When you want to hire someone, chances are work is already stacking up and you feel overwhelmed.   And now you need to add a mini-project of hiring someone just to dig out from under the work.

But, even in the virtual space, away from office politics, people stuff is still messy.

It’s a bit like dating and marriage.   You try out a few people trying to find the one who’s just right for you.

Sometimes you find that person but the timing isn’t right.  Or the date you did together just didn’t work.   It can take a lot of trial and error and grace and forgiveness and hard conversations and tough decisions.  And then, you’re married happily ever after right?

Um, right.  We all know what it really takes.

Entering into a work relationship with someone is similar.   You need to try things out.  You’re going to have some bumps, hard conversations and wins.   And even though this is a contractual work relationship, it doesn’t make those cycles any less challenging.   However, you have the advantage of not needing to live with this person.   Just agree mutually.   They do this work.  You pay them the agreed amount.

So how do you avoid the endless cycles of “dating” the wrong person project after project in your business?

Here’s my tried and true method of finding the RIGHT freelancer for your team or project.

1. Create a Job Description that attracts the RIGHT people and repels the WRONG people

Words to include in your job description to help narrow down the field:

“The right candidate will…….”

  • Be available during these hours:
  • Know how to use these online tools:

“This is not for you if……..”

  • You are not available between 8 am and 5 pm daily
  • You are not looking for a long term partnership
  • (or the opposite) You want a long term full time gig.


2. Have an automated application process that weeds out the wrong candidates right away

I use a google form like this.  (Feel free to borrow it).

Ask specific questions that will help you learn about their personality and skills related to the position.

Test them.  Ask them to create a graphic, format a spreadsheet, email you something from a shared google drive.  It proves they know how to do what you are asking.

Make the application long enough that only those serious about the work will take the time to do it.

3. Make yourself available and be responsive to the applications

You will find the right person in the first 24-48 hours your application is out there.   Start the relationship off on a good foot and let them see you are a professional, you are responsive and in an unspoken way, that same expectation will be on them for this job.

Also, moving fast and hiring well takes a BIG stresser off of you personally.  I always feel so good when I talk to a talented person and hire them onto my team.

4.  Setup a good contract and communication expectations

Onboarding can take some time but when done well, sets everyone up for success.

Always work from a contract.  And always agree upon communication:

  • Frequency
  • Format (text, email, Voxer, etc)
  • How you will use a project and task management tool like Asana or Trello or Basecamp


Now, thinking back to that marriage analogy, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could do the same to find the love of our lives?    Nahhhh….. we’d miss the chase, the adventure and the romance 🙂