Welcome back to my Hiring Remote Workers Series! If you missed part 1, which describes how and where to find freelancers, check it out here.

This post is going to focus on choosing your candidate, and how to manage them once hired.

Narrowing down your candidates

  1. Create a shortlist

You will have a selection of freelancers to choose from after posting your job. As mentioned in my previous post, you’ll have candidates who responded, but also those who you sought out and asked to apply.

The next step is to narrow down that list. When choosing between them, consider:

  • Their job success rate
  • The amount of past jobs they have
  • The relevance of their previous projects
  • The reviews on their past projects
  • Their skills
  • Their price

2. Interview them

To narrow this list down even further, schedule 30-minute interviews. Ask them questions on:

  • The time the project will take them to complete
  • Their cost
  • Their timezone
  • Their skills/experience
  • What other jobs they’re working on and whether that may impact your project
  • Whether they have a proposed solution to your project, or ideas on improving the method you’ve described

Assign a trial task (if relevant)

This is especially useful if you are stuck when deciding between a couple of people. Assign them a trial task to see if they are up to par. Make sure they stick to the time limit, so you can see they have accurately estimated their timeframe for completion. Afterward, check the quality of their work and ensure you are satisfied.

Ensure this is paid – no one should work for free!

I have learned a few lessons throughout my time in hiring freelancers.

  1. Re-confirm the terms and conditions

Before hiring a freelancer, you should confirm the deliverables, timeframe, pay etc. Make sure there is no confusion or miscommunication on those points.

I was once caught with a situation where the freelancer thought the timescale – 10 hours – was on a weekly basis, and would continue until he finished, while I intended the entire project to be completed in those 10 hours.

2. Ensure they aren’t outsourcing

Another time, I found out that a freelancer I had hired was outsourcing the project through a friend, rather than doing the work himself. I found out by looking at the Upwork screen record feature. I noticed he had an automated task running. Obviously, this is something you want to avoid. The friend was not someone who I had researched and approved.

3. Keep re-confirming your expected outcomes

Document, document, and re-document your expected outcomes. Ensure they are completely clear. If wireframes help, include them.

4. Cut your losses if it’s not working out

If it’s not working out, don’t keep trying to resolve it. Pay for the work that has been done, and move onto a new candidate. You’ll just waste more time and money by trying to keep the relationship going.


Hiring remote workers can be daunting, but this article has hopefully helped inform you of what’s involved! If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or get in touch.