In the last 12 months, our agency has worked with more than 50 freelancers. Fifty. And we found almost all of them unsuitable for the job.
Going through dozens of freelancer test projects and assignments to find someone who can meet our expectations was time-consuming, costly, and exhausting. We want to save you that hassle, so based on our experience, we made this quick checklist for anyone who wants to hire a remote freelancer or become one.
Since our agency works entirely remotely, communication and responsiveness are key in keeping the projects on track. When a freelancer should be available but suddenly doesn’t respond to our emails, Slack messages, calls, Skype, texts... (type any channel here), we usually call it quits on such cooperation.
Everyone is entitled to take a break from work now and then (and we encourage you to do this often!). But we would appreciate at least a few days’ notice when a person knows they won’t be available to take on new project work.
2. Effective written communication
In an asynchronous remote work setting, most communication is via written media. That’s why the ability to convey a message quickly is essential. We document all project tasks on Asana and attach screenshots and images where necessary to eliminate needless meetings and improve the communication flow.
We are happy to discuss details on video calls if needed, but we’re trying to keep them to a minimum, as a rule, to remove distraction. To ensure high-impact work, our freelancers need to be efficient communicators who don’t struggle with getting their point across.
3. High-quality standards
The fact that a freelancer works in the comfort of their own home should have no bearing on the delivered work quality. We can’t and won’t accept anything below the assumed company standard, and we require every person on our team to consistently provide excellent service.
Here’s the deal - we don’t micromanage, and we’re not interested in hovering over a freelancer’s shoulder, checking up on his or her every move. In return, all freelancers working with us should work independently, without too much hand-holding and supervision. If they don’t understand the brief, we expect them to be proactive and get in touch with the person who assigned the task to get more details before going on with their work.
4. Fast turnarounds
At 6Minded, every freelancer has a small but significant part to play in a larger project. We appreciate as fast a turnaround as possible so that the next person can start working on the following stage of the project. If a person cannot deliver their batch of work quickly enough, we expect them to let us know about it as soon as possible so that we can look for a replacement.
Being freelancers ourselves, we genuinely understand how crucial it is to set achievable deadlines and meet them. And we expect people we work with to do the same. In return, we apply the same rule to payments — when we get invoiced for someone’s work, we immediately settle the bill.