It makes me laugh that it is easier to find a wife or girlfriend than it is to find the right people for your project.
As an entrepreneur, one of your most important assets is people.
In my previous post, I emphasized that you can’t be a truly great entrepreneur if you are working in the business. You can only scale to massive levels of success if you are working on the business.
Hiring and working with the right people is your key to working on the business. It frees up your time and enables you to focus on the vital functions.
As Internet entrepreneurs and footloose entrepreneurs who are living a mobile lifestyle, it is not recommended to go the traditional route. You can hire and manage people remotely without ever having to work from an office.
Thanks to job hiring platforms, you have the chance to meet thousands of qualified and skilled workers all over the world. You might have tried it before and had mere failures.
Maybe you just didn’t find the right people. Maybe it seemed too difficult to find agreement with a freelancer. Maybe you had no clue who or how to hire.
Hiring the right people and building a team is a skill as important as learning how to structure a business model, manage money or build partnerships.
You are going to be working with those people. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but they should know your strategies to coordinate and manage along with your other team members. It is important from early on to know if you are hiring the right people.
I’ve always wanted to help fellow mobile entrepreneurs in their continuous search for the right people. Thus in this post, I will break down in detail the exact process I’ve used to hire the right people for the right job.
Note: There’s a big difference in hiring people on a permanent basis vs hiring them for a fixed project.
Hiring people for a fixed price project/one time project
A fixed price/one time project is suitable when you hire someone to create a piece of software or write 10 articles for your blog. There’s obviously hundreds of other tasks that you could hire someone for.
Think of a one-time project as when you want to build a house, you source out a contractor to take care of drawing the blueprint, buying materials, and hiring workers.
I have extensive experience using two of the biggest hiring platforms, Freelancer.com and Upwork.com. I could say that I’ve more experience hiring on Upwork. Take note, this is me from personal experience, not meaning to say that other platforms won’t work as well.
The step-by-step process for hiring people for a one-time project would look like this:
Step 1) Sign up for an employer account over at upwork.com. Now here is something you might not have heard of before. Do not establish your identity. You want to avoid giving your competitors a shot at spying on you and what you’re doing. Remember, with the Internet, everybody can know everything.
Be sure that your name sounds legit. If you can’t think of one, try this http://www.fakenamegenerator.com/.
So, come up with a true “fake” name. Complete your profile and add a payment method.
Step 2) Once your account is ready to go, you can post your first job!
Go to Jobs and select ‘Post a Job’.
Next, select fixed or hourly.
(Note: Upwork’s process might change over time. The layout I’m delivering is based on the current process.)
It’s time to choose a job category for your project. Let’s assume we hire someone to create a nice piece of software for us – let’s make it an email marketing software with the most basic functionalities. So nothing fancy like Aweber or Getresponse.
Many projects fail in the first place because the requirements are not all laid out. Be sure to define what you want, what functions it must have, and what else you are expecting. In my example, we first want to have something that can deliver emails. The most important aspect I am looking for is solid deliverability.
As far as the category is concerned, our best option is ‘Web, Mobile and Software Development’, then choose the drop down ‘Web Development’ if you want this to be a web based software.
More and more companies go with web based software vs desktop based software. If it were me, I still make it desktop based for my personal use but web based for client use. It depends on your personal preference. If your intent is to create software for commercial purposes, web based is a much better choice.
‘Name your job posting’: Create Web Based Email Software
Always be specific and upfront. Try to define your headline in seven words or less.
Now it’s time to tell our job seekers what it is that they need to do for us.
Again, be specific about functionalities your software has to have.
Our company is hiring an experienced web based email software developer.
We need you to integrate with the following API: Mailjet
This software is for our company’s personal use only. With that said, we only require the following features:
- Log into our mailjet accounting using our log in credentials.
- Add a subject line for the email. Auto-add recipients first name or email in the subject line.
- Email Text Body: Font style design, font colors, font sizes, and links must be fully customizable.
- Import email lists using notepad or excel.
- Save sent broadcasts
We need this software completed within 7 days of project acceptance on Upwork.
We’ve dedicated a budget of $250.
50% of this amount will be paid after successful completion of this software and 5 successful tests. The remaining 50% will be paid after 7 days of successful marketing.
Looking forward to your application!
Derek” (not my real name of course!)
In the above letter, I laid down the requirements, budget, and deadline– the three most important things that should be included in the job posting.
Next: ‘What type of project do you have?’ Select ‘One-time project’.
‘How many freelancers do you want to hire?’ ‘I want to hire one freelancer’.
