Hiring a freelancer to work on one of your  Excel or other projects is an important decision as work that is done badly could cost you later on.

But if you post a job for a freelancer or a team of freelancers on sites like UpWork  or Freelancer, you  could be looking at a long list of applicants from all over the globe and your head will  probably filled with questions such as:

  1. Who do I choose ?
  2.  How do I decide who to choose ?
  3. How do I now they have the right level of Excel Expertise?
  4. How do I know they will be the  right person for the job?


It’s will be more difficult  if you are hiring people in an area that is outside your field of expertise. Also , you might be tempted just to choose someone you either like or someone who offers you the cheapest price. But these are weak reasons to pick a contractor.


This  Eleven Step by Step Checklist is to make sure you don’t overlook things and  hopefully help you choose a freelancer  in a logical prudent and successful manner.


The  Step by Step Checklist to hiring a Freelancer.


  1. Know what you want. Start at the end. “Fail to prepare, Prepare to Fail”.


Plan it out properly.  What do you want at the end of the project. Get others , especially end users involved and get their viewpoints. Write and sketch it  out in detail. Detailed  planning will always save you time in execution. So be totally clear on what you want before hiring anyone for the project. Remember ‘Fail to prepare, Prepare to Fail”

  1. Skillsets Required.

Knowing what you want to be built in detail,  will give you a better idea of the type of freelancer you want in terms of their skillsets and experience.
For example,  If you want to automate part of your data analysis, then VBA as well as data analysis skills will be required.
If you want to create a metric rich dashboard from your company tables, then Power BI, Power Pivots  will be needed. So, with proper planning , you will be able to narrow down you applicants list much quicker

  1. Know in advance your degree of involvement in the project

If you have a good  knowledge of the project been created  , you might  want to take on more  hands on approach.

But if you lack time or expertise and knowledge involved in the project , then seek  to hire a freelancer  who can work independently , has initiative and provides  solutions to your problems. Here their track record takes on more importance.

  1. Don’t automatically go for the cheapest quote.

Sometimes you can strike lucky and get a great freelancer at an unbelievable price but many times those who bid low are desperate for work. Now it is possible they are just starting out , so if their skillsets look very  impressive, you could try them on a smaller job to test them out.
However choosing the  cheapest  price means  more than likely you will end up spending a lot more money and time correcting the things that the freelancer has done.  Remember, we want to hire  a freelancer  who knows what they are doing and gets  the job done right , first time.

  1. Check their Background in detail.

Always check the freelancer has the skillsets and the qualifications they say they have.
Check out their website if they have one. If you have any doubts, ask if you can contact the testimonials directly.
Also ,if you have any doubts,  request a scan of their qualifications.  Be wary of freelancers who have many testimonial but all for jobs that are for small amounts. Always be a little sceptical and don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions. Test them out with smaller jobs that require needed expertise. Can they create a DAX formula.

  1. Sometimes it best to choose a Team of Freelancers than just one.

    For critical jobs, it is often best to chose a team of freelancers rather a single one , so that there is backup and shared knowledge should it be required. Freelancers come and go, so keep that mind for critical jobs


  1. With Skype etc , there is no excuse now for not calling them before you hire.

The goal here is to get a good sense of whether or not the relationship would work out. If you are not familiar with the skillsets  required, have a suitable colleague with you .

  1. Establish a Timeline.

After doing the planning step (Step 1), you will have a better idea what needs to be  delivered and but also  when. It’s important a delivery timeline is established, as a means of planning but also of  having proper milestones in the creation process . Do not overlook them in the spirit of mutual trust. Without them, it can lead to freelancers taking as long as they want to and maybe  giving precedence to others projects which have agreed timelines . They could therefore, put your project towards the bottom end of their work pile. Also without  timelines, work can be rushed at the end, causing errors and mistakes.

  1. Agree on communication schedule .

Before work commences, you should both agree on the frequency and the medium of communication.  With it, you will have a better idea how things are progressing and you can be alerted early to possible problems .

  1. Choosing the Correct Pricing mechanism.

Normally choosing the fixed price method is the best as it gives the freelancer an incentive to get the job done quickly. By have a well-designed planned project and paying by results you will be rewarding quickness and effectiveness. Aim to reward the freelancer for results, not time.

  1. Snag and Snag again.

After the work is done, make sure to check it out thoroughly   by you and by  members of your team, especially end users so you can get the freelancer to fix any issues before you sign off the project. Do this also with milestone payments  and arrange them with a bottom heavy payment schedule.