6 ultimate steps to hire a freelancer

6 Ultimate Steps: How to Hire a Freelancer And Pros & Cons

You might be in need of hiring a freelancer but puzzled how to hire a freelancer. From simple data-entry to large-scale projects, the right freelancer enables you to achieve your task and streamline your business – all without the responsibility and cost of hiring a full-time worker.

6 Useful Steps to Hire a Freelancer

1. Selecting The Best Freelancing Website

First, we get a highlight of freelancing websites. There are following well-known freelancing websites.

Fiverr is the largest freelancing marketplace providing online freelance jobs here you can find services for as low as $5. Fiverr holds the biggest number of freelancers, but according to the work quality, it’s not very good. It has no screening for new freelancers that’s why it has a large number of inexperienced workers. 

Homepage of fiverr.com how to hire a freelancer
Fiverr Homepage

One thing gives an advantage to Fiverr is, as a client, you can go through the freelancers’ profiles, visit their gigs, watch their ratings and communicate before placing an order. Although other platforms also have these facilities on them, you see the freelancer’s profile after he/she bids on your job. They also offer Fiverr Pro, which pre-screens highly qualified professionals with exceptional reviews.

Upwork formerly called oDesk/Elance is a giant platform in freelancing. It’s the merger of two websites oDesk.com and Elance.com. Upwork has the top-quality freelancers and is the priority of buyers/clients.

Its homepage of upwork.com how to hire a freelancer

The best thing about Upwork is that it does not permit online freelance jobs to a less competitive and low-quality workforce.

How does Upwork work for a client?

Give your job description on Upwork, freelancers will bid with their proposals, go through their proposals and select the suitable for you. For $500 per job search, they also offer Upwork Pro, which identifies carefully vetted professionals with 10+ years’ experience and great reviews.


Freelancer is the oldest player in town providing online freelance jobs. They founded it in 2003 and became the number 1 outsourcing website in the world. It’s hiring scenario is close to Upwork however level of quality is not matchable to Upwork’s customary.

how to hire a freelancer people per hour

PeoplePerHour brings together people who are seeking or offering services relating to several fields. It is based in the UK and follows a system, almost similar to other freelancing platforms. On this site, you will find both job posting and on-site freelancing gigs. Jobs are fixed or hourly type.

Toptal is the most trustable freelancing website but for hiring software developers only. This site has an intense screening mechanism.

toptal.com homepage how to hire a freelancer

One can’t join it as a freelancer if he’s not full stack in his domain.

Joining Toptal is like being recruit in a government department. Freelancer has to pass its tight screening tests to join. That’s why it’s perfect for choosing the right freelancer.

2. Hiring The Best Freelancer 

Hence after choosing the suitable freelancing website, now come to the point “How To Hire A Freelancer?”. We’ll learn this approach step by step, first, let me give you a summary of how as a client you should prepare for hiring a freelancer.

First, understand your requirements then determine what type of skills are needed to fulfill these requirements.

The second step is going to your chosen freelance platform, search with your requirements check the profiles of freelancers keeping it in mind which fits best with your need check their ratings and feedbacks of previous work and then contact someone. 

An experienced freelance WordPress designer and blog writer on Fiverr.

3. Estimate Your Project’s Scope Of Work

The scope of work encapsulates the requirements, goals, responsibilities, and timeline for the skill set. Develop a scope of work by determining and writing your complete problem statement and its deliverable. An important thing is, must set up and include budget, time, and milestones in your scope of work. The scope of work is a piece of information that depicts what and what your project includes. It helps you find a freelancer with the best suitable skills and experience.   

1. Project or Task – Write the project description. What you need, what are your expectations, and what outcome you want from freelancers? Must post an unambiguous job/project description on the freelancing websites.

2. Description – Your description should be in a way that freelancers get a clear understanding otherwise if a job description is unclear the top-rated freelancers will not even bid on it and newbies will send you a ‘salesman’ type proposals. Hence your project will go in inexperienced hands and you will face the consequences.

3. At Freelancer End – Keep the freelancer or seller in your mind while writing the scope of work and accordingly split your task into milestones so you get your project done in steps. Examine either your project is a long time taker or quicker to complete. 

4. Milestones – Milestones are related to both buyer and seller. Setting milestones is the best approach for long-term projects. For example, if you have a website to be developed you can split it into milestones like 

Milestone 1: Freelancer will purchase the domain and hosting and will show you.

Milestone 2: Freelancer will complete the planning phase, determines the modules, and shows you.

Milestone 3: He/she will start developing and completes the work.

5. Budget – Budgeting for your project is a very important component. Fix a budget according to the level of the project. Don’t commit the mistake to set a short amount for a project that requires higher skills. Experienced freelancers will take you non-serious that’ll result in hiring newbies.

