Choosing the right freelancer for your project

OK, so you’ve sold your job – and yourself – to the freelancers out there. Now it’s up to them to sell themselves and their services to you.

It should be a straightforward process to go through their proposals and draw up a shortlist.

Never forget that this next stage of the selection process is a two-way conversation, and the chance for you and your shortlisted candidates to go into a lot more detail about what you require from each other… and what each of you can give in return.

What to ask your shortlisted candidates

  • Do they have examples of work similar to what you’re looking for?
  • Are they full-time freelancers, or just picking up evening and weekend work?
  • What other projects are they working on at the moment?
  • How much time can they devote to your job each day?
  • Can they start right away?
  • How long do they think it would take?
  • What else can they add to your job?
  • Are there any “extras” they’re not quoting for?
  • Why do they want to work on this job in particular?
  • What other areas do they specialise in?

What to share with your shortlisted candidates

  • Exactly what you’re expecting them to do for you – in more detail than your original job posting
  • Why the job needs doing in the first place – a bit of background information could lead to some useful suggestions
  • How many revisions / first-round concepts you’re expecting them to provide
  • Who’s responsible for image licencing payments
  • The deadline (don’t forget the “wiggle room”)
  • Payment milestones if they’re charging by the hour

What to check when looking for a freelancer on PeoplePerHour

Every PPH freelancer has their own profile page, so prospective clients can easily learn more about them at a glance. On that profile page, you’ll find:


Their CERT rating

This algorithm ranks freelancers from 1 up to 5, and then “Top” in terms of their Contribution to the PPH community… their Engagement with clients, which includes speed of response, timeliness of delivery and other aspects of being totally professional… Repeat orders and – last but not least – Trust.


Feedback from previous clients

Always worth looking through, no matter how many pages it goes on for. If there’s a single mention of something not going quite right, it could mean the freelancer was having a bad day… but if it’s frequently brought up by clients, as in “not as fast in communicating as I’d have liked”, then consider it a red flag. On the other hand, many clients say they’d use a particular freelancer again, which, from a freelancer’s point of view, is always nice to hear. It’s also reassuring to look through the jobs they’ve done to find that the client really has used them again.

Their total earnings

If you’ve got a calculator handy, you could work out how much they’d have earned on a weekly basis if you really felt like it, but they might have been working for some other client they found elsewhere for months at a time. After all, we’re not the only job board on the internet (even if we *are* the best;) ). If, however, that freelancer has been with us for a very long time but hasn’t done much in the way of work, you might want to wonder why, especially if there are no endorsements from clients outside PPH.


Their portfolio

That should give you an idea of what they’ve done for other clients and what they could do for you. If there isn’t one… well, there should be one. That’s a serious red flag.

Featured Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash