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How To Use A Test Project To Vet Freelancers

Want to make sure you’re hiring the right freelancer for your project? Say goodbye to the guessing game by vetting freelancers beforehand!

In this article, we discuss how using a test project can not only help you to vet your freelancers more effectively, but also save you from future headaches.

We’ll explain how to set up the perfect test project, evaluate your freelancer’s work, and make an informed decision. Let’s get started.

What Is A Test Project And Why Would Anyone Use It?

A test project is a small-scale, short-term project that is used as a method for evaluating the skills, abilities, and qualifications of a freelancer or contractor.

It allows the employer to see the freelancer’s work in a real-world scenario that closely mirrors the type of work they would be doing if hired. Test projects can be used to assess the freelancer’s ability to follow instructions, meet expectations, complete tasks within a specific time frame, and produce quality work.

Test projects are commonly used by employers to vet freelancers before hiring them for larger, more long-term projects. Doing this is a way for employers to evaluate the freelancer’s abilities in a controlled and low-risk environment, allowing them to make a more informed decision about whether or not to hire the freelancer for their project.

Things To Consider Before Starting

When setting up a test project, it’s important to choose one that is representative of the type of work you need done. This will allow you to evaluate the freelancer’s skills and abilities in a real-world scenario that closely mirrors the work they will be doing for you.

It’s important to identify the specific skills and qualifications required when choosing a project for the test scenario. That way, you can be confident that the freelancer has the necessary qualifications to complete the project to your satisfaction.

However, an essential part of this process should also involve being considerate of the freelancer’s time. If you are hiring a professional, giving them a task that would take 4 days to complete is unreasonable if your project is only going to last 2 weeks.

If your test project takes a day or longer to complete then you should clarify whether you are willing to pay the freelancer for their time even if they don’t make the cut in the end. Not all freelancers will be willing to do a test project for free, so it’s a good idea to talk to them beforehand and discuss the payment options to avoid any problems down the road. 

Many freelancers charge an hourly rate for this, but you should use a fixed flat rate for this testing phase. This way if the freelancer takes twice as long to complete the test, you won’t have to worry about paying them more than you initially expected.

Setting Up The Test Project

It is essential to create a clear set of instructions and expectations for the freelancer. This includes:

  • A detailed task list
  • Deliverable expectations
  • Guidelines for communication and collaboration
  • Standards for quality and formatting.

This will ensure that the freelancer understands exactly what is expected of them, and can complete the test project to your satisfaction.

Building a detailed task list and deliverable expectations in the instructions for the freelancer will ensure that the freelancer is fully aware of all the tasks they need to complete, and the final deliverables you expect to receive. This will also help you to determine the level of complexity and scope of the test project.

Be sure to include guidelines for communication in the instructions so that the freelancer knows how to communicate with you and your team throughout the test project.

Setting Quality Standards and Timelines

Once you’ve set up the test project, it’s important to establish a timeline for its completion. This includes setting a deadline for the completion of the project, and establishing milestones and check-ins along the way. 

Setting standards for quality and formatting in the instructions will ensure that the freelancer knows the level of quality you expect, and how the final deliverables should be formatted.

Evaluating the Freelancer’s Work

Once the test project is complete, it’s important to assess the freelancer’s ability to follow the instructions and meet the expectations set out in the project. This includes checking for completeness, and the accuracy of deliverables, as well as verifying that the freelancer stuck to the guidelines and standards set out in the instructions.

Evaluating the quality of the work completed is important to ensure the freelancer has the necessary skills and knowledge to complete the project to your satisfaction. This includes assessing technical accuracy, functionality, and overall quality.

Assessing the freelancer’s technical skills and knowledge is important, as well as evaluating their proficiency with the necessary technologies, tools, and methodologies. Evaluating the creativity and originality of the work is also crucial to ensure new ideas and unique approaches can be introduced to the project. 

You should also give some weight to the communication and responsiveness of the freelancer, as they are the key factors that will indicate their ability to work independently and proactively.

Making a Decision

After the test project is complete, it’s important to consider the results in conjunction with other factors – such as the candidate’s references and portfolio. This will give you a more well-rounded view of the freelancer’s abilities and qualifications.

When considering the results of the test project, it’s important to weigh the results against the freelancer’s qualifications and experience. This will allow you to make a more informed decision about whether or not the freelancer is a good fit for your project.

It’s important to evaluate the overall fit of the freelancer with your company and project. This includes assessing the freelancer’s communication style, work ethic, and availability, to ensure that they align with your company’s culture and project requirements.

When making the decision to hire a freelancer, it’s also important to consider the potential for long-term collaboration. This includes assessing the freelancer’s ability to work well with your team, and whether or not they have the potential to become a valuable long-term team member.

After considering the results of the test project, other factors, and the freelancer’s qualifications and experience, you can make a decision about whether or not to hire them.

Next Steps

Selecting the perfect freelancer to work with your agency to help meet the demands of your clients can be a challenging experience, but one that’s vital you get right. Using test projects is an excellent way to find out how a potential candidate can perform within a scenario that closely matches your agency’s needs, and ways of working.

But it isn’t just what potential freelancers can create, develop or write that counts. Eye-catching graphics, engaging content and stunning apps are all very good, but great communication is essential.

At Atarim we’ve always believed that effective communication within an agency, and with clients, is at the heart of any successful project. That’s why we developed our platform and WordPress plugin, and why we’re trusted by the world’s leading digital agencies to help improve collaboration and communication at every stage of a project.Are you ready to make communication and collaboration easier across your web agency, with your clients, and with those freelancers you decide to make the grade? Get started with Atarim today.

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