3 secrets to finding the best freelancer for your company

April 27, 2015, 9:32 PM UTC
Photograph by Getty Images
This post is in partnership with Entrepreneur. The article below was originally published at entrepreneur.com.
By Nathan Resnick, Entrepreneur
You’re inspired, you have an idea for a business and you think you are ready to start on the journey as an entrepreneur. Using freelancers is a great way to get things going and there are platforms out there that can help you find the team needed to kick-start your company.

For example, when starting my watch company Yes Man, I needed to create computer-aided designs to show the details of my watch to my manufacturer. Instead of bringing on a designer as an equity partner, I connected with a freelancer who helped me design our initial line of watches.

While they can definitely offer cost-effective solutions, it can be challenging to find a good match.

Jumping in and finding a freelancer can be challenging. Here are three essential you need when selecting one or more freelancers to make your dream a reality.

No project should get underway without a well-formulated plan.

Freelancers are not magicians. They cannot read your mind and suddenly get your idea after a couple of emails. The best products and services are built following a period of qualification, strategic planning and definition of a product’s functions. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time (and money), along with the freelancer’s.

2. Take time to select the right people and establish a good working relationship.

After you devise a plan and are able to determine exactly what you need, you need to find the right person.

One recommendation I have is invest in a platform’s hiring tools. For instance, Freelancer.com’s Recruiter tool manages the applicants for you, similar to a HR firm. Using this tool, you’ll be able to delegate the hiring process.

If you want to manage the process yourself, keep in mind that posting a project online will yield a lot of interest and there will be a lot of people saying they are the best fit for the job. Treat hiring a freelancer like you would treat hiring a permanent member of your team. Here is a checklist to utilize:

  • Did they read your brief?
  • Do they have previous experience doing what you need?
  • Do they have references?

3. Move forward with open communication.

Never be afraid to say what is working well and what isn’t. Have daily check-ins and review work regularly. If things are not getting done, then make the choice to change freelancers. (Making those choices late, could kill a startup.)

At the same time, listen to the freelancer and treat them just like any other member of the team. A great freelancer can add so much more to your idea and help build an incredible product or service.

Hiring a freelancer is an often overlooked outlet for entrepreneurs. Struggling to find the right fit within your network can take ages, while finding a freelancer online could literally take less than a day. The potential for freelancers is limitless, as the network continues to grow and connects people around the world. If you’ve been struggling to find someone with a certain skillset to join your team, it’s time to look into hiring a freelancer.

More from Entrepreneur:

Everything You Need to Know About Hiring a Freelancer

3 Steps for Getting Over Your Fears of Starting a Freelance Business

Hacking Elance: How to Make Money Freelancing