How to Hire Freelancers for Your Startup - Ascent Conference

How to Hire Freelancers for Your Startup

hire freelancers

Human capital is often the biggest expense that startup companies will encounter. After all, your company will need skilled workers who will help you run a sustainable and successful business. But these skilled workers come with a hefty price tag that can burn through startup capital thanks to factors such as taxes and healthcare. This is why most startups choose to hire freelancers for their company.

Freelance workers give companies the benefit of having a worker without the overhead costs. This allows your startup company to do things such as allocate funds to other areas of the business that need attention or save money for emergencies.

Startups often struggle with where they should allocate their funds. However, freelancers are certainly one investment that companies should be making. For this reason, we’re going to share how you can find and hire freelancers for your startup today.


How to Find Freelancers

It’s important for startup companies to find skilled and dedicated freelancers for their team. The good news is, there are plenty of options available today to find qualified workers. For instance, there are plenty of online websites dedicated to connecting companies and freelancers together. Along with this, if you have a solid network, you can rely on referrals to build your team. Let’s look more closely at a couple of options.


Upwork: Pros & Cons


Upwork is one of the most popular freelancing platforms today. Upwork connects Fortune 100 companies, growing businesses, and startups with highly qualified talent around the globe. This platform allows startups to navigate the talent pool by scanning client reviews and ratings, as well as, reviewing detailed profile pages of potential candidates.

Along with this, Upwork has a large pool of freelancers with various skills, allowing startups to build a diverse team. Even more, startups can hire with ease as Upwork’s AI-powered job-to-talent matching connects you with freelancers fast. Upwork has a few plans that companies can choose from. For instance, you can get a free plan to start. At the same time, you can invest in a Plus plan for $49.99 a month and a Business plan for $499 a month.

One potential downside of a freelance site such as Upwork is that it’s often oversaturated. Even with intuitive tools, this can make it difficult for companies to find genuine talent as some freelancers may not be as honest about what they say they can do.


LinkedIn: Pros & Cons


While LinkedIn isn’t a freelancing website like Upwork, it is a great alternative for finding quality freelancers. LinkedIn’s ProFinder tool helps startups get connected with the right freelancer. All you have to do is tell ProFinder what you need by answering a few questions about the kind of services you’re looking for. From there, ProFinder will show you a list of the best local professionals.

If you’re interested in using ProFinder, you can get up to 5 free proposals from professional freelancers.

While LinkedIn’s ProFinder certainly helps companies narrow down potential candidates, you’re going to need to be very specific about what kind of freelancer you’re looking for. In some cases, ProFinder will generate freelancers with a general background instead of someone who is a specialist.

Aside from this, many candidates on LinkedIn are already employed and are not currently looking for freelance opportunities. This can lead to a lot of time wasted.


Indeed: Pros & Cons


Indeed is one of the most popular job-hunting platforms. It’s also a great website for startup companies to hire freelancers. Indeed holds millions of resumes across the country for companies to find the perfect talent. In fact, 6 million new resumes are added on their website a month.

Even better, startup companies can target their search by information such as education, title, and location. This makes it easier for companies to get connected with ideal freelancers in a matter of minutes. Indeed also boasts a decent response rate for candidates with a 55% total response rate so companies don’t have to waste their time on candidates who are only passively looking for new work.

Posting a job on Indeed is free, however, if you want your job posting to be sponsored, you can pay as little as $5 a day.

Using Indeed for your startup could be a bit pricey. Their standard subscription is $100 a month with only 30 contacts for that month. Considering that, with a large talent pool to sort through, this may not be worth the money.


Referrals: Pros & Cons


For startup companies, each decision you make in regard to your company is crucial. With that said, hiring talent for your company is especially important. While freelance sites and job boards are extremely popular for companies to find new talent, referrals are another great option to find what you need.

Considering referrals means you’re more likely to have a quality hire as they will not only be skilled but will better fit your company’s culture. This makes all the difference when you want to ensure that you get your company off the ground successfully.

It’s a good idea to set up an employee referral program for your startup company. If you already have a few successful hires or other individuals a part of your team, they can help you identify potential candidates for a reward.

One disadvantage of using an employee referral system is that you might not end up with a diverse talent pool to choose from. Other platforms give you the opportunity to scan many potential candidates who all have different backgrounds and specialties. By relying solely on a referral system, you will more than likely hire someone who is similar to the referrer.


Tips for Hiring Freelancers for your Startup

Before contacting freelancers, it’s important that you know what you need for your startup company. Having a clear understanding of this not only allows you to write a stellar job description but it helps you set expectations for potential candidates, and ensures that you are connected with the best ones. For instance, are you looking for a marketing specialist who understands search engine optimization? Or a marketing specialist who is skilled at social media management? This process will help you save time and hire quality freelancers quickly.

Additionally, be sure to ask the right questions when screening applicants. Don’t just choose a freelancer because their resume seems nice. Remember, you want to save as much money as you possibly can. With that said, be sure to have an open and honest conversation with your potential hire about their capabilities and expectations about the role. Along with this, be sure to ask for important information such as work samples or a portfolio that can help you get a better sense of what they can offer as a freelancer.

The team you build is a central part of your company’s foundation. With that said, the freelancer market is growing tremendously. Freelancing doesn’t just provide benefits to workers, it has become a staple for startup companies who can’t afford the overhead costs but need quality talent to help them operate the business.



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