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What to Know Before Hiring a Freelancer

Use these 6 tips to get the most from temporary talent.

By
This story appears in the June 2009 issue of Start Up.

­­Want to build a successful company--and pull it off without any employees? Brad Chase, 28, is living proof that it can be done. He started Progressivehealth.com, a Boise, Idaho-based retailer of health supplements, in 2003; he projects year-end sales to reach $800,000 to $900,000; and he has almost solely relied on the skills of freelancers. It may sound impossible, but with abundant layoffs, shrinking funds and a growing number of resources that connect businesses with freelancers, accessing a qualified work force is easier than ever.

In search of freelancers? Check out these sites:

. Elance: one of the more established sites; covers professionals in industries ranging from web and programming to engineering and manufacturing

. ScriptLance: specializes in freelance programmers

. Craigslist: not as structured, but a good way to reach candidates

. Project4hire.com: a good resource for web designers, graphic designers, coders and more

. WALSAQ: A newer site covering everything from administrative support to real estate
According to Kelly Services Inc., a temporary-services staffing firm, about a quarter (26 percent) of the U.S. working population is now working as free agents, up from 19 percent in 2006. But before you tap in to this growing talent pool, consider these tips from Chase and Leslie Stoner, director of product development at Kelly Services.

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