Dubai Web & IT Resource Center

In this blog post, we start with how to Evaluating Freelance Web Designers  by looking for certain essential skills. We also describe how we evaluate developers at Flexible. Going a step further, we have also listed important questions to ask freelance developer, so that you can evaluate them yourself.

Companies are increasingly turning to freelance designers for the benefits that they provide. This includes the ability to get them onboard quickly and also to hire for skills that are highly aligned to their job requirements. At the same time, even the number of freelance web designers is growing each year.

Therefore, a robust process needs to be designed to comprehensively evaluate and choose the right Freelance Web Designers for your requirements. Let’s delve into why this is critical.

Table of Contents

  • Need for Holistic Evaluating of web designer
  • Skills to look for in a Freelance Web Designers
  • How we Evaluate designer at fiexiple?
  • Important questions to ask Freelance Web Designers
  • Closing thoughts

Need for Holistic Evaluation of web designer

Firstly, it is paramount to have a streamlined evaluation process as it helps in:

1.Finding the best Freelance Web Designers for the role

2.Minimising the amount of time spent on evaluating designer

3.Decreasing drop-offs during the process

Also, we need to recognising the reason for hiring a Freelance Web Designers. Typically and ideally, you are looking for someone who is an expert in their field. They should be able to ramp up quickly, effectively understand what your team is trying to achieve, and then slot in seamlessly.

Further, the web designer should be able to communicate well, be proactive enough to foresee problems, and take independent decisions while working remotely.

So, you need to evaluate the developer’s ability to excel in all of these parameters, rather than just their technical ability. This makes the case for a ‘holistic’ view in the evaluation of freelance web designer.

Skills to Look for in a Freelance Web Designers

As discussed in the previous sections, there are some common qualities that all great Freelance Web Designers possess. Let’s look at those qualities in a bit more of detail:

1. Technical Proficiency

New permanent developer hires generally have an induction period. During this period, they are trained and given exposure to the organization. In contrast, Freelance Web Designers have limited onboarding time, with quick ramp-up. Moreover, there tends to be more scrutiny on their productivity from the very beginning as compared to full-time employees.

This requires Freelance Web Designers to be technically strong in their domain for them to hit the ground running. Here it is key to identify the particular skill sets required for your project. For many projects, it might make sense to give precedence to those skills rather than generic coding aptitude and learning ability.

2. Communication Skills

Being able to communicate effectively is very important in every professional relationship. However, since Freelance Web Designers are typically located remotely and don’t work out of your office, communication skills become super-critical.

Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and could also potentially hinder the formation of trust. This happens, especially, at the beginning of an engagement, where both parties are still adapting to each others’ working styles.

A good Freelance Web Designers , therefore, should err on the side of over-communicating at all times – both, written and verbal. This involves being responsive over the agreed communication channels, expressing articulately, and with clarity.

Some of the red flags to look out for are:

  • poorly written emails
  • A need to follow-up multiple times
  • lack of clarity in their messaging
  • failure to acknowledge deadlines during the hiring process

3. Ability to Work Independently

As discussed, freelancing is largely a remote exercise, with opportunities for F2F interactions being sparse. Therefore, Freelance Web Designers must have the ability to independently make decisions that are aligned to the success of the project.

Further, remote work involves a lot of diversions and challenges. Being able to overcome these obstacles and to consistently deliver quality is critical. This requires staying focused & proactive, maintaining good documentation, managing time effectively, and comfort with tools that aid remote working.

It might be difficult to gauge a Freelance Web Designers proficiency in the above-mentioned skills. So, using their prior record of working under similar conditions for other remote teams can be a great indicator.

4. Punctuality & Reliability

It is imperative that the Freelance Web Designers is punctual. This holds not only for delivering the required code on time but also for team meetings, stand-ups, etc. If they aren’t punctual, they would be hampering the productivity of the entire team. In a place where opportunities for interactions are already limited, this is even more pronounced.

In addition, they must be reliable and deliver on their promises. Again, since it is hard to objectively gauge a developer’s punctuality or reliability, insights from their past client references would help a lot.

This could also be assessed based on the interactions during the evaluation process. This includes responsiveness to replies, reliability in the delivery of even non-work related items, etc. Before starting the engagement, it bodes well to have a short-term trial project (even paid). This would be beneficial to both parties, to assess fit.

How do we Evaluate Developers at Flexiple?

