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5 Ways to Attract the Best Freelancers in the Philippines

by Olufisayo
Freelancers in the Philippines

In a country like the Philippines—where literacy, educational attainment, and technological savoir-faire are all on the rise—the freelancing sector is growing by the day.

The tech giant Paypal—which works closely with Filipino freelancers through its online payment platform—estimates that there are about 1.5 million of them in the so-called “gig economy.”

The talents of these Pinoy freelancers range from accounting, bookkeeping, and data entry to web design, content writing, photography, and translation; some are the type to multitask, while others concentrate their work in a niche area.

But as is the case with other types of professionals, freelancers fall under different tiers. There are those who are truly committed to freelancing and are excellent at what they do; there are freelancers who are so-so and have a casual approach to the extra work they can do; and there are those who, unfortunately, exist solely for a quick money grab.

As a would-be client of a Filipino freelancer, you might be asking yourself: how do I find the diamonds in the rough? How can I make sure that my independent contractor is the real deal?

The answer is actually very simple: you will only need to search, single out, and filter the “good apples” from the bad ones.  To get you started, here are five tips on attracting top freelancers from the Philippines—and harnessing their talents for the good of your company.

1. Sign up for a profile on an online freelance marketplace. If this is your first time hunting around for an independent contractor, getting a client account on a freelancing website will make things twice as easy for you.

These platforms serve as the best ways to hire freelance workers, as they feature talents working in a broad spectrum industry, as well as options to filter freelancers by specialty, job type, and rates. One of the people you meet through these platforms may be just the candidate you need.

2. Send cold messages to freelancers whose work you’re interested in. Say you already have a sense of the type of person you’re looking for, and a couple of freelancers already fit the bill. How can you up your chances of getting them to agree with your offer?

One surefire way to gain their attention—and to give a positive impression of yourself as a client—is to cold-message or cold-email them. Indicate where you found them, what stood out for you in your portfolio, and why you think they’re a good fit for what your company needs. Then, you can invite them to message you back, send you sample work that more closely resembles what you require, and has an interview over email, Skype, or other platforms of your choice.

3. Be honest about your terms of reference and expectations. Both you and your freelancer candidate need to be on even footing with regard to your job’s terms of reference, i.e. how long the contract will be for, how much money they will be paid, and how many hours they will work per week (if their fees are to be charged per hour).

If these terms are clear on both your ends, it will bring out the best in your freelancer—they will know what goals to shoot for, what constitutes mutual success for them and for you, and what it means to have a “job well done.”

4. Ask hard questions and see if they have the right answers. It is your prerogative to grill your freelancers about the so-called “hard stuff,” such as their career ambitions, what they see themselves doing in the next few years, and what they would do if faced with certain work-related challenges.

From these hard questions, you might be able to single out a passionate, brave, and honest freelancer from a sea of bland and complacent ones—and this candidate is likely to be a keeper.

5. Choose freelancers who are worth their salt, and who charge appropriately for it. Some clients are only willing to pay peanuts for freelance work, but if you do this, be forewarned: you’ll only get what you pay for.

It would be much smarter to hire a freelancer whose rates are on the higher end of what you can afford, as opposed to a freelancer who is fine with crumbs. The former likely know their worth, is secure in their abilities, and will have something to show for it; the latter might offer sub-par work that you’ll spend more money to have redone.

While these five methods will help you hook a competent Filipino freelancer, don’t forget about sustaining the partnership with the following: mutual respect, a nurturing work environment, and genuine interest in them as people. That way, homegrown Pinoy freelance talent will reflect very well on your business—and buoy it for many years to come!

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