How to avoid mistakes when hiring IT freelancers? With most of the workforce operating remotely, it is highly likely that your company needs to expand its IT team. Whether it’s due to a lack of preparedness in terms of digital transformation or increased cybersecurity concerns. A good way to go about it is to seek the help of independent experts. Working with freelancers grants you quick access to the specific skills that you need while reducing the risk of hiring new employees in uncertain times.
But beyond budget restrictions, to recruit is to take a risk. The risk of selecting a candidate who does not have the right skills or who will not be able to adapt to your team or your company. This risk is all the more obvious in the case of the recruitment of tech freelancer; since they are expected to be operational and produce results right away. So how do you limit this risk as much as possible? And find the right profile, within the limits of your budget and in an often-tight schedule?
Be careful, as hiring mistakes can be made from the start of the recruitment process. To find the right person, you must first define the profile you are seeking. The first common mistake is to ignore this first key step. Start by listing your needs, write a clear job description and validate your budget.
Next comes the step of selecting candidates. Are you looking for an SAP expert or a Business Intelligence consultant for a mission of several months? You will need to assess the level of expertise of your candidates. Beyond the CV and the list of skills, you should ask freelancers for examples of their previous work. You can also ask for their portfolio or their GitHub profile, which can provide a lot of information.
Finally, the interview stage is essential for evaluating the skills of a freelancer. And the candidate is not the only one who has to prepare. Think beforehand about the points you want to assess and do not hesitate to alternate concrete questions and open questions to test the ability of freelance to solve complex problems. If you do not have the level of technical knowledge necessary to assess a profile; it may be wise to be accompanied by someone who does and to set up specific filters such as technical tests.
Have you found the freelancer with the most suitable skills? Very well. Do not stop there. If you do, you might be on the verge of committing the most common hiring mistake. Limiting yourself to the technical aspects and neglecting social skills.
In any recruitment, the human factor is essential. You may find the candidate with the highest level of expertise and with the most suitable experiences. But these will never be sufficient factors to ensure a successful recruitment. The so-called soft skills have become a must-have for IT professionals. This is particularly true in the case of freelancers. An independent consultant will have limited time to integrate into your team and will have to adapt very quickly to get to the heart of the project.
But how do you assess the soft skills of a tech freelancer? It is not easy to measure elements as subjective and intangible as the human and relational qualities of a candidate. The interview is again decisive: you have to know how to ask the right questions and be emotionally intelligent to properly identify a profile. Here again, being accompanied by a specialized actor. An actor who knows the tech & IT talent market well, can prove to be saving to avoid hiring mistakes.
Last tip: seek professional references to limit the subjective aspect of assessing a candidate’s skills. Who better than a former client or employer to tell you about their reliability and expertise? Keep in mind that a “good” freelancer will never be reluctant to give you the contact details of these contacts, as they will be confident in having fulfilled the objectives set during previous projects. This check often takes time if you decide to do it yourself, but it will allow you to dispel your last doubts and confirm that the freelancer you have chosen is really the expert you are looking for.
Have you followed all of these steps and recruited the perfect profile, and yet are disappointed with the freelancer’s performance? First, give them some time. Of course, a freelancer must be operational very quickly, but they must nevertheless be allowed enough time to assimilate the context and all the data necessary for the success of their mission. Be realistic and don’t expect your freelancer to work miracles from day one.
But above all, ask yourself the following question: have I taken the necessary steps to integrate this freelancer into the business and team? Sharing information, providing the necessary equipment, and introducing them to key team members are all important parts of the onboarding process. The performance of your freelancer also depends on you. You have made the choice to take an external expert to accelerate the work on a project: go all-in with your investment and make sure that they have all the weapons required to succeed.
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