milestone.
Pricing is a very important factor that affects finding the right pro and your budget. Every business owner wants to save when buying a service, but if you select one of the lowest offers for your job you will most probably end up with pros who are not fully dedicated to your job.
So you need to make sure what is the optimum budget for your job. If your job is a project based job, there are 2 variables in the fee calculation: #of man hours, and fee/hour. So try to get an hourly estimate from all interested professionals, and take an average of # of hours that is required to finalize the job. Other variable fee/hour may change based on various factors, such as location and experience level.
Here is a map of hourly prices that you may use in your calculation if you are based in Europe. So let’s use an example to explain more clearly;
Let’s say you have a job or a project with approx. 160 hours of work based on the average duration estimates that you receive from your offers. You should expect to have the following budget levels:
EUR 2,500-4,000/month for a mid-level developer from CEE region with 3-5 years of experience (EUR 25-35/hour)
EUR 3,000-6,000/month for a senior-level developer from CEE region with 5-10 years of experience (EUR 40-50/hour)
EUR 7,500-12,000/month for a mid-level developer from Northern European region with 3-5 years of experience (EUR 60-80/hour)
EUR 10,000-20,000/month for a senior-level developer from Northern European region with 5-10 years of experience (EUR 100-150/hour)
You can see the huge differences in the budget for the same job but with different professionals. This simple tool explains the situation brilliantly
If the total service amount that you calculate using the average # of hours and fee/hour is too much for your budget, then you’ll have to change your search criteria, either start looking for less experienced candidates from the same region, or move your search to Asia, where you may find experienced professionals between EUR 15-20/hour. But that’d be like looking for a needle in a haystack, so we really don’t advise that. We’ve heard many horror stories about working with Asian developers, here is one (in Danish). As you see this is a complicated, and time-consuming process. Hence, we advise you to work with a partner who can assist you during this process, find you the best candidate, save you time and money, and take the weight off your shoulders.
A successful hire starts with a smart search and where to make your search is very critical. Public HR platforms like LinkedIn or Angelist may be resourceful, but there is an endless pool of talents out there, and finding the right person for your team may take you weeks if you want to search on these public platforms.
Therefore, you should use platforms focused on IT talents as your smart assistant who knows where to find the right talents and how to evaluate their skills. Using specialized freelancer platforms will give you smarter search results, and save you lots of time. While some online platforms such as Freelancer.com or Upwork focus on freelancers with low costs, other platforms like Proteams focus on higher quality for affordable prices, provide only selected professionals from Europe and manage the professionals as part of your team.
Freelance platforms specialize in spotting the right talents for specific jobs and evaluating whether they have the right skills to deliver what you are asking for. For instance, at Proteams, when one of our clients want to develop an airline search engine, we know which developers or UX designers on Proteams network have worked with a similar product before, so it is much easier for us to match the client with the right developer.