Using Skill Assessments to Hire the Best Freelancers

An increasing number of individuals are choosing to make their money as freelancers, rather than opting for more traditional types of employment. In fact, today it’s estimated that close to 40% of the entire labor force is taking advantage of the “gig” economy by working as a freelancer. For businesses, this poses a huge advantage because it allows for more specialized workers to be brought in for specific projects, rather than having to keep them on payroll year after year. Of course, working with freelancers comes with its own set of problems, including knowing who is the best candidate for the job.

In order to meet today’s changing needs, intelligent employers are finding ways to sort out the best freelancers, coming up with a variety of skills assessments and other tests to measure and compare candidates. By creating systems that allow for the best freelancers to be brought on for certain projects, smaller businesses are capable of competing with larger businesses, accomplishing the same work with less funds — and in record time. Being effective when it comes to bringing on freelancers means determining what each individual contractor brings to the table. By hiring for a project, rather than a certain position, businesses can piece together highly-skilled teams that can deliver end results on-par with some of the top companies in their industry. 

Creating a Skills Assessment for Freelancers

Most businesses today take advantage of the skills freelancers bring to the table, which means having a proven system for hiring the best freelancers is essential. One of the ways you can start building a system for hiring freelancers is by creating a skills assessment, which will detail what the freelancer needs to bring to the table and the expectations you have for them. Some of the questions you can ask on this skills assessment include:

  • What current skills do you have that will apply to this project?
  • Have you worked with teams in the past? What was the outcome?
  • Will you be able to invest the time necessary to learn the systems our teams use?

Of course, saying they have the skills is very different than them demonstrating that they actually can use their skills. This is why part of the skills assessment needs to be more than just asking a freelancer to list what they can do. One of the best ways to determine who you want to work with is actually confirming their skills via short, simple assessments. You can also ask for professional references as a way to decide if the freelancer you’re considering has the ability to actually deliver on the project they’ll be working on. Depending on the type of work your freelancer will be performing, you can also ask for previous work samples.

In some cases, an official assessment makes sense because it allows you to see if they can really operate certain types of software or do their work within the programs you use. While a great freelancer might be able to answer industry-based questions, actually operating the technology can be a different story, which is why some type of “trial run” can be essential when determining who you actually want to hire. 

Whichever type of assessment you decide to use, it’s important to have a standard criteria for evaluating their work. Not only will this make your job easier when it comes to hiring, but it will be incredibly helpful if you are considering several different freelancers at once. In some cases, a point system can be beneficial because it allows you to evaluate work without being swayed by other factors that aren’t really essential to performing the job.