Getting started on Upwork is simple, though it does take a bit of preparation. The easiest way to engage a new freelancer is to break the process into three phases:
- Preparing for your first hire
- Engaging a freelancer
- Getting the work done
Here are the steps you need to take to make your first hire on Upwork and start a productive new relationship with them.
Preparing for your first hire
The first thing you need to do is to complete your company profile.
- Fill out your company name, tagline, description, and website URL (no email addresses, phone numbers, or chat IDs, please), then upload your company logo.
- Add and verify your payment method. This is important—you can’t hire any freelancers until you’ve done this!
- Post an awesome job post and choose between an hourly or fixed-price contract. Whichever contract type you choose, you’re eligible for Upwork Payment Protection.
Engaging a freelancer
As proposals from freelancers start to come in for your first project, remember that you can also search for qualified freelancers and invite them to submit a proposal to your job post.
Evaluate the proposals and shortlist those you like, then send a message to your best candidates.
You may want to consider performing a round of email interviews to help you narrow your shortlist even further. After your first round of interviews, a follow-up conversation via phone, Messages, or video can give you additional information as well as the opportunity to interact one-on-one.
Consider hiring a few of the top candidates for a test drive (a smaller, paid, trial project) to help make your final decision.
Getting the work done
Once you’ve chosen a freelancer to engage with, consider having a kickoff meeting to confirm expectations for communication, availability, submitting deliverables, and anything else you’d like to discuss. Clear communication and processes will help keep you and the freelancer on the same page.
You may also want to introduce your new freelancer to the rest of your team and make sure they have contact information for everyone they’ll work with.
Upwork gives you a few features to help you ensure your project is on track:
- Create milestones to establish project deliverables and deadlines.
- View your project cost and other metrics using Reports.
- Communicate and collaborate in real time with Messages.
- Verify that work was completed as invoiced using the Work Diary.
Finally, ensure that billing and payments occur on time and according to your contract. Upwork automatically invoices for hourly jobs, but you should fund and release payments on fixed-price contracts yourself.