Blog Title: Emily Perron
About: Emily Perron helps bloggers expand and improve their teams with people who care about them and their businesses. She has developed a strategic hiring process that’s allowed her to find dozens of knock-out contractors on behalf of her clients, as well as within her own business, and is passionate about aligning the right person with the right role. Emily has a Master’s Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology and English. Her professional background includes working in marketing, coaching and organizational consulting. In other words, she really understands people, and her zone of genius is connecting on a fundamental level to understand their values and empower them to reach for interesting and ambitious opportunities.
Notes from Episode #121: How To Find Exceptional Freelancers
Fun fact: Emily is a quilter! She loves every part of the process so much. She’s made a herringbone quilt for her son.
Number one question Emily gets asked – Where do we find the good and reliable freelancers?
Positives about platforms for freelancers – They are a captive audience of freelancers looking for opportunities.
Drawbacks – It can be overwhelming and expensive and sometimes you can’t find the right fit.
Emily has discovered you can find good freelancers anywhere, but it’s about HOW you find them. Not WHERE.
You need a process and to be systematic about it when searching for a freelancer. Just like writing a marketing campaign or creating a recipe, you have an Avatar you’re creating for and thinking of. You know your audience and you build your content for them. Apply this same thinking to hiring a freelancer. This is your foundation.
Here’s some things to consider:
- Who do you want?
- What do you think they are like?
- What are the specifics?
- What do you want to them to do at a high level and a detailed level?
- What characteristics do they have?
- What’s their personality like?
Write out your responses, and sketch who this person is so you can imagine them before you start seeking them out.
This helps you to fill out a job listing. You need to stand out from the noise. Your detail can attract or repel freelancers with your specific information to the position.
How to decide on a platform: this can depend on the role you are seeking to fill.
- Emily likes Upwork for writers and project managers.
- However for VA’s, it’s a broad job and less defined, there’s more variety in the position. So in this case, Emily likes to put the position on Facebook in the VA page and in LinkedIn as well as your own social platforms.
Emily has a job posting template to use (5 sections): 1 – General overview (high level). 2 – Responsibilities (what you want them to do for you). Be careful not to be too broad, it’s better to be specific. The first job listed should be the one that you want them to focus on the most. 3 -Preferred Qualifications (experience, qualities) 4 – Why the freelancer wants to work with you (share strengths about yourself, talk about yourself as a niche and employer 5 – What to do to apply (Linkedin profile, resume, application, page on your website) This is an important place to include questions for the freelancer to answer about themselves and sprinkle in some food questions for them to answer. This helps you to compare the candidates better. You can see what they’re saying and how they share to see a glimpse of who this person is further.
You can create a page on your site that has a button to click “apply”. Attached to that button will be a Google form you created. This collects the information on each candidate for you.`
Review each candidate and collect their work sample. Then you can go to interviews to make your final decision.
It’s good to create a time frame when going through the hiring process and stick to it.
There are freelancers that are good at the application process. Once you get through the interview process, you’ll have a better idea of who’s the best after the whole picture of each candidate is in front of you.
Emily recommends a week to two weeks for the applications to be rolling in. Pick up to 10 people from their work samples and then break it down and select 3-5 for interviews and you can do that on the phone (or Skype).
Bloggers tend to be generalists and are good at a lot of things. However, freelancers tend to be specialists and are specific to a task. Be careful to not put too much on one person/position. It’s better to have a couple of freelancers to help you with specific tasks so that you have the best team working on what they do best.
You’re competing for the freelancing talent. You’re competing against other businesses. So you have to set yourself apart by knowing what you want and share about who you are as a business and employer.
Hiring can seem messy for an entrepreneur. But if you don’t hire all the time, it’s great to have a system and a process to use.
Steve Jobs Quote: (From his commencement address at Stanford) “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward, so you have to trust the dots will connect somehow.”
Helpful references from the episode:
Emily created a Mini-Course to check out – 5 Things No One Tells You About Hiring Freelancers
International Virtual Assistant Association Job Board