How do I hire a freelancer?

Are you a business owner thinking about hiring a freelancer for your business? Hiring freelancers can be a great alternative to hiring employees for multiple reasons.

One of the best advantages of hiring freelancers is that they will usually be highly skilled in their field. For example, if you need an extra pair of hands to market your business, then you will likely be able to find a freelancer that is incredibly competent in making businesses a success through marketing.

how do I hire a freelancer

Whether you just need extra help in your sole trader business or run a small business with employees, here is how you hire a freelancer.

Create a brief

When it comes to hiring, you need to know what you want, therefore it might be worth considering what the main benefits of hiring a freelancer compared to an employee are. If a freelancer fits the description for what you want, then you will need to create a brief. A brief should contain the following:

  • The details of the project
  • The time frame you need it to be completed by
  • The budget – although sometimes you may want to keep this off the brief and then later negotiate the price
  • Any relevant samples of the work you want or what you expect

Make sure that your brief is simply written so it is easy to understand. This is especially important if you are reaching out to freelancers who may not be from the UK.

Freelancer websites

There are a number of freelancer websites where you can find freelancers to hire. Sites such as People Per Hour and Upwork feature a variety of freelancers that can offer competitive prices for the work. However, one thing to be aware of is that some freelancers on these sites will offer extremely low rates and this can mean that experienced freelancers avoid these sites. Although anybody looking to hire will want to save money, it’s essential you hire somebody who has the right skills and experience to effectively carry out your work.

It is worth checking FreelanceUK's Freelance Directory, where you can find experienced freelancer’s advertising their services and easily contact them to get a quote for your project. And it’s also worthwhile looking on various other freelancer websites to see the average costs of your project. 

Reach out to your network

If you have been a business owner for a while, you probably have people in your contacts, email list or on social media that may be able to help. A LinkedIn presence is essential for business owners and freelancers, as you can use this to reach out to your network to see if there are any experienced freelancers amongst them, or if they can recommend you any good freelancers. Investing time in building up a professional network is great, especially when it comes to hiring. It can save you time and money compared to setting up an ad or spending time looking on freelancer websites.


It’s a good idea to hold some form of interview or meeting before both parties agree to the terms of the contract. The interview will give you additional information on the freelancer and can help you understand their abilities. The freelancer you need will need to be efficient and reliable and an interview will give you some kind of indication of this. An interview is essential to get to know the person that will be working for you. Here are some things you may want to consider discussing in your interview:

  • How long will they need to complete the project?
  • Will they be solely focusing on your project or working on multiple projects?
  • Have they worked on something like your project before?
  • What other relevant experience do they have?
  • What will they need from you?
  • What is their price?
  • How are they with deadlines?
  • Do they have certain work hours?
  • When can you contact them if you need to?


A contract is incredibly important as it is a legal agreement between both parties and it also protects all parties involved. It also allows all parties to be on the same page about the work. The document should highlight all the details involved in the project/task that the freelancer has to complete. Some of the important features of the contract should include:

  • The work/project/task that is to be completed
  • The timeframe in which the task has to be completed
  • The requirements you may have e.g. you may want an update every week
  • The payment that is to be made and when the payment will be made
  • Some legalities such as the right of re-use, intellectual property ownership and right to re-sell
  • It should be clear that the freelancer will be freelancing and will be seen as a freelancer. If HRMC start investigating into the matter, and if the freelancer is seen as an employee they could be caught inside IR35.

Hiring a freelancer to help you on your journey to make your business a success can be incredibly beneficial. However it’s also essential that both parties know what is required and expected of them so that these are met. 

Read more on why you should hire a freelancer and how to attract clients as a freelancer.

Editor's Note: Related --

Freelancers' Questions: Is is taxing to hire a freelancer for client work?

When freelancers hire other freelancers -- a guide

How firms use creative freelancers