What are key tips for hiring people on Upwork?

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10 Upwork Hiring Tips For Remote Teams

What is one tip for hiring people on Upwork? Here are 10 Upwork hiring tips these leaders follow to hire remote teams:

  • Make Sure You Conduct a Video Interview
  • Choose Freelancers from Upwork’s Talent Scout Program
  • Don’t Overlook Brand New Freelancers
  • Be Clear in Your Posting About What You are Looking For
  • Look to the Mid-Range of Hourly Rates
  • Avoid Applicants With Customized Cover Letters
  • Use a Secret Answer Word
  • Match Your Business Tone to Freelancer’s Voice
  • Conduct Rounds of Interviews
  • Get a Copywriter to Do the Hiring

Make Sure You Conduct a Video Interview

Though Upwork provides many tools for vetting a candidate, this does not mean you should hire sight unseen, and is why you should always conduct a video interview. Written information may provide details of a candidate’s experience or the quality of their work, but there are intangibles such as personality and professional appearance that simple print can’t convey. By conducting a video interview, you can gain insight into a candidate’s personality, demeanor, and communication skills, all of which are of prime importance. In taking the time to speak directly with a potential hire, you will be better able to ascertain how they will work with the rest of your team, and whether or not that both their talents and personal skills are the right fit for your business.

Anthony Puopolo, Rex MD

Choose Freelancers from Upwork’s Talent Scout Program

Choose remote workers from Upwork’s Talent Scout program. It is joined by the platform’s top developers, designers, and creatives who undergo a strict application process for admission. As an Upwork client, you can take advantage of the Talent Scout service for free. A recruiter will do the leg work of screening candidates for you. They will provide a hand-picked shortlist of the platform’s best talents whom you can interview before recruitment. It’s a feature that could save you up to 50% of the cost compared to the services of traditional staffing agencies.

Ryan Stewart, Webris

Don’t Overlook Brand New Freelancers

Don’t overlook newer freelancers. It can be tempting as an employer to look only at those with long track records on Upwork, but this can cause you to pass over great talent. Sometimes it’s beneficial to consider new freelancers, who are often more willing to adapt to match your vision. In order to be competitive with established workers, new freelancers often have lower rates. They also typically are more motivated to work on projects in order to gain credibility on the site. This can lead to a great, mutually beneficial working relationship.

Lisa Odenweller, Kroma Wellness

Be Clear in Your Posting About What You are Looking For

The best way to find top talent on Upwork is to be as clear as possible in your job posting about what you are looking for. Detail the specific skills and experience required for the job, and be sure to mention any requirements or preferences you have regarding geography, language fluency, or type of contractor (e.g. individual vs. agency). When evaluating proposals, focus on candidates’ skills and experience first, and then on their rates. It’s important to remember that you get what you pay for – a low-cost proposal may indicate that the contractor is inexperienced or unqualified. Finally, be sure to review contractors’ feedback from past clients and ask for references before making a final decision.

Natalia Brzezinska, PhotoAiD

Look to the Mid-Range of Hourly Rates

Though you may be watching your budget, it is important to understand that workers with lower listed hourly rates may not be the best choice and could cost you more in the long run. Someone who lists their services at a lower rate often leaves out key components such as time allotted to complete a project or the quality of work itself. Therefore, if you are looking to save money, it is a better choice to seek those in the mid-range, as they will often work faster and produce higher quality work. This will save you money based on the number of hours they need to commit to a task, and will prevent you from having to bring in another individual to correct issues if the initial work was substandard. Though it may appear to cost more on the front end, by hiring someone in the mid-range of hourly rates, you will save yourself money in the end.

Adelle Archer, Eterneva

Avoid Applicants With Customized Cover Letters

Anytime you post a job on Upwork, one of the standard parts of an applicant’s response is a cover letter. The problem, however, is that with 50+ applicants for any given job, you’re not going to feel like reading all these letters, even if they are short. My best advice though is to read them. Or at the very least, skim them. The first thing you’ll notice is that many of the cover letters are boilerplate, cut-and-paste type responses. For me, this is an instant red flag not to hire that freelancer. If the applicant can’t take the time to at least tailor a cover letter to a job post, what makes you think they’ll put any real effort into your work product? A generic cover letter is a dead giveaway that the applicant isn’t willing to put in the effort, or worse yet, didn’t even read the job posting and just applied blindly. It might make sifting through applicants a lengthy process, but it also helps to narrow down the field of applicants to the most dedicated and responsive.

John Ross, Test Prep Insight

Use a Secret Answer Word

When bids start rolling in (“I am qualified and ready to start immediately!) within minutes of your posting a job, you know they didn’t read your ad carefully. Use a secret answer word. Embed a simple question like “The secret answer word is ‘leopard'” (or whatever you like) in your job post. In the screening questions, ask them what the secret word is. If they get it wrong, eliminate them immediately. That inattention to detail will reemerge in their work for you; I practically guarantee it.

Adam Goulston, PsyD MBA, MS, Scize

Match Your Business Tone to Freelancer’s Voice

When searching for an independent contractor to help with projects on Upwork, seek out individuals whose writing conveys a voice that is similar to the tone of your business. Having consistency throughout your materials that match up in voice and tone is essential in shaping your business brand. Upwork has so many talented freelancers to choose from, so the most important thing to consider when browsing through profiles is: who is going to best elevate your brand messaging and convey the most improved messaging about your company? Once you have someone who has caught your eye, invest some time into consuming their posted materials to get a sense of their breadth and what they can deliver, and use your intuition in deciding who is the correct choice for your business.

Karim Hachem, La Blanca

Conduct Rounds of Interviews

Much like traditional rounds of hiring, it’s important to meet the contractors you plan to work with before you extend a project proposal. This allows you to iron out expectations and confirm the contractor’s legitimacy before moving forward. To make the most out of the interview, be sure to ask questions such as, “How long have you been freelancing in this industry?” and “How many clients do you currently serve?”. Make sure to also ask for the contractor’s portfolio, as this is the quickest way to see the quality and outcomes of their work before making a commitment. This line of questioning gives you a better sense of the person’s abilities, experience, and current workload, each being crucial factors as you decide between your final few shortlisted candidates.

Patrick Casey, Felix

Get a Copywriter to Do the Hiring

One hack for hiring on Upwork is to get a copywriter to write the listing. Copywriters specializing in description writing can provide a huge advantage in finding the right talent. What a copywriter can do is differentiate your listing from the sea of others. In addition, the right copywriter will convey with great accuracy the full depth and breadth of the role. This ensures that the talent you end up hiring is fully clear on the expectations and scope of the project. The best way to ensure that the talent you hire is right for the job is to have a copywriter develop the listing to be as unique and descriptive as possible.

Matas Jakutis, ForceField

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