How to check if a freelancer is good before hiring them (my personal process)

• 1 min read

This process helped me hire 100's freelancers for internal jobs and the marketplace before I had a team to do that.

Step 1.) Make sure they speak English.

Step 2.) Check 3 of their previous projects.

Step 3.) Ask for 2 references.

Step 4.) Do a project with them that takes them 3 hours or less.

Step 5.) Eliminate people who:
-  Who say YES to everything. Sometimes it’s a part of the culture.
-  Don’t ask questions
-  Seem arrogant
-  Talk bad about their previous clients.



When hiring freelancer, before scheduling a call, I communicate with them via email. In the course of 3-4 emails, I ask broad questions, that require some explanation. For example:

  • Why have you picked this major?
  • What was the biggest challenge in your previous job?


Speaking or chatting for 10-15 minutes with a reference can save you a lot of money. I usually ask them the following questions:

  • What can you tell me about Mary’s self-awareness and self-regulation?
  • How motivated is she?
  • Is she flexible?
  • We hire Mary for X project. Do you think she is a good candidate for that?
  • I see that Mary doesn't have an experience with X. Do you think she can cope with this task?
  • Is there anything else relevant or useful to know about Mary?


Tests and talks are good, but they will not give you an idea of how good he/she is in action.

We usually do a test project (and pay for it to avoid any awkwardness). Depending on the size and the length of the contract, decide how big should be the test.

For example, we are hiring freelance copywriters to augment our content team. Here is one of the test projects. We ended up hiring him.

I have vetted over 5000 freelancers and would gladly advise on your specific case.

Next week.

A few weeks ago, I've cold emailed Chris Bakke and asked him for advice. I had recorded our call, and it's 20 mins of pure gold.

I'll share it with you next Wednesday. Stay tuned!

← Strategy advise from Chris Bakke (3x exits to Indeed, Zillow, and Knotel)
Update on progress July - October (lots of wins and a big fat churn) →

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