At Flexiple, we have evaluated 20,000+Freelance Web Designers across the world over the last five years. As one can imagine, this wouldn’t have been possible without a streamlined process. We had to iterate multiple times to arrive at our 6-step screening process. This ensures that we have a holistic view of every developer while still optimising for the time & effort of all parties involved.

To help others who would like to implement a similar evaluation process, we have detailed the same below.

1. Depth in past work

We ask each designers to fill a simple profile form. This form includes a generic description of oneself, the technologies they are proficient in, and their CV. We then review designer based on the years & quality of experience and complexity of products built. The answers given by the developers also help us gauge their written communication skills.

Only the designers who display depth in experience and have worked on end-to-end projects are selected for the next step, which is an introductory call. This helps us to focus and deep dive into the most promising candidates.

2. Good communication and motivation

Over a call, we use the notes made in the previous round to test the depth of the designers experience. We ask probing questions about the products they’ve built. We are hence able to test their ability to answer questions comprehensively and in an articulate manner. This helps us understand the confidence they have in their abilities and also the quality of verbal communication.

On the non-technical side, we also achieve a deeper understanding of the designers motivation to take up freelance, past remote working experience, and the challenges that they’ve solved. These inputs help us assess if they are a good fit for our network.

3. Strong designing abilities

Over one or more F2F interviews, we comprehensively assess the designers involvement and their performance in building complex designing products. This sets the platform to delve deeper into technology-specific discussions where the designers knowledge in specific technologies can be adjudged.

This step requires the involvement of senior tech experts. The insights obtained in this step allow us (and similarly could help you) to match the freelancer with the right projects based on their skill sets.

4.Splendid reviews in a background check

As discussed earlier, client references are a great way to get valuable insights into how a developer performs in real-life situations. We obtain inputs on a variety of qualitative factors such as reliability, punctuality, communication, and responsiveness. This is very helpful as such inputs are otherwise difficult to assess only through a 1-on-1 screening.

5.Consistent exemplary performance

While the evaluation to this point is extremely comprehensive, consistent performance during each engagement needs to be delivered. Our developers are expected to maintain Flexiple standards across all engagements with our customers. Even you should keep regular appraisals to ensure that performance remains exemplary.

This continuous evaluation is carried out by considering a host of factors. For example, the quality of code delivered, documentation practices followed, the ability to ramp up, and softer aspects of responsiveness, reliability, etc.

Important Questions to Ask Freelance Web Designers

To help you in evaluating Freelance Web Designers, we’ve listed some important questions to ask them. However, keep in mind that this list is designed for people with no technical background.

The questions are categorised into the following sections:
A. Technical skills
B. Soft skills
C. Aptitude skills

A. Technical Skills: 5 Questions to ask Freelance Web Designers

These questions aim to evaluate a Designers technical know-how and hands-on experience:

  1. How many “production-level” applications have you made in the said technology? Can you please share links to the same?
  2. What was your contribution to <this> project? (Refer to a particular project)
  3. Please describe one of the most challenging projects that you’ve worked on. Can you please explain your contribution to them?
  4. What challenges did you face in it, and how did you overcome them?
  5. Can you share the highlights of your overall freelancing experience? What type of clients have you worked with?

Look for these outcomes:

  • Experience in said technology is solid
  • Individual & independent contribution is significant
  • Can articulately explain work

B. Soft Skills: 4 Questions to ask Freelance Designers

You can ask these questions to gauge a Designers soft skills:

  1. What is your motivation to take up freelancing? OR Why have you chosen a career as a freelancer? What’s the motivation?
  2. What are the challenges that you face while working remotely? How will you resolve them?
  3. What does your remote work set up look like and how do you maintain productivity?
  4. <Explain your team structure> Have you worked in such teams before? Could you please share your experiences?

Look for these outcomes:

  • Motivation to freelance shouldn’t reveal a lack of ownership
  • Has the right skills to work remotely
  • Good alignment with your team’s culture

Closing thoughts

The implications of making a bad hire are too pronounced – delays in product development cycles and lost opportunity costs. It might often be tempting to save effort and time by rushing through the evaluation process, especially if you’re dealing with hundreds of applicants. However, it really pays off to do a thorough assessment of candidates.

If you don’t prefer the painstaking process of evaluating developers yourself, skip the hassle and check out these top websites to hire designers.


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