With the growing freelance marketplace, more and more people are hiring digital marketing contractors. Whether you're a small business that needs help promoting sales during the holiday season, or you're a marketing agency needing support for new client pitches, you may find yourself interviewing freelancers and realizing your standard roundtable questions for employees simply don't apply.
Short-term, specialized team players, like a social media contractor, require a different set of inquiries. Here are five questions to have handy for your next freelancer interview.
1. What type of work makes you excited?
Contractors get the luxury of picking and choosing their clients and their type of work. You may find out that they love and excel at content creation, but have little interest, and/or knowledge in, executing paid ads.
It's very important to understand their interest and skill set from the beginning.
2. Have you had experience with XYZ industry?
This answer may not be a deal breaker, but it can be reassuring to know your potential contractor has experience with your industry.
For example, someone with years of small business experience may not immediately have industry insight and trends for an international luxury brand. You'll need to decide if you or your team will have the time to do some training, should you bring them on board.
3. Are you comfortable with the following responsibilities?
It's painfully clear to contractors that all companies and agencies speak a different digital marketing language.
The term “influencer” may mean one thing to a social media agency, and something completely different to a more traditional business just getting into social media. On the other side, community management to one contractor may mean a certain list of responsibilities that'll look completely different to another.
Don’t assume your terminology translates. Clarify and confirm.
4. How many hours are you available per week and do those hours vary per day?
Contractors survive on having multiple clients, therefore, they have to juggle their time - every hour and every day.
Both parties should have clear expectations on how many hours a week will be contracted. If you assume your freelancer can give you 30 hours a week, then you may be very shorthanded when you discover that they can only give you 5 hours a week.
Also, signing an agreement with a contractor doesn't mean they're immediately accessible like a full-time employee. Discuss what a typical response time is for emails, calls, and texts to establish expectations from the start.
The good news for you is that professional contractors tend to be amazing multitaskers, and should be able to reply promptly to your needs.
5. Do you charge by project or hourly rate?
Money can be an uncomfortable topic, but it's a necessary one, no matter how you look at it.
There’s nothing worse than both parties gearing up to collaborate on a project only to find out that the contractor’s rate doesn’t align with the budget. Content marketing costs can vary wildly according to the client and location, but expect a $50-$125 hourly rate for social media consultants.
Bringing someone on your team - whether a full-time employee or short-term contractor - can be overwhelming. Finding the perfect fit that will help you meet your goals is an important decision. These five simple, yet powerful interview questions should help you hire your next digital marketing contractor.
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