Six Things to Look For in Your WordPress Freelancers Before Hiring Them

Apps_hiremeWe can all agree that outsourcing WordPress projects is a very debatable subject. Just like anything else, it has its pros and cons. If you are considering hiring WordPress freelancers for your projects, you’ll want to make sure the pros work in your favor and heavily outweigh any possible cons.

Who on earth wants to outsource a project to completion only to find out that the code was not future-update proof and now it needs to be re-worked from scratch? Who wants to end up working with a team of amateur freelancers who let you down and potentially jeopardize your business?

Answer: No one.

That said, if you are able to carve out the right team, hiring WordPress freelancers can prove to be seriously economically viable. Plus, it can increase your efficiency and free up your local staff for higher value work.

Good freelancers are very aware of their timelines and delivery milestones. They exhibit a solid work ethic and make effective communication their #1 priority. If your discovery process does not weed out the bad seeds, you might be writing the recipe for a disastrous project.

So how do you vet freelancing professionals and what kind of questions should you ask to assess their abilities? What exactly should you be looking for?

Have no fear, I will explain to you step-by-step exactly how this can be done.

1. Ability To Manage Projects and Meet Deadlines

If you are an agency outsourcing work for your clients, you are working with strict timelines yourself.

You would not like to have freelancers on board who deviate from timelines or who are simply not good at meeting their milestones.

This makes project management one of the most important skills to look for in the people you are considering bringing on board with you and your team.

Do they ask you:

“What do your timelines and major milestones look like?”

  • See if they attempt to better understand the constraints of your project’s timelines and milestones that you are currently working on.
  • Notice if they try to talk you through breaking down an entire project into major milestones asking questions about procedures and time management processes for varying circumstances.
  • Look for their attention to detail and notice how realistic they are with their timeline setting.

2. Their Ability to Deliver Quality Work and Mitigate Risks

When reviewing their past work, ask them what their approach was to the projects. Be sure to ask them for their very best work, bringing what they are most proud of to the table. This will give you an understanding of where your own projects could fit in and also give you a chance to question their execution strategies.

Always remember that good developers do not code for present needs alone but code in such a way that future changes and updates can be easily implemented. It thus becomes even more important to understand that they are writing codes while keeping updates in mind and hence mitigating their risks.

Moreover, look for their ability to first understand and assess risks. You will be able to deduce this from the questions they ask about future requirements and/or forecasted changes with the projects you currently have in the works.

Lastly, look for cues and clues on how their previous projects met (or possibly didn’t meet) their client’s expectations.


3. Their Availability to Complete Your Project Fully

Of course, hiring a freelancer and having total control over their time is an ideal situation. You can easily work back and forth with them and this will give way to building a lot of trust for future work. However, what if they’re already on other projects and take on your work too?

Not all freelancers are available on a full-time basis, so question them thoroughly regarding their availability. This would also be a good time to set your expectations and communicate your own requirements in regards to their availability.

Projects usually require maximum effort when they are closest to the finish line. This is the most critical time in any project and you need your freelancer to be completely dedicated to pulling it off for you; therefore, make sure in your discovery process that you have assessed them for their skills and availability as it will be much needed information to have during the final stages.

Ask them about what other projects they might be working on. You should definitely require them to design milestones for the project you assign them to right away. Once they do, they will surely keep their own calendar in mind.

4. Their Ability to Consult v/s Simply Take Instructions

Wouldn’t it be a great if the freelancer or agency you brought on board had you covered for potential problems that you simply overlooked? What if they had identified potential challenges in the goals that you set that you hadn’t realized?

This is what sets apart the good freelancers from the not so good ones: their ability to consult with you and tell you exactly what you need.

Listen closely for comments like these:

“We will do that, but you need to do this before we get to that.”

“What you are asking for is fine but you don’t need it.”

  • Look for people that will recommend and tell you what you need v/s tell you what you want to hear. This is not the time for schmoozing.
  • Look for people who prescribe solutions like specialists as opposed to those who say yes to everything you say just to get the gig and make a quick buck.
  • Notice how many questions they are asking.
  • Follow how many times they challenge your ideas and debate their point. This reveals true expertise.

Keep in mind, consultants are a step up from standard freelancers as they are specialists and are always digging deeper for details.

Look for them.

5. Their Ability and Interest in Keeping up with Technology

You definitely do not want to put your business, or your client’s, at risk by leaving it up to amateur developers.

That’s why it’s good to understand that there are developers out there who may not keep themselves up with technology updates or use best coding practices. The last thing you want is your project getting derailed because of the areas your outsourced employees fall short in.

For example, you may want to develop a complete system but your developer comes back and tells you there are pre-made solutions to achieve the same goal.

Wouldn’t it be great if, because your developer was up-to-date on tech trends, they actually saved you time and money?

In order to find just the right set of people who are always learning and updating, you should spend more time assessing their knowledge. In addition to questions about their skills, it always proves insightful to have a chat on the types of forums they hang out on, what meetups they attend, or maybe what their contribution has been to the WordPress community.

This will give the developers you speak with a lot of confidence in you, which will result in them wanting to work with you as a team, rather than as employees.

6. Their Ability to Communicate Properly

Often in remote work, especially with time zone differences, there may be a communication breakdown somewhere along on the way. This can be easily prevented if the freelancer you hire has the ability to communicate properly, has a strong work ethic and knows how to keep you in the loop no matter what.

A great idea is to ask them how they managed a previous crisis in one of their past projects.

  • Take note of their emotions, communication style and their authenticity with the answers they give.
  • Look for any tools they mention they have used to prevent cases of miscommunication and/or the steps they took to stop them from happening in the future.

All of these things will give you clarity regarding their project and crisis management skills.

Using all the information and step-by-step recommendations explained herein, you will be well on your way to hiring a total rock star for your business and/or your clients’!

Just take enough of your time and do due diligence when finding that perfect fit to fulfill all of your outsourcing needs.