Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Gloria Kopp. Her opinions are her own.
Posting a job listing on a freelance job board might fill your inbox with a lot of emails, but it isn’t likely to find you the best professional for the job at hand.
Locating qualified individuals to do a specific short-term job properly can be quite challenging when time might not allow you to interview them in detail, to get a feel for their grasp of the job and talk about their relevant experience.
There are some simple rules that you can follow to ensure that your company gets exactly what it is looking for when it comes to attracting professional freelancers.
You do not want to receive 200 applications for every time you need a freelancer any more than you would want zero responses. The ideal situation is to receive the applications of a few perfectly suited individuals and then make your selection.
The way to achieve this is to be very clear on exactly what the freelance opportunity entails, what qualifications and experience you expect the applicants to have and, the specific skill(s) that will be required for the particular project. In essence, you’re creating a self-screening process, where most unqualified individuals will not even bother applying if they don’t meet the specific requirements.
A basic description of the project that’s on offer is not always the most enticing thing. If you want to attract the best professionalfreelancers, then you need to Spice it up a bit.
Make sure you emphasize the benefits of working with your organization even if it is purely on a project basis. Standing out and being interesting and appealing can really draw in some of the best, most creative freelancers.
Your headline is the first thing that potential freelancers are going to see. It needs to combine the promise of a rewarding project with a clear description of the job that you are offering, all in a few words.
They’re not going to click on the job description or read on if it sounds boring from the get-go. Make them want to – and need to – apply for your job.
Nobody can spot all of their own mistakes, especially if you’ve been reading it over and over, so run your advert by one of your colleagues, so they can point out all of the really obvious errors in your work.
Before you post your advert make sure that at least one other person has proofread it, just in case. A job posting with spelling or other errors in it can look totally unprofessional and really take away some of the credibility of the posting itself.
There are a few editing and proofreading tools that every job listing creator should be using to improve the quality of their work. By running your adverts through these, you should instantly improve the quality and quantity of qualified freelancers applying to your listings.
You don’t want a freelancer who just applies for everything without consideration. If you include a key phrase that their response must include somewhere in the description you can eliminate many time wasters, because you’ll know that the applicants – at the very least – took the time to read through the entire job description before applying.
And, if they’ve read the entire job description and still took the time to apply, there’s a higher chance they’re actually qualified.
There is nothing that puts a freelancer off applying for future projects with you more than never getting a response to their last application.
Where possible, try to reply to every applicant, regardless of how suitable they are for the role. It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated, it can just be a form email acknowledging receipt of their application, but it makes you appear professional and attentive.
Perhaps there are multiple applicants that you’re interested in, but can’t use at the moment. Simply by replying to them, you’re establishing a rapport with them, so that in the future, if there is a need for them, you’ve already opened that door for them to re-enter.
It isn’t easy crafting the right advert to get someone perfectly suited to the role you have in mind. But, if you can perfect that fine art then you will be an asset to your company, able to attract the very best of the freelancing crop.
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