Today on The Startup Chat we are discussing how to hire and work with freelancers. Hiten has hired close to one thousand freelancers in the last twelve years. Steli’s company also hires freelancers. Steli does not personally do the hiring, he leaves that to somebody else in his company.
Hiten believes it’s likely there’s something a freelancer can do better than anybody in your company because what they’re doing is something your company isn’t doing yet. Hiten explains his process for finding a freelancer for a specific purpose. He will find a small group of potential hires, often five people, and will pay them for a small project and based on the results of what he is given he will find a person he wants to work with. Hiten says even if your budget is small, it’s still possible to do this project as a way to select the right person for the job.
It’s important to understand what a freelancer is looking for too. You’ll need to determine if the person you like working with is ever going to want to be a full time person and if so, then grab them before somebody else does. If you find somebody you like, you are going to be guaranteeing them work to some extent and they’re going to stay with you.
We also discuss in greater detail the ways a startup can go about narrowing down a group of potential hires with Hiten’s method of selecting a freelancer and how to hire somebody in a particular field you don’t have a great deal of knowledge about.
Steli: When you start hiring for a role you aren’t an expert in, make the hiring process an educational process for you. That will help tell you if the person will be good to work with. Get them to educate you in their area of expertise so you have a better understanding.
Hiten: Do the dumb ass test. Be the dumb ass and make the potential hire explain their area of expertise to you. Somebody who understands what they’re doing needs to be able to explain it to you in a way that’s simple and those are the people you want to hire.
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