Mikko R wrote:
If I have a long-term aim, I have options based on my hiring history. Usually, I hire the one who was best the last time (and usually the most expensive one too).
Mikko is right. Talent and quality are usually expensive. Don't ever expect to get a great deal by hiring for cheap.
I think having a zoom call using the UpWork zoom tool could be a good start especially when trying to figure out if they speak good English if that is a requirement like the first job you mentioned. It also lets you verify their identity as I know there are some UpWork freelancers that sell or rent out their UpWork account (I have seen this happen to a client of mine when hiring an AWS expert). You can also check their reviews and their JSS score to make sure they are high. JSS is mostly private feedback so its more useful than public reviews which can be hidden if a refund for the contract was made. I think the quality of freelancers you get will also depend on the price you set up for the contract. Lower pricing tends to attract lower quality freelancers.
It also depends on the job role you need. Vetting a sales guy is different than vetting a web developer. It was smart you reached out to the agencies for the web developer.