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BBB: Advice for hiring freelance labor

The past two years have left a lasting impact on small businesses, from extended labor shortages and inflation to supply chain issues that have shattered “the old ways” of doing business.

In an uncertain economy, freelancers can be a smart choice for small businesses who can’t afford, or simply don’t need, a permanent staff member. New trends show project-based “gig” work exists in almost every industry. According to the Gig Economy Data Hub, more than a quarter of workers participate in the new gig economy in some way.

To find and hire a freelancer who will do quality work for a reasonable cost, the Better Business Bureau recommends the following tips.

How to hire

• Know the difference between an independent contractor and an employee. Knowing the difference is vital since the answer can affect how you withhold taxes. Unlike employees, freelancers are independent contractors who control when and where they work and furnish their own equipment and tools;

• Research prices and create a budget. The prices freelancers charge for specific projects can vary greatly. Prices depend on factors like where the freelancer lives and how much experience they have. Don’t rush to hire someone who offers the lowest rate. Instead, start by setting a budget, and then take your time shopping for a qualified candidate. If you aren’t sure how much you can expect to pay for a particular service, ask around;

• Create a clear description of the work. To find a freelancer who is a good match for your project, you must get clear on what you need. A detailed description will help you clearly communicate your needs and expectations;

• Know where to find talented freelancers. Before you post your job online, ask around your business network for recommendations. It’s possible someone you know already found a talented freelancer, which can eliminate much of your search. If that doesn’t work, then post your job to a freelance marketplace or job board. Be prepared to receive (and weed through) a lot of emails;

• Interview potential candidates. Be ready to share information about your needs and be frank about your expectations. It will quickly become apparent if this is a person with whom you will feel comfortable working;

• Sign a contract. Contracts are especially important, as they provide legal protection for both parties. Contracts should clearly outline the scope of the project, any deadlines you’ve agreed upon, when deposits and full payments are due, cancellation policies, and confidentiality requirements.

To learn more about hiring a freelancer, visit BBB.org. And, remember, watch out for imposters.

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Roseann Freitas ismarketplace manager Hawai‘i, Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific, 900 Fort Street Mall, Ste. 1310, Honolulu, HI 96813 808-260-0643, bbb.org Start With Trust.
Source: The Garden Island

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