Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a surge in freelancing as more and more skilled workers opt for the freedom and flexibility it offers. And smart companies know that hiring talented, reliable freelance professionals can give you a competitive edge, helping you identify long-term needs without the overhead and commitment of adding new employees to your team. Freelancers can be hired quickly and can often work with more flexibility, benefitting your schedule and project timelines. However, while the quickly-expanding talent pool offers more opportunity to find contractors with higher levels of expertise, it also means that there’s an increased risk of finding the wrong ones.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that a bad hire can cost a company up to 30% of their employee’s first-year earnings. Those financial losses come with less tangible costs that can lower your overall productivity. Searching for a new hire and completing the onboarding process is time-consuming, and time spent training new individuals takes away from your ability to focus on your own work. To avoid bad hires and find the right employee for your company, it requires investing time in significant research up front. However, making the effort to identify a good fit during the hiring process will lead to easier communication and increased efficiency while working together—saving you more headaches in the long run. If you want to avoid wasting your time and money, there are several qualities to look for when hiring the right freelancer.

Hiring reliable freelancers: Communication is key

First and foremost, it’s important to ensure that you and your potential freelancers are on the same page. Good communication at the start of a project will save you time later on, while crossed wires could negatively impact your bottom line and productivity if you have to work backwards to clarify misunderstandings and fix mistakes. You want to find the right freelancer who is able to establish project scope, respond to and incorporate feedback, and effectively execute your vision. Working with someone who can communicate clearly will help mitigate any unforeseeable issues or changes that might arise during a project.

Managing freelance talent: Efficiency matters

You might find a contractor that has an impressive portfolio, but then come to find the hard way that they’re unable to meet project deadlines. Tight turnarounds and budgets are often the norm, so efficiency is of utmost importance—the right freelancer should have the ability to advance through milestones and limit friction. A savvy freelance professional will know how to balance their projects and keep an open line of communication if deadlines are unrealistic.

The perfect freelance combination: Balance quantity and quality

Efficiency on its own is great, but not enough—you want a freelancer who can balance speed and quantity without sacrificing quality. A common pitfall that businesses experience is moving forward with the lowest bid on a project without considering the contractor’s skill level. You might find a freelancer who appears to have a clear understanding of the project scope at the outset, but their deliverables overlook critical objectives stated in your prompt. In the worst cases, the work you’ve paid for will fall short of expectations and will need to be redone, resulting in a negative impact on your productivity and your bottom line. To borrow a phrase from carpentry, it’s preferable to “measure twice and cut once”—that is, to carefully research and plan before hiring.

Hire top freelancers with Rise

Hiring the first contractor that applies to work with you, or hiring based on only a couple factors, can result in a partnership that fails to meet your needs. If you’re running a business or managing a startup, your time and effort are precious resources that you don’t want to waste. Finding the right freelancer requires rigorous vetting and research to ensure that you’re getting top-quality work for your investment, which can seem like a daunting process—but we’re here to help.

At Rise, we believe in looking at the full picture to help businesses hire the right freelancers, every single time. Using rigorous, comprehensive vetting, we select only the top talent from a range of industries, requiring onboarding quizzes and reviewing professional references to ensure the expertise and knowledge of our freelancers.

Communication, efficiency, and quality are three prongs in our Smart Rating System, created using automated and transparent metrics to score each independent professional. Rise uses clean, smart analytics to help you find top freelancers for all of your hiring needs. With Rise, businesses can pick from vetted freelancers, manage taxes and compliance, and benefit from blockchain technology and smart contracts to process fast, secure, and automated payments, all in one hub.