4 Tips for Hiring International Freelance Talent for Your Startup

May 16, 2015

8:00 am

As an entrepreneur, you likely need to hire a lot of helping hands to get your business up and running, from developers for your website to writers for your marketing materials, and more. But when a full-time salary and benefits aren’t an option – or it’s difficult to project need more than a couple months out –hiring freelancers enables you to onboard talent specific to your business needs and on an as-needed basis. To successfully identify and employ freelancers, there are all sorts of considerations to take into account. Here are four of the most important tips for hiring international freelance talent for your startup.

Open your talent search globally

Don’t handicap your search by limiting your options to domestic freelancers; tapping into international marketplaces opens the door to a diverse talent pool. Emerging economies such as Argentina, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, and Serbia are hotbeds for freelance talent. To secure international freelancers, consider leveraging a freelance marketplace such as Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk) or PeoplePerHour, which collectively offer businesses access to several million freelancers.

Leverage your social networks

According to the Payoneer Freelancer Income Survey 2015, while nearly half (46%) of international freelancers find projects via online marketplaces, social media is also a common channel for freelancers to secure work, with approximately 15 percent of freelancers finding jobs through LinkedIn. Freelancers also have a tendency to promote their skills through social media, with Facebook being the most popular channel at 38 percent. As an entrepreneur, a comprehensive social media strategy can help you secure freelancers that you might have otherwise overlooked.

Hire based on talent and experience

When it comes to freelancing, a portfolio and strong references are more important than a master’s degree. In fact, barely half (55%) of freelancers surveyed have college degrees. During the hiring process, review freelancers’ portfolios and examples of past work to determine the best fit for your business. Freelance marketplaces offer a comprehensive overview of freelancers’ experience, including the option to receive professional references.

Offer flexible cross-border payment options

Cross-border payments can be tricky, so it’s important for you to determine the best way to support freelancers’ payment preferences in a way that is efficient and cost effective for your business. Traditional banking can be antiquated, time consuming, and lead to added fees for freelancers. Instead, opt for a cross-border payments platform, which addresses these concerns by enabling you to send cross-border funds quickly, inexpensively, with direct control over what you send and receive and without requiring freelancers to incur additional fees.

Other than ease and cost effectiveness, a cross-border payments platform offers flexibility, as not all freelancers want to receive their payments in the same way. Such a platform enables you to send funds internationally via prepaid cards, global bank transfer, local eWallets and more, depending on each freelancer’s preference.

Do you have any other advice for hiring international freelancers? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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Nissim Alkobi is head of community at Payoneer, an international company empowering global commerce by connecting businesses, professionals, countries and currencies through its cross-border payments platform.

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