How to work with freelance workers

Started by jahanzaibkhan, Feb 06, 2023, 12:07 AM

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jahanzaibkhanTopic starter

The issue at hand is that when utilizing freelancers, they end up spending an excessive amount of time and money on small web development tasks such as design, layout, and graphics. These tasks could be done much quicker by in-house employees.

 Despite setting reasonable tasks and not skimping on the cost, the effectiveness of freelancers is almost zero and causes a lot of stress. The question is then how to effectively work with remote workers. Looking for advice online only yields superficial articles or motivational coaches. Perhaps there are project management techniques specifically designed for freelancers that actually work?
It may be beneficial to seek out someone who can teach or provide mentorship for a fee or salary.


Allow me to share my experience working with freelancers in the following points:
1) In a year and a half, I have completed 160 projects through freelancing platforms like Weblancer and personal connections.
2) I never pay in advance and only release payment after the task is complete, as experience has shown me that even risk-free transactions and excellent profiles do not guarantee protection from scammers.
3) I only work directly with coders and designers and avoid reselling tasks. I ask potential hires directly if they will resell my task or not.
4) I confirm their availability and inquire about timelines before hiring to ensure that they can meet deadlines without unnecessary stress.
5) I break down tasks into smaller portions and set deadlines for each part. This allows me to track progress and identify when there may be delays.
6) I use Git and continuous integration to monitor progress and results.
7) I provide my own work environment to make it easier for freelancers to get started.

8 ) I back up all files and databases frequently, especially if Git is not being used.
9) I prefer working with non-studios or studios without an office as they offer more reasonable prices.
10) I always work at an hourly rate and adjust prices based on the task's requirements.
11) I maintain a pool of trusted freelancers who I hire repeatedly.
12) I sometimes hire someone who specializes in working with freelancers when our office does not want to deal with them.
13) I use project management systems like Redmine to coordinate tasks and track progress.
14) If necessary, I hire several freelancers for one task and pay all of them, even if only one freelancer completes the job.


I have worked as a freelancer for two years, primarily sourcing clients through oDesk. I have always struggled to set prices for my work and instead charge hourly rates. Thankfully, oDesk provides an automated tracker that records working hours and actions taken, such as keystrokes and screenshots every 10 minutes. By closely examining these screenshots in the diary, it is easy to verify the quality of the freelancer's work.

The only way to find a good freelancer is to test out different candidates until you find the right fit. Freelancers can also showcase their experience and reviews on their oDesk profile, giving further insight into their capabilities. It is important to note that I am not endorsing oDesk, but simply sharing my own experience with the platform that I am most familiar with.


Don't blame yourself, the issue is not necessarily with you but with freelancers. When hiring someone full-time, there is a filtering process that involves the hiring office, HR department, interview, and a month of work. However, when working with freelancers, this chain is eliminated, and one can hire almost anyone who applies.

Someone who requires too much control may end up causing problems elsewhere, while someone who doesn't need enough control could decline the job. The best way to find reliable performers is to search for them using brute force tactics and to have penalties or fines ready to enforce discipline. It will take time, but eventually, you will find somebody professional and trustworthy. These relationships will typically last for 1-3 years before it's time to find someone new.

Even freelancers themselves struggle to find good second-hand help, and this situation can become frustrating for all parties involved.


A freelancer is not always contractually bound to their clients and can agree to work through verbal agreements or contracts. However, before engaging a freelancer, it's crucial for businesses to identify the desired outcomes and determine why they need to hire an artist. Without clear goals, even a skilled freelancer may not be able to help.

To establish effective communication with a freelancer and ensure that the task will achieve the desired outcome, it's important to:
- Define the scope of work
- Clarify goals and requirements
- Establish priorities and assign roles
- Conclude a mutually agreed-upon contract that states the terms of cooperation

Once the project specifications have been outlined, it's important to find the right freelancer for the job. Word of mouth referrals can be invaluable, but freelance exchanges, specialized telegram channels, social media communities, and remote work job search sites are also useful resources.


When it comes to effectively working with remote workers, there are several strategies and project management techniques that can be beneficial. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Clearly Define Expectations: Ensure that you have clearly defined project requirements, including specific deliverables, timelines, and quality expectations. This will help freelancers understand what is expected of them and reduce miscommunication.

2. Use Collaboration Tools: Leverage project management and collaboration tools that allow you to communicate and share files easily with remote workers. Tools like Asana, Trello, or Slack can help streamline communication and improve productivity.

3. Provide Detailed Briefs: When assigning tasks to freelancers, provide detailed briefs that outline the scope of work, project goals, and any specific guidelines or preferences. This helps freelancers understand your expectations and reduces the need for back-and-forth clarification.

4. Regular Check-Ins: Schedule regular check-ins with your freelancers to discuss progress, address any questions or concerns, and provide feedback. This helps maintain a sense of accountability and keeps everyone aligned on project goals.

5. Establish Clear Communication Channels: Determine the preferred methods of communication and set expectations around response times. This ensures effective and timely communication between you and your freelancers.

6. Build Relationships: Take the time to build relationships with your freelancers by getting to know them as individuals. This can help foster trust and create a positive working dynamic, which may lead to better results.

7. Continuous Learning and Feedback: Encourage open communication and provide constructive feedback to freelancers. This can help them improve their skills and deliver better results in the future.

8. Clearly Communicate Budget and Payment Terms: Be transparent about the budget for each task or project and discuss payment terms upfront. This helps avoid any misunderstandings or disputes later on.

9. Set Realistic Deadlines: When assigning tasks, make sure to set realistic deadlines that take into account the complexity of the work and the availability of the freelancer. Avoid overly tight deadlines that can lead to rushed work and compromised quality.

10. Provide Adequate Resources: Ensure that freelancers have access to all the necessary resources, such as design assets or software licenses, to complete their tasks efficiently. Lack of resources can cause unnecessary delays and frustrations.

11. Encourage Proactive Communication: Foster an environment where freelancers feel comfortable reaching out for clarification, sharing updates, or flagging any issues they encounter. Encourage them to proactively communicate rather than waiting for you to check in.

12. Maintain Regular Communication: Along with check-ins, maintain ongoing communication throughout the project. This can be through email, video calls, or chat platforms. Regular updates help keep everyone on the same page and ensure progress is being made.

13. Foster a Positive Work Culture: Even though freelancers are not part of your in-house team, it's important to create a positive work culture. Show appreciation for their efforts, acknowledge good work, and provide constructive feedback when needed.

14. Manage Expectations: Understand that freelancers may have other clients and commitments, so manage your expectations accordingly. Make sure to discuss availability and turnaround times upfront to align expectations.

15. Evaluate Performance: Regularly evaluate the performance of freelancers based on the quality of work, adherence to deadlines, and overall contribution to the project. This can help inform decisions on whether to continue working with them in the future.

In addition to these techniques, hiring a project manager with experience working with freelancers could be beneficial. They can provide guidance, mentorship, and oversight to ensure effective collaboration and project completion.