This is a general overview of the process for finding, hiring, working with and paying Freelancers on Elance.
Step 1: Finding Freelancers and Posting a Job
To find a great Freelancer for any job, you can either post a public job and begin receiving proposals from any Elance Freelancer who might be interested, or search for specific Freelancers and privately invite them to submit a proposal to you. Actually, you can do both by posting a job publicly and also inviting specific Freelancers you like.
Once the job is posted, Freelancers will submit proposals with details on what they will deliver, by when and for how much.
See our video tutorial on how to hire great people and post your job on Elance University.
Step 2: Reviewing Proposals and Choosing a Freelancer
Once proposals have been received, you will review them and evaluate candidates and their profiles, portfolios, credentials and Feedback on Elance. Often a quick online interview will happen via Skype or another software program of your choosing. You then make your selection by clicking the Select button.
Once a job is awarded, a Workroom is created and all communications from the proposal review phase are transferred over automatically. All future communications, files, status reports, and Milestones will be managed from within the Workroom.
Step 3: Defining the Terms
The next step is to set up the work engagement itself, establishing key Milestones and dates of delivery. Milestones clarify the schedule and payments for the work. Elance Escrow makes this simple and helps protect both parties. Note that you should never have to pay any upfront down-payments with the use of Milestones and Escrow.
The Freelancer will view the Terms and Milestones of the job and either accept them, or propose new Terms to the client for their review and acceptance. If the Freelancer makes recommendations and changes to the business Terms, the client is notified, and so on until both parties collectively accept the Terms. All of this communication takes place in the shared online Workroom, with each party being notified as things progress.
Step 4: Starting the Work
Once both parties accept the Terms, the client is notified that it's time to fund the first Milestone for the work to begin.
Step 5: Managing the Work
Now that Terms are agreed to, and the first Milestone is funded, the work can begin. Freelancers and their Clients use the Workroom to communicate and collaborate on the work in progress. Files are shared, comments are made, and live communication is facilitated through messaging. All communications are stored to ensure that both parties can review all comments at any time.
Every week, the Freelancer is prompted to submit a Status Report, outlining what was done that week, how much time was spent, and tracking progress toward establish Milestones. This is an important way to monitor progress and enable you to steer the work.
If there are changes during the course of a job, at any time either party can update the Terms by going to the job’s Workroom. Milestones can be added, deleted, or edited. Once any changes are submitted, the other party can choose to accept, modify or decline the updates.
View our Elance University video for more information on how to manage the work effectively.
Step 6: Receiving Results and Releasing Payment
As Milestones are met, the Freelancer will submit their work through the Workroom for review and approval. Once approved, the funded Milestone is released and funds are transferred to the Freelancer's account. At this point, the next Milestone gets funded, and work continues.
Step 7: Leave Feedback
Once the job is complete and the final Milestone payment is released, both you and your Freelancer can leave Feedback. This helps build a track record for both parties.
For more information on how to get the most out of your Elance experience, view our Elance University tutorials.