How to Hire a Freelancer for a B2B Business?

Here are some tips and tricks to help inspire confidence when you hire a freelancer for your B2B business.

Freelancing as a career option is growing more and more popular, particularly in creative fields. Freelancers work as independent contractors and are hired on a project-by-project or task-by-task basis by many B2B businesses. This allows both organizations and freelancers the ability to avoid long-term commitments.

The benefit to a B2B organization is clear - you can bring on unique skill sets like languages, expertise, abilities, or frankly, compensation limits on a “on demand” basis. Of course, these benefits present some drawbacks. The main one being that your relationship with freelance workers tends to lack the trust that you are able to build up with full-time employees.

In case you were considering bringing on freelancers and outsourcing work, here's how to hire a freelancer with confidence.

Consider a Freelance Platform

If you want to go about things the old school way, posting to local job boards and the like you certainly can. Local or industry job boards really are the best way to source local talent and for some roles being in office is key.

If however, you’re comfortable working with non-local talent, consider a freelance platform like UpWork. UpWork is an online platform that connects freelancers who are looking for work with employers who are looking for freelancers.

Simply fill out a request that shares your requirements, budget, preferred location, and estimated hours for the projects, freelancers will then submit themselves as an option for your project, allowing you to review a list of qualified applicants. You can see each freelancers profile, read reviews from other employers who have worked with them, see what their job success rate is, and find out a bit about them.

A service like UpWork is the best way for B2B companies to connect to non-local talent.

Qualifying Questions

Whether you are considering local talent or using a freelance platform, once you have your shortlist of candidates send each of them 3-5 standardized questions that will help you get a sense of who they are. These can be questions about their tactics for meeting deadlines, what their current schedule looks like, or how they approach communications, revisions and feedback. You don’t want to get invested in someone only to find out later they aren’t available to do your work.

Time Zones

If you are looking at someone who is non-local, consider how you want to work and whether time zones will have an impact on their turnaround. For some projects, a 24-hour turnaround on each and every communication is fine. For others, that simply delays projects too long. Consider that some freelancers are open to shifting their hours so that part of your workday overlaps with part of theirs. Having a set time where you can communicate live with your freelancer will eliminate communication frustration.

Give Them A Test Project

Before finalizing your hiring decision. Take your top candidates and give them a test project. Although this takes planning and time on your part, the test doesn’t have to be overly complicated and will only help prove which candidate is right for the job.

For the test we recommend you taking one of the following two options:

1) You can give them a test with a very tight deadline to see how much they are able to accomplish and their quality of work while under pressure.

2) You can give them too much time and see if they will tell you the truth, that the task took less time then you gave them, demonstrating that they are honest enough to only charge you for the time that they actually took.

Ultimately, we’ve seen both approaches work and it really depends on what is more valuable to you – time or money.

Cultural Impacts

Sometimes you need to call a spade a spade and when working with non-local talent, the cultural difference can be surprising. It’s not to say that the way we do things is right and the way others is wrong it’s just different. So keep in mind the following:

  • Some backgrounds consider it impolite to say no or those they cannot do something. You may find that some people say they can do something to be polite, even though it cannot be done.
  • For freelancers in some parts of the world, their total income fluctuates greatly based on the number of hours they are able to get. Be clear and upfront with your freelancers that if they are able to complete work quicker, that you will give them more work and possibly more hours. This could help keep them from padding their hours.


Build a Roster

If you are able to find a strong freelancer and work with them in your B2B Business – great, keep them in your back pocket for future projects. This will save you all the initial hullabaloo and give you confidence knowing that they are good at their job and that they work well with your company.