So you have posted your job, a lot of bids have flown in and now it is time to actually choose a freelancer to do the job. The problem with online freelancing is that there is a good chance that you might end up with someone who will waste your time and money. For every 3 good freelancers there are double that number who are in for a quick buck and do not care about maintaining their reputation. I hope the tips below will be useful advice. You can use these tips to help you to choose freelancers for your next project.
Help to choose freelancers correctly
Check the reviews of the freelancer
Check the freelancer reviews, check both the number of reviews and the rating of those reviews. Do NOT just look at the main overview where it says raging is 4.8/5 over 50 ratings. That is actually a great rating, however it might be that it was 5.0 and the last 4 projects were bad projects and the freelancer is having a bad period. So make sure to actually go to the reviews page and check total review, and the review for the last few projects.
Check the completion rate of the freelancer
Some freelancers do have good ratings but a very low completion rate. For example a rating of 4.5/5 and a completion rate of 30%, which means that the freelancer will not complete 7 out of 10 projects. If you see that, run as fast as you can.
Interview the freelancer
Once you have pinpointed a few good choices, do actually interview the freelancers. This gives you a taste for their language skills and more importantly, you can check if it is a company or a freelancer you are dealing with. If all the answers are “Yes we can do this” then you probably have a sales person for some sort of outsourcing company. If the answers of the freelancer go into actual explanations and discussions you know that you have a real freelancer at hand.
Double confirm the deadline
Make sure that you clearly set the deadlines with the freelancer and make sure he does confirm the deadline, this will spare you alot of headache later on if you have to go into dispute.
Double confirm the price
Make sure that the freelancer confirms the agreed upon amount, if a freelancer did bid a suspiciously low amount just to get your attention and then tells you that the price is actually way higher, drop that freelancer.
Use milestones for the freelance task
Do NOT pay upfront, if a freelancer asks for upfront know right away that you do have a bad apple at hand. Use the escrow milestone system, and clearly establish when milestones will be created and when they will be released.
Communicate only through the official freelance medium
All freelance sites do provide you with some sort of board or medium to communicate with the freelancer. Freelancer does provide you with an option to upgrade to Design Studio which makes it even easier to collaborate with the freelancer. It might be easier to chat on Skype or otherwise, BUT for the main task definition, setting milestones, dates and changing any of the aforementioned do use the official PMB. There is a good reason behind that, if you have to go to arbitration or dispute to get your money back, the strongest evidence you can have is the PMB information as that info is the only info that the Freelancer site can be assured of that no tampering has happened.
Give newbie freelancers a chance
For smaller projects such as a quick code fix, a small article, a logo design it might be worth giving a fresh freelancer a chance. You will get a lower price for a non critical project, and the freelancer will give it an extra boost in return for a great review. However, note here that you have to do a thorough interview and check examples of work before you award the project to a newbie.
Finally, I do personally freelance and outsource on Freelancer. I do hope there was some useful info and helpful advice in the above. Please do comment if you have more information or input you would like me to add.