Although I’ve been hiring contractors for a couple of years now, I have to admit that I avoided sites like Upwork like the plague. Truth be told, I felt overwhelmed by it and it gave me flashbacks to my recruiter days. I did not want to waste time interviewing a bunch of mediocre people and not find a good candidate – as would happen often when I worked in recruiting.
However, as my business grows and I have more clients, I’ve needed to find ways to outsource and scale on a budget. With the heeding of a friend and colleague, I decided to give Upwork a try and have so far been pleased.
If you’re in the same boat, here’s what you need to know about hiring contractors from Upwork.
Keep it simple.
At this point, I’ve only been hiring contractors for simple tasks like article research or making some copy updates to my website. Eventually, I may venture out to try something like podcast editing, but so far I’m just tipping my toes in the water.
By keeping it simple, it will be easier to train your new contractor until you both are more comfortable. You have to remember there’s a period where everyone is getting used to things and it may require you to be more attentive or do a little more handholding.
Know what you want and need.
I knew I needed someone to help with small things like article research. While I could do it myself in 15 minutes, if you add up that 15 minutes over the course of your career that’s a whole lot of time you could have delegated to someone else so you could go make more money.
(P.S. The Creative Giant podcast actually had a great episode about this that is totally worth checking out.)
When you’re hiring contractors off of sites like Upwork, you need to be crystal clear about what it is you want so that you can find the best candidate.
Read reviews and ask for samples.
Many of the best contractors have good reviews and testimonials to prove it. For example, I have a contractor saved for future reference because the reviews were spectacular and his hourly rate was within my budget.
The contractor I hired recently also had great reviews and a wonderful perfomance rating. While it’s only been about a month since I hired him, he’s been a great help with getting little things done.
Ask for referrals and conduct interviews.
The friend and colleague who nudged me to check out Upwork had done several interviews (more on that later) and had narrowed down the contractors that she thought were a good fit.
This made my search easier not because she’d already vetted these people, but also because if they were not available I could find people who were similar.
You’ll also want to conduct your own interviews before hiring anyone to make sure they are the right fit.
Don’t be afraid to go international.
Some people are afraid to go the international contractor route for many reasons. While there are some things that I would prefer to give to an American (such as my general VA), I can definitely outsource smaller tasks to someone on the other side of the world with no issue.
Also, since you’re going through a reputable third-party like Upwork I personally tend to think it’s an easier way to find international contractors.
So far, my experience with hiring contractors from a site like Upwork has been a pleasant one. I know there are places where I can improve and I plan on experimenting more with it in the future, but there is definitely some major potential for hiring contractors on a budget.