If you think describing little budget will grab more and more freelancers and you`ll choose the gem out, it’s your lapse. If you have a big project always offer a big budget and mention in the job description you need an expert freelancer. On Upwork you can choose: 

“I am willing to pay higher rates for the most experienced freelancers ”

Below is a screenshot from an Upwork job description which is an example of wrong budgeting. An ‘Expert Level’ freelancer will never work for $5.

how to hire a freelancer

6. Time/Deadline – It means the time limit or deadline you give to the freelancer for completion of a project. When writing the scope of work think of how time-consuming your task is. Keep in mind ‘At Freelancer End’ and decide the time you will give to the client. Milestones are helpful regarding deadlines. Get the work done in milestones.

4. Screen The Applicants

Once you have developed a sophisticated job description and posted on one of your favorite freelancing websites, now the time is to screen the candidates who applied for your job. Now a question arises what should be the criteria to select the best one out of many applicants.  In this scenario, you should have the knowledge that what are the characteristics of a good freelancer. Here we’ll learn them in detail.

Proposals Of Applicants – You’ll receive a bundle of applications in the form of proposals from freelancers. How’ll you guess whos the perfect for you? Well go through all the proposals and come out selecting the one who has written it to the point. The one who addressed you in a way that in first he/she introduced him/herself in a line, then they elaborated how they’ll solve your problem. Skillful freelancers tell about their portfolio and previous work in proposals. Most of the applicants don’t mention the fees in the proposal. After selecting a person from his/her proposal check the following parameters to identify his/her capability. 

Skills – Number 1 thing that comes in mind about freelancers is their skills. The following questions emerge in mind about skills.

“Are their skills up to the standard of doing your job?

Have they already done jobs based on their skills? 

Do they have a portfolio upon their skill set?

What is the level of their skills, entry-level, intermediate, expert? ”

A freelancer’s prior work experience can provide extensive insight into their specialized knowledge and relevant skill sets. Upwork’s “Work History and Feedback” section provides relevant reviews and works history. Fiverr’s “Reviews and Feedback” provides this information. Ask freelancers to show you their portfolios. Guess their ability by their portfolios.

Rating – Rating is expressed by reviews and feedback on the freelancer’s profile. Reviews range from 1 to 5 stars. Where 1 star is lowest and 5 is the highest rating. 5 starred review means the freelancer’s client was fully satisfied by his/her work. Feedback is the second thing that the client gives along with the review. It’s in written form, usually, clients express their experiences with freelancers. 

You as a new client can get an idea about the quality of freelancers. You should check in feedback about what type of job it is. Probably one freelancer does more than one type of job, check if the feedback is related to your job. If there are multiple feedbacks from one client it’s a good sign. It depicts that the buyer is this satisfied by the freelancer that he gives him the job again and again. 

Portfolio – If the freelancer is experienced he must have displayed his portfolio on his profile. A portfolio exemplifies their skills, qualifications, and experience. We take an example if you have to build software by a freelancer, you’ll choose a freelancer who already has developed the software. 

One thing is to notice, more the experienced freelancer is more money they’ll charge. 

Hence choosing a freelancer on the credit of his portfolio is best practice.

Education – Education is an important but not essential part of the right freelancer. Evaluate whether the applicant’s education is relevant to the scope of work, but remember there are factors that are not degree-specific. If your job nature is academic or legal type then prefer the educated one but if searching for a video editor, blog writer or SEO expert degrees are not necessary. 

Communication Etiquettes – Usually we judge a person by their behavior. A good freelancer will have a conversational tone in their proposal. Early response and precise discussion is a good sign. Hire a freelancer who gives you clear hints that how he’ll perform your job. Discuss the budget in the communication phase.

5. Interview The Selected Applicant

Once you have picked a freelancer based on upper described characteristics, hire him or for a big-budgeted job bring him to the interview screening. 

Upwork provides video/audio call facility for interviewing freelancers, choose your interview method. If you hold interviews, settle whether you’ll conduct them via phone or video, choose an interview-style, and prepare questions.

There are different types of interviews like :

  • Organized Interview – This is the most formal style of meeting. Be ready to brief about your organization and expected set of responsibilities and make organized inquiries about the candidate’s education or expert experience. 
  • Unorganized Interview – Unorganised interviews depend on casual discussion, rather than structured inquiries. Ask applicants open-ended inquiries and enable them to talk uninhibitedly. 
  • Behavioral Interview – This interview style is very common since it enables entrepreneurs to pass judgment on a candidate’s future execution dependent on how they reacted to conditions or assignments previously. 
  • Problem Solving Interview – Problem-solving interviews center around how a competitor approaches a theoretical issue and assess an applicant’s logical capacity and relational abilities. 
  • Panel Interview  – Panel interviews involve a few people meeting the applicant in the meantime, and are ideal on the off chance that you need to incorporate different individuals from your private company in the meeting procedure.

