Common Mistakes That Lead To Bad Freelancer Hires

Last Updated on  May 25, 2021  By  Freelance Central Editorial Team
What is Freelancer Management System

Hiring freelancers is one of the most effective ways to complete a project you are not looking to hire full-time employees. With more and more people seeking out freelance gigs, companies can now find skilled resources who can carry out tasks in a fast and efficient manner.

But every once in a while, you might end up hiring the wrong person for the job who could cost you money, time, and effort. While there are obvious red flags such as poor work samples or narrow bandwidth, there are several other signs that you might want to watch out for while working with freelancers. Here are some of them:

1. They Raise Their Fees After the Project is Assigned

It can be troubling when the freelancer you hired raises their proposed fees upon reviewing their project or assignment.

Should you hire?

There might be cases where a change in fee proposals can occur. But if you believe that your project brief was clear from the get-go and the fee increase isn't justified, it's best to forgo the hire and look for a new candidate.

The question arises 一 why waste your time and resources when you can easily avoid this situation right? Making your job description incredibly clear and detailed by breaking down the expectations and duration of the project is an effective way to avoid miscommunication.

2. Their Rates are Incredibly Low

Before you jump on the first chance you find someone with rates too good to be true, take a moment and think 一 why are their rates low? It's highly unlikely that their work will meet your expectations.

Everybody loves a bargain. While we all hope to find a freelancer who charges unbelievably low rates and meets our standard, such resources are extremely rare to find.

Should you hire?

To make an informed decision, you could ask them for legit work samples or give them an assignment that will help you evaluate their skills if you want them representing your product or services online.

3. They Snub Feedback

As the client, you are looking for someone who can bring in a certain level of expertise. But no matter how good the candidates are, if they are unwilling to be flexible and open to constructive criticism, you may find it hard to get the desired end result.

Should you fire?

Nobody wants to believe that they are part of the problem. But it's important to identify whether you are providing the feedback constructively. If not, you need to develop a better approach to share feedback in a mutually beneficial manner.

If you feel that you're stuck in a never-ending feedback loop, chances are the freelancer is stuck in their ways. In such cases, it's better to find a new candidate who can give you the desired result.

4. Their Behavior is Unreliable

There are several tell-tale signs that a freelancer is unreliable, such as:

  • Slow to respond to your messages or calls

  • Frequently late to initial meetings/screening calls

  • Disappearing for days with no response

  • Passive work approach

  • Need for a constant follow-up to ensure they meet the deadline

  • Delay in delivering work

Should you hire?

If you notice any of the above warning signs, find new resources at the earliest without wasting time. Whether it's a freelancer or a full-time employee, you want someone who is accountable and delivers on time.

Also, document all your interactions from the get-go so that you don't have to start the project from scratch with your next hire.

5. They Constantly Follow-up to Review Their Proposal

It's normal for freelancers to follow up during the initial stages of the hiring process before making a decision; in fact, it is even appreciated by several hiring managers.

But this enthusiasm can signal desperation for a job when the follow-up becomes constant, which is never really a good sign.

Should you hire?

You shouldn’t! It's best to look for a candidate who respects your ways of working and isn't too impatient/desperate to find a freelance gig.

6. They are Unwilling to Share Work Samples

If you are hiring freelancers for an important project, always request samples of their past works. If they are unable to share any, send them an assignment and evaluate their performance before you onboard them.

Should you hire?

Always work with freelancers who are experts in their area of work. It would be best if you did not take someone at their word, as it could backfire.

7. Their Work Doesn’t Meet Your Standards

If you aren't 100% satisfied with the work samples your freelancers provided you, it is better to search for a new candidate.

Remember, you are hiring a freelancer to get high-quality work that you may not be able to deliver yourself; you don't want to be wasting your hard-earned money on sub-standard output.

Should you hire?

It’s best to onboard freelancers who are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their area of work. If the work quality is subpar, the smart choice would be letting them go.

8. They are an Article Farmer

If you are hiring freelance content writers, you must be familiar with the concept of article farming. This is when an individual (a farmer) approaches the client with a good proposal and secures the job.

But instead of doing the work themselves, they outsource it at a much lower rate to other writers to make money.

Should you hire?

Always work with talented content writers who can produce well-researched, unique content pieces. Conversely, it is better to steer away from article farmers who are unreliable and professionally unethical.

9. They Claim To Be An Expert/Don't Ask Any Questions

While we seek freelancers who are experts in their field of work, be wary of candidates who have no doubts or queries about the nature of the work assigned to them.

A creative and curious candidate will always ask for all possible information before starting the project. However, if you hire someone who claims to be a know-it-all, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Should you hire?

Understandably, every freelancer wants to project themselves as experts in their field. But more often than not, their claims are sometimes exaggerated.

So, if you are unsure whether they possess the right skills, have them take an assignment or conduct several rounds of interviews before handing them the project.

10. They Demand To Be Paid Beforehand

Some freelancers demand payment upfront before they are hired or before the completion of the project. It is never a good idea to make payments ahead of the project completion.

Should you hire?

Unless you are working with a freelancer you've worked with before or who has established a trusted professional relationship with you, it is not a good idea to pay them beforehand.

11. They Have Narrow Bandwidth

Most freelancers that you hire might have other commitments. For example, if you are working with a freelancer who manages multiple projects, are full-time employees elsewhere, or college students, they might struggle to prioritize your project.

Should you hire?

If you are working with a freelancer who has very little bandwidth and is constantly stressed out, it is better to find a new candidate who can devote more time to your project.

Final Thoughts

Hiring freelancers can be a great way to grow your business, especially if you find the right ones. The wrong freelancer can cost your company time and money.

Thanks to platforms like, it is easier than ever to increase the productivity of your freelancers and manage them efficiently for a fruitful long-term business relationship.

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