Then you’ve to enter the skills need for this project. I’d choose: API Development, Email Deliverabilty
The fixed price is $250.
When it comes to hiring people based on experience level for our project, we obviously want the person with the most experience, so select ‘Expert’.
Keep in mind that rate and availability of freelancers depend on their expertise. Because my project requires real experience in integration, I choose “Expert” level.
As stated in the product description, we’re looking for someone who can complete this project in no more than seven days. Select this too.
Before you go live, make sure to preview your posting to make sure the data you entered is correct.
You can now go live!
Step 3) After posting, Upwork will suggest top freelancers, or those who fit your requirements.
Filter the most qualified applicants/freelancers for your job.
Once you hit ‘Post Job’, your posting will be live and you can expect a flood of applicants in no time.
How do you know who you should hire?
When hiring people, you care about experience more than anything else.
You’re looking to hire someone who has created at least 2 email marketing software before.
Here are some criteria to consider:
- Hire people with at least 90% job success. Freelancers that have less than 90% job success don’t seem to finish what they start.
- Hire freelancers who have worked 1,000+ hours on Upwork. Again, experience matters. It also means that they have earned their reputation. Employers continue to hire them or the freelancer receives job offers from new employers.
- Have a look at the applicant’s profile. Check for opening jobs to determine how involved someone is with other companies or projects at this very moment. You don’t want to hire someone who might spread himself thin.
- If applicable, you can take a look at their portfolio to see if the companies they worked for really exist.
- Once someone applied, ask if they read the job description. Some will read it, others won’t. Most good freelancers who apply for a job will state that they can deliver what you need. So, their message to you will be very specific on what it is that you need, what experience they have in this field, and they might even suggest something to you.
- Ask them for a sample of their previous work. Not every person who has done such job in the past will be able to share it with you. There’s a chance that they signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and really can’t share it with you. Nonetheless, ask whatever you can so you can properly gauge the freelancer.
Both, you and the freelancer have to agree to the terms of your project. Once you’re confident that your freelancer can do your job, you can send him an offer on Upwork. This offer should contain everything that you both agreed on in your conversation. When you send the job offer, you also have to make a deposit for the first milestone. I recommend to deposit 25% to 50% of the total project price. In our case, the first milestone should be paid once the software is done and only when were were able to send 3 successful tests.
One important thing to mention: No matter who you work for or what someone is hired to do, always do an NDA with each freelancer or long-term employee.
If the software is working as per your request, you can go ahead and pay the freelancer the full amount.
Never pay anyone for an uncompleted project. You release a milestone only if and when it has been completed as agreed in the offer.
Before you release a milestone, make sure that this requirement is met.
When completed, ask the freelancer if he is also happy with the project and can leave you a good review.
Hiring people on a permanent basis:
Let’s assume we want to hire a virtual assistant to manage one of your businesses. .
Posting such job on Upwork requires you to go through the same process as listed above in the fixed project. You obviously have to change the settings to make them suitable for your long-term job offer.
Since this is an ongoing project, we need to put together a few contracts for this job:
- An NDA or Confidentiality Agreement;
- A work contract that states all responsibilities of this job, as well as payment terms and any other commitments;
- Optional but recommended: a profit-share agreement. A profit share agreement states how much of your profits will be given to your virtual assistant/campaign manager/or who it is you’re hiring. This really helps in increasing commitment and going long-term.
Each of the three contracts must be signed on both sides.
The key difference in hiring someone permanently lies in paying them a fixed monthly salary for certain amount of work completed or certain number of hours worked. It simply means you’ve ongoing, long-term work for the chosen freelancer.
Completing a project successfully comes down to:
- How well you express your requirements in the job posting
- Your ability to pick the most qualified and committed individual
- Your ability to work together with your chosen candidate
Success in business comes down to teamwork. It’s vital that you trust in and listen to your chosen individual. Trusting someone gives them confidence in their work.
If you have no experience in creating software, you’ve no other choice than to trust in your most qualified candidate. You’ll learn a tremendous amount by working with someone of experience.
Things are little different when you train someone from scratch. This can be the case when hiring a virtual assistant. Yes, you need someone with assistance experience, yet you have to teach the person the business model you need her to operate.
You don’t have to be a superstar to hire the right people for your jobs. What you need is clarity and good judgement when selecting your freelancers and long-term team members.
As in anything, you will learn through experience.
I really love to blog on these things. I really hope that this was insightful and that you can now go ahead and hire the right people for your upcoming projects.