Freelance marketplaces open huge opportunities for doing online business and for outsourcing: there are jobs, projects, and services all around. The brightest examples might be Elance, oDesk, Guru, and Freelancer, which unite hundreds of thousands of business and professional freelance companies and individuals. And if you want to choose such a marketplace for posting the job offer concerning your software project, you’ll need to set things clear from the very beginning. Let’s outline 6 things to remember when hiring at freelance marketplaces.
1. Write A Clear Job Description
If you are interested in finding the right contractor for your job, create a clear job description. Don’t hurry, vagueness aside – present your offer in a balance between informativeness and conciseness. A good description scores lots of points: you show your own approach and commitment to what you want. If you need a website, ‘great’, ‘clean-looking’, ‘modern’ descriptions don’t work; number of pages, required content, any visual representation – that’s already something. Give examples of what you want to the contractor, so they’d see it the way you see it.
It’s not the simplest thing to understand the exact idea you have from a description; but a definite description of your project will help a lot and save time of both of you and your contractor. When you see that your contractor not just clearly understands your words, but has the same vision, it might be the ‘moment of truth’.
What’s more, representatives of professional development companies pay more attention to promising projects that are quite capable of having a good, prosperous future. Here the hard task of finding the right person/company is reliant on you as well.
2. If You Are A Novice, Don’t Show It
For those who are about to have their very first job offer posted – never should you show that you are a novice. It may be so that you, an expert in the subject matter of a project, have no experience in working with Elance or oDesk, it’s quite natural that you as a software owner have little technical knowledge and no technical education, but these facts needn’t be shown.
Most professional companies will see your background in a blink of an eye. But anyway act naturally. Don’t trust any first person you meet, take your time, review as many replies as needed to be sure that you haven’t missed your Mr. Perfect Partner. Note that there is a big chance to not find the best fit at once from first time.
3. Be Clear About Price Range
Choose a price range, affordable within your budget. It’s quite possible that you’ll be tempted to having the project done for a fixed fee. However, experience shows that for most software project fixed fees don’t work for various reasons; the most frequently mentioned cons are eventual overpays, inflexibility in requirements changes, lower quality of delivered product, etc.
There is a chance that people you will meet will simply multiply real estimates by three and even if they are able to do the job faster, you will never figure it out. It’s also worth noting that you’re probable to find professionals working at the same level for different (i.e. lower) hourly rate.
Remember that you mustn’t be too saving, otherwise there’s a great chance for you to pay twice as much in the end. Cutting costs means losing quality, and you won’t need a product without quality. In fact, nobody will.
4. Know What To Show, Know What To Hide
It’s hard to disagree that it’s important, but it’s even harder to bring to reality. You surely don’t want your ideas to be exposed and stolen, but you’ll definitely need to share some important stuff so that your software contractor could make initial estimations. Technical information affects budget spending and allows to predetermine the technical offer – components, technologies, and so on. Just make sure to keep your killer ideas out of sight until you sign an NDA with the contractor you choose; but the amount of hidden information mustn’t prevent your contractor from understanding the project and the scope of work.
5. Prepare For Frequent Communication
Once you have chosen a candidate, prepare for frequent conversations using the most convenient means. You’ll have to spend a lot of time and efforts on your project; it takes time even with the help of a dedicated project manager. You’ll have to learn a lot about establishing good communication with your contractor.
At this stage you will see how comfortable it is for you to work with potential employees, don’t miss this part! It’s a very crucial point for your future cooperation. If for example your partner works only in a different (uncomfortable personally for you) timezone, feel free to find someone ready to work with you and answer your questions 24/7.
6. Don’t Pay In Advance
It’s generally not recommended to pay anything in advance (well, unless you have checked your contractor company enough thoroughly to trust them). Instead you’ll have to agree on how payments will be carried out, but pay only for the hours that your contractor has spent on the project, and you have a result of their work in return – the result you are satisfied with. This is the way you can move along the software project, milestone by milestone.
Freelance marketplaces save lots of money and efforts of yours, and that’s what they are created for. The rest is a matter of searching, communicating and finding. Such platforms not only give you opportunities to find the needed candidate for your project, but also help carry out payments, and give specialized software (such as time trackers) to make collaborations even more transparent.