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5 Hacks During Freelancer Hiring Process that Will Save You the Headache – 2024 Tips


The freelancer hiring process might be tricky on Upowrk and many other similar platforms offering the same concept. I have been working on Upwrok for a while already on both sides as a client and freelancer. There were few things that, I did not know when I first started as an employer and I wish I knew them before actually hiring someone. The lack of knowledge and experience led me to losing money and get robed legally.

This article will discuss 5 hacks that will definitely help you find the right freelancers for your projects. I am using these 5 hacks every single time, I post a job. Even though these are not bullet proof hiring tactics. I can still rest assure that by using these tactics, I will filter out the unwanted and unfit applicants.

Overall, you are still required to use your own judgment to decide if you could work with some of the potential freelancers over proposed terms and conditions.

Anyway without further explanation, let’s get into this “freelancer hacking tutorial”.

Insert a “Keyword” into your Job Postings for Smooth Freelancer Hiring Process

I highly suggest you to insert a keyword requirement for each one of your job postings on Upwork. This little keyword will really help you save time when screening and will also help you eliminate the automatic applications. It is really shocking how many people actually do not read the job description.

This hack works every single time and I have saved a lot of my time by using this hack. Please take a look at the, example description below and I will walk you through it and explain the “magic” behind.

” We have developed an interesting infographic. We are keen to distribute it and get in touch with high DA websites. Only the approved websites with our infographic posted will be counted. 
Please only apply if you have any previous experience with lead generation, email marketing, SEO etc.
This is fixed contract and the duration will be 2 weeks. I will measure the results of your work at the end of every week.

Please start your application with *Bitcoin*

I will not consider any agencies so please do not apply if you are representing an agency!

Thanks ”

The freelancer hiring process might look like just “plug and play”. However, it does not always work the same way in the real world.

I have inserted my “keyword” strategically before the end of my job posting. Do not insert your statement “Please start your application with *Bitcoin* “at the beginning of your job posting -Why not?

It will not filter out the people that have not fully read and understood your requirements. If you still decide to put it at the beginning you might find yourself “swimming” in generic applicants.

Insert your “keyword” close to the end but not on the end of your job post. I tend to insert mine right after the important main part. This tends to bring better more effective results. Try to camouflage your “keyword” requirement statement with more of the job description.

Once you start receiving your proposals, you will notice how easy it is to filter out candidates without the “keyword”. You do not need to open individually each one of the applications. The “keyword” will be displayed by Upwork right below the freelancer’s profile page. Furthermore, if you ask them to insert the “keyword” at the beginning of their application it shows few important things:

  • The freelancer has read and understood the terms and conditions
  • The freelancer is ready to follow your simple guidelines
  • Attention to detail


If you have good rated freelancer on Upwork and they have not inserted and followed your simple request, what does that behaviour generally tells you? I guess their ratings and feedback will not be relevant anymore. To maximize the success of your freelancer hiring process, simply use the hacks.

Worked Hours

Even though worked hours is not an evidence that a freelancer will be capable to do the job it helps me figure out the dedication and consistency over period of time.

This is very simple hiring hack that you could achieve immediately within the settings of your job post on Upwork.

Upwork Filter Freelancer Hiring Process

As you can see that little cool filter section can make your day nice and easy and help you eliminate candidates that do not fit the requirement.

I usually prefer to hire established freelancers for the simple reasons, I mentioned above.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I am using the platform as a client and freelancer. For example, to put this filters into perspective as I am sure you are not aware of these industry secrets. All freelancers will be still able to see and apply to any of the job posting with special filters.

However, before they even submit their application. The freelancers will see little warning message popping up saying: “You do not meet all the requirements set by the client”.

However, Upwork still encourages unqualified freelancers to apply for the job postings. As a result, you will still be able to see those candidates. This is not a bullet proof system as you can see. It is causing frustration among both sides. Then I ask myself, what is the real purpose for these filters? Is it only to make me feel good? Or simply to push away the unqualified freelancers?

For whatever reason, the filters were implemented they are not really a guarantee that your freelancer hiring process will go smooth.

If you really want to save time, money and nerves. The only solution is to use all of these hiring hacks into combination and I guarantee you some positive progress.


I really cannot guarantee you that your freelancer hiring process will be without any obstacles and no casualties.

I would like to encourage you to read and go through all of the submitted feedback on each of your potential freelancers. However, a word of advice. Do not take the submitted feedback for granted and also 100% truthful. Please tell me, do you like movies with corrupted cops? I do and I like to search for the sources.

I strongly advise you to go through the client’s profiles that have submitted the feedback and see their background. The very simple reason for this is that the feedback might not be entirely based on good work.

For example, the job post I have just showed you above with the “keyword”. I was told actually by the Freelancer to submit a 5-star feedback at the end of the project as my budget was not high enough. However, he will do it for the feedback. Really?


Once you narrow the circle with the potential freelancers. The next step is to go through their work and see the quality of their work. Simply by looking at the portfolio might help you figure out the following things:

  • Quality
  • Creativity
  • Style

In case your selected freelancers do not have uploaded portfolio, you might want to request it as supporting evidence along with their application. You should always seek reference to their work.

Usually the cover letter is only “bla bla” and full of clichés so you could skip that part. The most important is to see the actual work. For example, if you are hiring a graphic design freelancer, ask for their latest work examples. If you are hiring for SEO expert, ask for some proof and evidence to support their application. It would be actually very difficult to prove you that this is their work. However, please read the article “how to become an authority author”.

This will help you to determine a good SEO expert the things you want to pay attention while you go through your freelancer hiring process.

The Interview

This is your last line of defence. The interview is your last chance to determine if the candidate is actually the person who they tell you they are. Word of advice is to skip the “Chats”. My personal experience is that by simply using the messaging option on Upwork or anywhere else, will not help you find the right person.

I have tried many times to use the chats and I have failed miserably every single time. Arrange a genuine interview with all of your candidates. It might be time consuming but it is definitely a good way to take a decision.

The interviews themselves should be at least 15 min duration. The very simple for that is to find out how your potential candidates will react on the questions under pressure.

I would keep the entire process very formal. Ask intentionally the same questions as on your job posting. Write down the answers and compare it later with the one from the application. Ask questions, Ask more questions.

Extra Hack, Google them

For those of you still reading, I am going to throw one extra hack, to be one more step ahead. Google their names, find their social accounts and their identity. If you are planning to hire someone long term and this is your only free time you can dedicate doing freelancer hiring process use all the available tools and hacks. There is nothing wrong with Googling people. All recruiters do it too, just nobody is aware of that. It is free public information and you can use it as a powerful tool in your arsenal.