Many businesses outsource projects they don’t have the time or expertise to complete themselves. Freelancers exist in nearly every industry, so there is typically an abundance of options for companies looking to hire help for a short-term contract.
However, you don’t want to hire just anybody, especially if you’re seeking a freelance developer for your tech company. This person might not be part of your core staff, but they are still a crucial part of your business’ success, so you’ll want to thoroughly vet any contractors you bring on board. Below, the experts of Forbes Technology Council share some good questions to ask a freelance developer to ensure they’re a good fit for a project.
1. Are You Willing To Respond To Follow-Up Questions After The Contract?
One of the most important things to confirm up front with a freelancer is their willingness to respond to follow-up questions. Given their often inherent complexity, technical projects, in particular, produce questions well past the completion date of the project. It is critical to vet freelancers by contacting former clients and verifying the ability to obtain valid responses post-contract. – Todd Rebner, Cyleron
2. What Is Your Ideal Management Scenario?
Beyond past success, let them tell you how they need to be managed to be successful and drive the results you want. Freelancers come in all types, and not everyone fits your business processes. The best freelancer for one organization might not be the best for you. Since it’s never a good idea to force a square peg into a round hole, spend more time listening to find a match. – Brian Contos, Verodin Inc.
3. Can You Complete This Micro Project?
Regardless of the role, we always ask for some upfront work to help us assess the candidate. This sample micro project has to be relevant to our company. It can be a code sample, a draft of an article, user-interface design for a new feature or a small research deliverable. Being able to assess candidates while giving them a relevant micro project helps us screen the right candidates. – Masha Sharma, RealAtom
4. Are You Willing To Learn Our Culture?
To me, the team is worth more than anything else. You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I would seriously keep an open mind and ask the freelancer to do so as well. I would see the person who shares very similar core values and is open to teaching and to learning the culture as an extension of the team. A freelancer is a person and eventually is part of your team—nothing less. – Waije Coler, InfoTracer
5. What Would Your Daily/Weekly Schedule Look Like During This Project?
Gauging the freelancer’s prioritization and time-management skills is critical to ensure the project moves forward in a timely manner. If they fall behind, you can remind them of the schedule they set and create a plan to get back on track. This will also help you get a feel for how many hours they plan to commit to the project so there aren’t surprise invoices at the end of each billing cycle. – Richard Wang, Coding Dojo
6. What Is Your Thought Process For Solving This Problem?
A lot of time when you work with freelancers on a short project, their thought process is to deliver the quickest solution that solves the immediate problem without thinking about the long-term solution. I always ask them to walk me through the thought process of solving the problem and ensure that they keep future scalability in mind. This simple quality makes me hire them for the project. – Amit Ojha, Diamond Foundry
7. How Do You Adapt To Customer Insights?
It is important for developers to be interested and considerate about the entire customer journey and the impact their work will have on delivering an experience. I always ask, “How did learning more about the customer and how the tech was going to be used in their journey impact your approach on a previous project?” This helps me to understand how they view and respond to customer insights. – Marlyne Pierce, Modern Mogul Ventures
8. How Would You Describe Yourself In Three Words?
To maintain harmony with the corporate culture, freelancers and outside consultants must be onboarded as if they were actual employees. Thus, ask freelancers (just as potential job candidates) to describe the three adjectives that describe them or how they view themselves (e.g., resourceful, perseverant, etc.) to understand how well they align with the organization. – Robb Osinski, Bambu Global
9. Have You Done Projects For Similar Clients?
When hiring a freelance developer, I always like to ask them if they’ve ever done projects for similar clients in the same industry as me. If they have experience with similar projects in the same industry, it helps prove to me that they have an understanding of the needs of our company. I also like to see examples of their past work. A good portfolio is worth way more than words. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
10. Why Do You Want To Work On This Project?
In hiring a freelancer, I find it important to address the vision of the company and express why we do what we do. I check to make sure the freelancer has the right desire to work on a project and is not only a good fit with their experience and background, but also shares the company’s vision and heart. This allows me to see if the freelancer properly aligns with what I am looking for. – Greg Cruikshank, LabRoots