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Don’t Hire that Freelancer: 3 Red Flags to Look For

Freelancer at workIt’s a big mistake to go it alone looking after your business when there’s a plethora of people out there who can lend a helping hand, taking tasks you don’t have the time to do. That “I can do it all myself” attitude is a sure-fire recipe for burnout. As your business expands, so does the volume of tasks that you need to handle, and it’s time to stop sacrificing your weekends or vacation because there are freelancers out there to come to your rescue. While there are firms like Impressa Solutions that can handle your needs, there are times when a freelancer may make more sense for your business.

In this age when the Internet is everywhere, freelancers seem to grow on trees—and that’s when the real challenge hits us. Finding out who’s the real deal is daunting--we know because we work with freelancers often...with mixed results. But if you do your homework and pay attention to the three red flags enumerated below, you can avoid hassle and recognize a real diamond from just another lump of coal.

1. Freelancers who charge too little.

Scouting for freelancers who give a low-ball quote is not always the way to go. Sure, you’d get to save some money in hiring folks who would be willing to work for peanuts, but be ready to get peanuts also in return—after all, you get what you pay for. You may save quarters for now but you will lose dollars in the long run by having to redo work or losing business thanks to their poor quality.

2. Freelancers who don’t have referrals or positive reviews.

Positive reviews and great referrals are worth their weight in gold—and reputable freelancers should have them on their Elance or Odesk profile page, LinkedIn, or website. Don’t just take the candidate’s word for what he or she can do. It’s a no-brainer that people put their best foot forward in order to land a job. Ask for referrals or skim through a candidate’s reviews to learn what kind of work they do and if these past experiences reflect the skills you are looking for. No referrals hint at no experience, and negative reviews indicate problems and issues you should expect to experience.

3. Freelancers who are slow in responding to emails.

You must be wary with unprofessional remote workers who just drop off the face of the planet without saying a word—it’s one hard reality that bites the most when dealing with freelancers. Having their freedom and not having accountability to a superior standing over their shoulder making sure the job gets done is one perk that some freelancers tend to enjoy too much. They become unreliable. If a candidate for the job is too slow to respond to emails, he or she may be giving you a taste of what’s to come: slow, delayed work. Slow responses are a telltale sign to review the next resume.

small business, Small Business Tips, hiring, freelancers, human resources

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