Note:  In any case, assess your competitors utilizing indistinguishable questions so you can without much of a stretch analyze candidate’s reactions. Despite your meeting style, recall forget to avoid unlawful areas of inquiry, for example, age, race, religion, national inception, sex as well as sexual orientation etc.

Slade, Sam, and Shane R. Sergent. “Interview Techniques.” (2019).

6. Place The Order

You have interviewed and selected a freelancer, your next move is starting a contract or placing the order.

On Upwork after completing all upper described procedure you click on ‘Start The Contract’ your fixed amount goes to the Upwork. 

When freelancer delivers the work you have the facility to check it first then approve it. After you approved the payment will go to the freelancer’s account. Fiverr and other platforms also have resembling mechanism.

Method To Start Contract On Upwork

Before your undertaking can start on Upwork, you’ll have to make an offer and send it to the selected freelancer. To make an offer, go to the consultant’s profile page and tap the Hire Now button. 

On the Offer Details page, you’ll have to choose the Job Type. This is a vital piece of the agreement among you and the freelancer. On Upwork, there are two sorts of projects: fixed price and hourly.

Problem With PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour has a flaw. It doesn’t protect the buyer’s money.  On other platforms, if a freelancer delivered you bad work you can create a dispute and get a refund. However, PeoplePerHour doesn’t pay for the orders that seller/freelancer can’t fulfill, they automatically categorize all refunds as buyer initiated unless you raise a stink. This also protects the worst sellers who don’t deliver needed work.

Worst of all, you cannot leave feedback for a freelancer that doesn’t deliver. Only “completed” transactions are eligible for feedback. It makes PeoplePerHour less trustable for potential buyers.

Placing Order on Freelancer.com

An order can be placed on the service view page by tapping on “Place Order”. Once a project is ordered, it will be listed in your Work in Progress tab as an ongoing project. The freelancer can then submit their work through the Files tab on the Project View page (service view page).

Payments can be transacted by either using your freelancer.com balance or by Credit Cards,  PayPal or Skrill(in available countries.). It has an advantage you’ll pay money when you are 100% satisfied with the work.

If the order delivered is incomplete or not what you were expecting, you have the option to dispute the payment. 

It tells Freelancer.com is best among all regarding payment safety.

Placing Order on Fiverr.com

After completing all upper described procedure click on the Order button on the gig of your selected freelancer. There’ll be options for additional work and time, check or uncheck them according to your needs and order will be created. 

At the freelancer end time count would be started he’ll have to meet the deadline. We prefer Fiverr for short projects. Fiverr is buyer-friendly in all terms. 

Fiverr provides multiple payment methods. Like

  1. Credit/Debit Card
  2. Apple Pay (for mobile users only)
  3. PayPal
  4. iDeal (only for the Netherlands)

When you create the order your payment will go to Fiverr, it will transfer it to freelancer after you accept their delivered work.

Small business owners get lots of benefits by freelancing. On the other hand there are also disadvantages of hiring a freelancer like lack of stability etc. we enlist them below:

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Freelancer


  • Tax-Free: For a physical business you have to pay taxes, hiring a freelancer eradicates it.
  • Low Cost: No need to hire an in-office employee saves a lot of money.
  • No Physical Expenses: No need to build an office, it saves furniture expenses, electricity bills.
  • No Org. Politics: You have virtual employees so no chance of a bad impact on work because of employee’s internal politics.


  • Limited Control: Business owners have limited control over remote freelancers. Limited control can lead to lower quality work that doesn’t satisfy the needs of your business.
  • Communication Hurdle: Communication with an online freelancer can never match with an in-office employee.
  • Inceptive Risk: Regardless of how painstakingly you screen applicants, there is probably a hazard that a freelancer’s work won’t be up to mark.
  • Lack of Stability: Freelancers are typically procured for transient tasks, instead of long-lasting work. This may diminish the strength of your workforce and you will face instability in your business matters. May be your production be affected by it.


Freelancers are a superb option in the event that you require qualified experts without the costs, conventions, and duty ramifications of conventional employees. The most vital strides of contracting a freelancer are choosing them from sites, like Fiverr, Upwork, TopTal and drafting viable job postings. Go after the steps above to distinguish and contract the ideal freelancer for your business. 

Since the site you use to enlist a specialist is so essential, you have to pick the best one for your requirements. Be conscious of website selection. Select them as per your nature of the job.

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Hasnain Mahar
Hassnain Mahar is a blogger, freelancer, WordPress guru, web designer, and SEO geek. He runs multiple websites and offers his services on freelance platforms.
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