Upwork is an awesome place for people who want a job done for them and hire a freelance resource. I am running a freelance company which includes Designers/Developers/Search Engine Optimizers. There are several reasons when I need to hire a freelance resource using UpWork and get assignments done.
Selecting a right candidate is a real challenge for you when you have a project posted on UpWork and start getting proposals from several dozen freelancers in few hours. I usually employ the folliwing things/strategies to find out a good candidate for my freelance job.
- UpWork has built-in system which shows you recommended candidates from the list of people, who applied to your job. Pay attention to the matched list of proposals only (unless you have some known freelancer, who applied to your job).
- Use invitation feature when you post a job. This will allow you to invite people, who are good match for your job.
- Check profiles of the list of people and their JSS (Job Success Score) mostly good freelancers have JSS above 90. Sometime a good freelancer has a push back in JSS but is a good match. So in that case, use other key factors to find a good freelancer.
- On freelancer's profiles, their past projects are shown with STAR RATINGS. pay close attension to the people, who have good review from their past clients.
- if someone has already done a similar job like yours, that is a perfect match mostly.
- See how many hours, a freelancer has spent on UpWork for different clients.
- Check if a freelancer has larger projects with good reviews in the past.
- Check if a freelancer has repeat clients
Start adding freelancers to your shortlist
If a freelancer passes the above tests, add them to the shortlist. Once short list is made, start interviewing them.
REMEMBER : a good communication is a key to find, hire and use good freelancers. Be specific with your project requirements when you interview them. If a freelancer has a clear understanding of the project, he/she can help you get most out of it.
THESE ARE THE BEST PRACTICES USED BY ME, PLEASE SHARE YOURS
I think this is a good starting point for new clients who aren't sure about the system and are testing it out.
A lot of the steps you use though, I don't use as an experienced client. For example, I don't care so much about JSS and past reviews and I'm very open to testing out freelancers new to the platform. Several of my best freelancers were completely new when I hired them.
Also don't forget that "hours worked" is only a useful filter if you're posting an hourly job. Many freelancers work mostly on the fixed-price model, so they may have hundreds of jobs and thousands of dollars earned but little to no hours recorded.
By far the most important point you raised is to be specific and clear with your requirements and communication. So often the client-freelancer relationship breaks down because of poor communication from one side.