5 tips to ensure quality of work when working with a freelancer

You have sat down and looked at the various strategic projects you want to start but don’t have enough resources to take care of each of these assignments. You ponder – I need extra time, capabilities and steady effort to complete.

After having looked at options of in-house vs outsourcing, you finally (and wisely!) consider to hire a freelancer. But one of the biggest worry is – Will this freelancer be able to deliver the quality of output I expect?

Few of the top challenges of outsourcing are:

  • Difficulty to choose the right qualified people to trust
  • Sub-standard documents submitted and sometimes difficulty to assess its quality
  • Difficulty of project management, progress tracking and time consumption
  • Communication with developers that work outside the office can be difficult especially in foreign countries due to language and timezone differences

Following are few tips to make sure that you get your desired output –

Tip#1: Clear articulation of the project

Do you know what you exactly want? Think through, as best you can, the work you want to outsource, do some research, and write the clearest brief you can. Few of the specifics can and probably will change over the course of the project as you review it, but trying to be clear up front can save time later on.

Also, consider your budget selection carefully. Too low a budget may eliminate some of the better candidates for your project. No matter what, though, don’t set a budget higher than you’re willing to pay, just to attract more experienced freelancers. Freelance professionals will usually bid according to strict criteria and most won’t want to waste time with price haggling.

Tip#2: Recruiting the right candidate

  • Check the reviews on the websites and don’t hesitate to ask for references. A key question you should ask is: “Did the consultant deliver on time and on budget?”
  • Review past project work by asking for a sample
  • If you are looking for experienced freelancer, review the work experience to recognize the track record
  • Make sure you spend some time in evaluating the shortlisted candidates via short interview using either email or telephonic or video chat.

Tip#3: Structure your engagement

So you’ve selected a consultant and you’re ready to start. You don’t know each other yet, so neither one of you knows how to work together. Set expectations and arrive at shared understanding in terms of desired updates, deliverables, milestones, timelines.

When working with confidential information, always insist on having a Non-Disclosure Agreement signed.

Make sure & document that the freelancer has all the necessary information & documents to start working on the project.

Tip#4: Communicate frequently

It is important to communicate on regular basis with your partner. Communicating data issues and doubts right away to avoid incomplete work or increased costs at the end of the project.

Documentation helps to explain decisions and, most importantly, helps in the process of handing over the project to another team.

Tip#5: If necessary, take help

In case you are unable to dedicate enough supervision time or assess the work done by the consultant, arm yourself with a project manager. This could be a project manager or another consultant on the same platform to review the work done.

Expertois is a platform which alleviates a lot of this burden from your shoulders by its design. By incorporating these tips into its business processes and tools, it becomes very easy for clients to monitor the progress of their projects.

Firstly, the clients are verified and only qualified candidates, based on their work experience, education and references are allowed to bid for a project.

Next, engaging with the consultant is also simplified by tools to manage communication – notifications on status updates, tracking progress against project milestones, follow-up or scheduling a meeting, bi-party agreements

Further, the payment which is collected from clients is disbursed to consultant only after approval of deliverable for each milestone. This payment protection mechanism ensures that the consultant has every motivation to ensure project is successfully delivered.

Additionally, the consultant stands to earn an incentive from the portal, over and above the agreed rates, if he/she is able to achieve a feedback rating of above 4.5 out of 5 for the project.

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Hey Shamik,

Great post.

Structure and Communication in my view are critical for success.

Thanks for sharing.