3 Steps to Successfully Screen Freelancers, Partners and Contractors

Relying on freelancers and other third parties is a must for many companies. When projects don’t require full-time staff, the services they provide may be needed throughout the year. The best way of getting such work accomplished is to use freelancers you trust. However, from time-to-time you will need to reach out to somebody new. Here’s how to do that:


3 Steps to Successfully Screen Freelancers, Partners and Contractors

It’s a scary feeling to not know if the person on the other end of the email is both good at what he or she does and honest in his or her business dealings. There is no way to get a 100 percent guarantee that everything will go smoothly, but the following few methods will help keep you at ease:

Search The Freelancers Online Profile

Today, few people are anonymous, and most established professionals maintain some sort of profile on a social network. For some who have deep ties and a long history, they may do most of their networking in person, but even they are likely on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

You may not be able to glean deep details of their work habits from these networks alone, but you can get a sense of their general demeanor and way of interacting with the world. Just think of the people you follow on Facebook, and consider how many you would instantly rule out working with based on their online behavior alone. People reveal a lot about themselves these days — all you have to do is look.

Use an Established Freelance Network

In addition to the popular networks everyone uses, many freelancers also have a presence on sites like Elance, Freelancer, Upwork, Demand Media, GetACoder, iFreelance and Project4Hire. These, and other similar websites, cater to different types of creatives, so they are worth looking through to see if a person has a credible work history. Many potential candidates will send you links to these profiles to show you the positive feedback they have gotten. Such information doesn’t prove the person is reliable and professional, but it can go a long way toward easing your mind with a first-time hire.

In fact, finding your next contractor through these networks from the get go is a great idea. They have defacto screening processes built in, and anyone with a rosy profile and established credibility on such sites likely will care about maintaining their status. This means they usually go above and beyond to make sure you’re the next satisfied client on their resume.

Find References

While the digital realm offers many options, do not underestimate reviews and word of mouth recommendations. Companies know the importance of sharing testimonials with potential clients, and anyone who can’t provide some quality references isn’t worth doing business with.

You cannot trust this completely, however. That’s why it can be helpful to inquire independently rather than simply trust the glowing words about the potential contractor. Look on a variety of sites for the candidate’s work and ask your colleagues and other industry professionals if they have heard of this person. Getting references from several sources makes sure you get a well-rounded and unbiased review of any potential freelancers.

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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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