Monty Python’s 3 lancer technique!

One mistake that some small business leaders make is in the actual hiring process of virtual team members. Yes, there are a few freelancer sites out there to help, but knowing how to go about attracting and hiring the best potential contractors is crucial.

One good way to find freelancers that are best suited to what you need is the 3 Lancer technique:

1. Pick Your Top 3 Providers

First you pick your favourite 3 providers who respond to your job posting and get them to do the first 10% of the task you need done. For example if you need 10 podcasts done, you get them all to do one; if you need 30 articles you get them to write 3 each. Make sure you ask them to do exactly the same tasks as you will want to compare apples with apples afterwards. Also be sure to PAY them for this work, as it’s taking up their time.

2. Assess The Trial Output

Usually you’ll develop a fairly clear idea of which freelancer has best grasped the idea and has provided the best work in the trial, so you can then confidently choose them to complete the rest of the task, knowing you have also paid and been fair to the other two contractors. But there may be other factors at play – not just the raw quality of the work…..

3. Quality Versus Cost

If the output from the trial is similar in all 3 cases you may have to make a judgment based upon the hourly rates of the 3 freelancers. If the rate is very different but the quality of the work is similar you can confidently go with the freelancer with the cheaper rate knowing that you’re still going to get a good job done.

4. Quality Versus Communication

It may be the case that one of the freelancers had outstanding communication while the other two were a bit slow in coming back to you – this may be important to you.

5. Quality Versus Time

Perhaps the project is time-sensitive and one of the contractors performed the task a lot quicker than the other two – this may be the over-riding factor for you, so the trial allows you to select the contractor based on this criterion.

The 3 Lancer technique costs you three times as much for the initial 10% of the job, but on a large job this will be a drop in the ocean compared to the advantages gained by getting the right freelancer working for you on the task – someone who meets your requirements of quality, communication, turnaround time and price.

Of course if anything does go wrong with the initial choice you also have two back-up freelancers to call upon without having to go through the whole hiring process again.

In rare circumstances where this method doesn’t throw up any good candidates you can re-submit the job posting and await more responses rather than go with a contractor you are not entirely happy with.

The team at Melbourne SEO Services has a wealth of experience in outsourcing and can advise you how to find freelance workers that will be a good fit for you. Visit to keep updated on the latest in outsourcing tips and strategies.

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