Working with Freelancers – Practical Guide to Hiring

Taking on the very first employee can be scary. There are however many benefits you may not even think of. So dive right in!

The first step. Going from a solo game to a small team. You know you have to do it. There simply aren’t enough physical hours in the day for you to continue working as you do. Besides, you know that other people can do certain things so much better! There comes the day when you just have to take action. Here is what you need to know about hiring freelancers!

It Is Hard to Find Good People

I will kid you not, the hardest thing ever. Good people are scarce and they know they are good so they price themselves accordingly. Be prepared for this as setting your expectations too high will lead to fast disappointment. One thing that may be worth to consider is taking on board somebody who has less skills (is therefore cheaper) and you train them in the process. This is not ideal for everyone as you need to have time on your hands to do this. Don’t get discouraged though. You can learn a lot in the recruitment process.

Filter Those Who Lack Attention to Detail

This works every single time. You want to immediately cross out people who lack basic attention to detail. And trust me – there are many of those around! I usually ask those two questions:

  • Please email your application with the following email title: Example Title Goes Here
  • Include your date of birth in your application in the following format: DD/MM (I never ask for year as that is irrelevant – they key is just watch how many people will be sending you all sorts of formats available!)

I am ruthless, if somebody does not follow simple instructions I know they are not going to make a good team member for me. You can’t teach somebody attention to detail – somebody either has it or not. In my line of work this is essential!

Ask out of the Ordinary Questions

Another way to really test the character is to ask a question such as: “Tell me something about you I would not be able to find in your resume.”. This is a wonderful way to see what kind of person you are dealing with and how much attention person pays to the application they make. Unfortunately too many times I have seen a copy+paste jobs in the past on applications. This questions provides this one extra filter that will enable you to see what kind of candidate you are dealing with.

Try Multiple Candidates For the Same Position

Don’t think you have to immediately score the best candidate. Take two or 3 on a trial task. This will leave you with options. Prepare easy on resources task, make sure to time each candidate (it is important to see how fast their perform the tasks) and then quality check. Be open that you are trying them out – makes you look more professional and establishes a very firm hand relationship from the start.


Izabela a co-founder of New Media Europe and the head of a UK based audio branding company - Music Radio Creative. Working with over 4500 clients, spread across 197 different countries each year.