7 Red flags to watch out for when hiring freelancers

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7 Red flags to watch out for when hiring freelancers

This article will introduce you to the red flags to watch out for when hiring freelancers. Freelancing is a popular remote work career choice that offers flexibility, independence, and also the opportunity to work on a wide choice and  variety of projects.

Though, freelancing is a very rewarding task as it comes with a generous amount of challenges, problems of dealing with difficult and problematic clients.

As a freelancer, it is important to notice warning signs from clients early so as to avoid bad or harmful working relationships.
Hiring skilled freelancers can be an excellent way for startups to get the necessary skills without breaking the bank.

They get Free from paying benefits during holidays and are likewise able to work remotely, hereby requiring no office space equipment. Freelancing is an ideal way to grow business and generate cash flow quickly.

However, getting freelancers to work on specific tasks gives startups the flexible means and ability to manage their resource allocation more easily than those working full-time.

It should be noted however that, there are some potential risks involved in getting access to hire freelancers, Below are some of the red flags to watch out for when hiring freelancers.

Red flags to watch out for when hiring freelancers

Before we proceed to the red flags to watch out for when hiring freelancers, you might want to check out this article on 5 things to consider before hiring someone to build a website.


Lack of good communication skills is one of the red flags to watch out for when hiring freelancers. Having an Effective communication skill is vital for successful freelancing work. When a client takes too long to reply to emails and messages, or not even replying messages at all. This can cause project delays and more stress. Also, if a client doesn’t share important updates or deadlines, it leads to project delays and increased stress.

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If a client keeps having bad communication habits, it’s a huge turn off for employers, as lack of communication can lead to frustration and unmet expectations.

Feedback is necessary in a remote working relationship and Poor communication causes delay, misunderstandings and often results in the production of work that doesn’t meet the original requirements.

The best way to avoid communication error is to conduct a short face-to-face interview to assess these skills firsthand.
Ask these potential freelancers how they have communicated with clients in the past. Ask them how often they like to communicate. Their responses to these questions will likely give one a good feeling to whether they are qualified or appropriate for the job at hand.
Sometimes, one could hire a freelancer that is not within ones time zone. In this case, finding a time that suits both parties for a regular catch-up is necessary.


This is also one of the red flags to watch out for when hiring freelancers. For Clients who always start and abandon projects midway or also exhibits inconsistent behavior can not always be relied upon. This inconsistency can alter ones workflow and income. Access  the client’s track record, and check if they have a history of unstable projects, consider whether the work is  worth investing your time and energy upon. Freelancers need clients who can provide  work consistently and set clear expectations.


References and reviews are significant factors to consider  when hiring freelancers. When posting jobs as a freelancer on a freelance marketplace, watch out for candidates with little or no bad reviews. If a freelancer has a bad record, the assurance of things working out is slim. Even if such person’s bid is lower, it is not worth it in the long run. It is far better to keep looking for suitable candidates with good records of references and a portfolio of quality work, even when such people’s demands are always on the high side.

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As a freelancer, do not tolerate disrespectful or abusive behavior from a client. If such client is persistently rude, underrates your work, or makes unreasonable demands, it’s a clear red flag. Try and Maintain professionalism and point out your boundaries to clients. If such behavior continues, consider terminating the client relationship. Your mental and emotional well-being should always come first when considering any work.


As a freelancer, meeting up with deadlines is a very important factor that one must consider. When a freelancer doesn’t  meet up with deadlines, this can cause delays in the clients project and may even result in missed opportunities. It is a huge setback and turn off for clients.
Competent freelancers should  communicate the average time needed to complete most of their projects and follow through with any guarantees.

To research on a  a freelancer’s record and ability to meet deadlines during the hiring process, it is  important to ask for references and discuss specific project deadlines and timelines. Another important thing to do is to track progress regularly to avoid scrambling around and irregularities at the very end.


Freelancers should pay utmost attention to clients with payment issues, to avoid been underpaid or not been paid at all. Payment issue is a very important issue of concern for freelancers.

Clients who consistently key on late payment or try to renegotiate previously agreed-upon rates can be a such a huge turn off. For business, It is very important to establish and set clear payment terms and stick to them to avoid financial issues and stress.

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Try and Create a contract with payment terms, deadlines, and rates. Make sure these client signs these contracts before starting work. If they repeatedly fail to comply to these terms, then, it’s not worth it by continuing to do business with them.


Apart from freelancing, for every work, any applicant that applies to do it, should be able to prove it. Having past experience is the primary indicator that one is on the right track when accessing top talent. Except  one is willing to give a newbie a chance, experience is needed for almost every work.

For  almost all creative and technical tasks, a freelancer should have the necessary skills to complete the job. A comprehensive portfolio is needed and it is important to state these skills in their portfolio.

However, since most Startups are often financed through bootstrapping, some founders need freelancing talent to fill a skill gap. So, for whatever reasons, once  this freelancer cannot complete the project to a high standard, the startup organization may need to find someone else to fix the work, which can be expensive and time-consuming.

When one has multiple clients on the go and need someone to alleviate such workload, checking portfolios of potential employees is essential for the growth of any organization.


Author Since: November 16, 2023

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