There is a couple of methods that you can use to help determine if a freelancer is the right choice for a project.
If you want to hire them for an hourly project, you can use the the tools that the freelance job sites have to monitor them. Most have webcam software to view the contractor and/or software that takes a picture of their screen so that you can monitor what they are working on. You can use this software to monitor the worker for the first couple of weeks to determine if they are working on your project and also see if they know their work.
Another method is to setup a small fixed price project to see if they can complete the work. If they can, then you can move on to more complicated projects.
There are pros and cons for each project type. The best type really depends on several factors such as the project length and the type of project (software, graphics, marketing, etc.) Pros and cons are listed below.
- Very flexible, a good idea if the project is not thought out at the beginning.
- Most freelance job sites like oDesk, Elance, and Freelancer have software that lets you monitor the contractor’s progress.
- Better for long term projects
- As an employer, you are never sure what the final cost might be.
- It requires monitoring of the contractor to make sure that they are not wasting time (and therefore money)
- A worker could work a long time on a project and you could find out at the very end that it is incompatible with your system. The worker would still be paid.
- You know what the final cost will be
- Great for small projects
- Inflexible. If changes need to be made to the project, then changes need to be made to the contract.
- More upfront work is required to make sure that you put all the details into the contract
- Great for getting a variety of responses for graphics projects
- Can be more expensive than hiring a single worker
- Not appropriate for all project types