With the flexibility and various skill sets that working with a remote team can bring to your project, websites like Upwork (formerly oDesk) are quickly becoming a go-to resource for many startups, entrepreneurs and businesses. However, before you jump in and start hiring your remote team, there are a few things you need to know about how to hire on Upwork (formerly oDesk) to improve your hiring process:

1) Make sure you write a solid job description
The more detailed your description, the more accurate of a match you’ll attract. Beware, if you get too detailed, you may end up excluding too many people and not having enough to choose from. Try to keep a happy medium where your description will insure those who apply understand the extent of what you’re looking for without scaring off quality candidates.

2) Weed out those who are applying to every job
Sometimes Upwork’s (formerly oDesk) abundance of resources can work against you. You’re highly likely to get people who will send out a blanket application to multiple jobs (many of which they are not qualified for) which you will then have to spend time and resources sorting through and weeding them out. One way to make this process easier is to add a line in your job description that will help you tell who is serious about the job and who is not. One example, tell all applicants to put a specific phrase at the top of their application and then you can easily dismiss those who do not have the phrase.

3) You get what you pay for
Upwork (formerly oDesk) has many options to fit your budget, but as tempting as it is to go with the lowest possible bidder, remember that you really do get what you pay for. Those who are bidding super low most likely do not posses the skills that are required and you may end up having to have the work redone. When looking to hire off Upwork (formerly oDesk), remember the quote from Red Adair, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”

4) Don’t be afraid to interview
If you’re doing a project that needs more explanation or requires a certain skill, don’t be afraid to interview your potential candidate. This can be as simple as a few message exchanges on Upwork (formerly oDesk), email or via instant message. You can even take it a step further and do an interview via Skype, but don’t be offended if someone doesn’t want to meet face-to-face or give you their personal phone number. Without a previous relationship with you, they may not feel comfortable giving out such personal information right away. Don’t use this against them, but you should at least try to have a conversation via Upwork (formerly oDesk) before the project to ask any questions (or have them ask you questions) to help you verify you’ve selected the right person for the job.

5) Check out their references
Upwork (formerly oDesk) (and other freelance sites) come with reviews where freelancers are rated by those who they’ve worked for before. Be sure to read through their references to give yourself a better idea of what type of a worker this person is and if they’d be a good fit for your project. Keep in mind that these reviews are a two way street so freelancers will be able to rate what you’re like to work for, which may help or hinder you in the future.

6) Know what is important to your project
Make sure you have a list of priorities for your project beyond specific requirements for the work. Think about things like how important their English skills are, how and when they’re available to work, what previous clients have said about them, etc. These are all available on their Upwork (formerly oDesk) profile and though they are not project-specific, they should be taken into account when selecting the right candidate.

7) Trust your gut
In the end, you need to trust your gut. If someone gives you an uneasy feeling or wants you to change terms of your project that you’re uncomfortable with, trust yourself and keep looking for that perfect candidate!

Finding resources for your next project is right at your fingertips with resources like Upwork (formerly oDesk). However, you have to be willing to put in the work to find the right candidate, but sometimes it’s necessary to have others help vet and find the perfect fit for your project. For this type of work, Hubstaff offers staffing solutions to take the guesswork out of finding the right person for your project.

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