What Are Five Key Things a Company Should Look For When Hiring a Freelancer Writer
If the time has come for your small business to outsource, there are five key things a company should look for when hiring a freelance writer. First of all, let me explain what a freelancer is.
According to Wikipedia, “A freelancer, freelance worker, or freelance is a person who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long-term.” Another term that is sometimes used interchangeably with freelancer is independent contractor. You can usually find good freelancers through freelance marketplaces like elance.com or odesk.com, as well as other places.
The freelance industry has changed a lot in the past few years. The types of jobs have become much more versatile with independent contractors being accomplished web developers, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts, freelance writers, software developers, administrative support personnel, and many more. Just recently I discovered this statement in Forbes, “The freelance economy is the future of work. At least, that’s how the labor market sees it. An estimated one in three Americans—or 42 million people—is a freelancer.” (2/11/2014, Why the New Freelance Economy is Great For Your Small Business”)
That means there are a lot of skilled workers out there, but you do need to be careful to do your research. So let’s take a look at those five key things I mentioned earlier that will increase your chances of finding a freelancer that you will be happy with.
- Experience as a freelancer – I highly recommend that in your search for a person that will work with your company as a new hire, that you establish in your interview just how long they have been an independent contractor. Especially on the freelance marketplaces, there are loads of individuals claiming to be a freelancer but they are brand new at it. No, I’m not saying that you can’t hire a newbie freelance writer, but I am saying that you will have greater success with someone that has been a freelancer for a while.
- Experience in his or her field – An experienced writer that has been freelancing for a given amount of time will have knowledge that newbies won’t have – knowledge, for example, for the best way to research on the Internet, what the best sites are to use for reports, and more. Just as in a full time or part-time job, how much history does the writer have to support that experience? Have they been writing for their own or other business owners’ websites or blogs? Does the individual have samples that can be shown to you?
- Skill proficiency – Before going to the interview with the freelance writer or copy editor, you should have a good idea of the types of skills the potential new hire will need to fulfill the job requirements. Has there been any effort to continue education in the writing field? Does the writer have any certifications?
- Is the individual dependable? – This one might be a little difficult to gauge, but you can do it. Here are a couple of ideas. Does the individual have references on company letterhead? If through a freelance marketplace, has the freelance writer received positive feedback, negative feedback or no feedback at all? Does the feedback show that an individual provides excellent service and on-time delivery?
- Does the freelance writer charge reasonable rates? – Well, first of all, do you know what reasonable is? Are the rates charged hourly, per piece or bundled at a fixed price. Once you uncover that information, you can then do your homework and find out what the going rates are for your location. How is the quality of the content? If the content is first-rate, then the individual may charge a little more. But, you’re not going to want to pay an unreasonable rate if the content is full of spelling, grammar or punctuation errors.
This list of five key things that a company should look for when hiring a freelance writer is by no means a complete list. There are other things to consider such as is the individual a team player, is he or she an excellent communicator, does the individual provide excellent customer service (Yes this is important; after all, you are their customer). But if you keep the above in mind, you should be well on your way to getting a great freelance writer.
About the author: Pam Lokker is a skillful writer and proficient virtual assistant. Borlok Virtual Assistants is the place to get global expert Virtual Assistant services with quality and on-time delivery.