How to write the best job description on Nabbesh

Hiring freelancers is brilliant for temporary projects and testing new ideas when you’re growing a business. Freelancers can relieve labour constraints to do more without committing your company’s revenues to new full-time salaries. They can execute specific tasks while you focus on plans and strategy – sounds great, yes?

What jobs should freelancers do?

It is usually advised not to hire freelancers for a job that would have been otherwise filled by a full-time salaried worker. Throwing too many tasks at a freelancer (even if adequately compensated) without including them in team strategy and team dynamics will lead to bad synergy. Be specific about the nature of the job and level of commitment you require from your freelancers.

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Don’t hire freelancers for core jobs you cannot absolutely do or don’t know much about especially if the job is complex. It’s essential that you and the newly hired freelancer speak the same language (figuratively) and can meet on specific task accomplishments. Instead, hire for jobs you can do, but don’t have time to. Your knowledge and experience with the job will help you set specific goal metrics for the new freelancer and ultimately cut a fine a line between failure and success. In other words, you will know if you hired the right skills to fill the right job. How much did it take to get the job done? What problems did you run into? The feedback and observations you will make will help make better recruitment choices once you’re ready to expand your team and operations.

How to write a stellar job position

Keep it short

Freelancers are constantly looking for new jobs and more revenues. Make it easier for them to grasp the job responsibilities and your business model by writing less and saying more. Do include specific tasks to be fulfilled, goals to be achieved and a brief line about the company (product, size, industry…). If you’re looking for answers for a problem of yours, ask for a proposal. Put it up front. The applicants won’t miss it.

Add the right skills

clearWhen posting a job position on Nabbesh.com, we will ask you to add skills that will help us direct you towards the best talent on our platform. This feature will help us categorize your job description  to attract the right talent for your business. Vague skills will result in a flood of applications.

Responsibilities/results

This is the most important section of your job position. Be clear about the nature of the job and the results you’re looking for. Discourage unqualified freelancers to apply or screen applications with a specific question they all have to answer. Other screening questions are previous relevant experience and previous sample work. Set approximate goals to introduce your freelancers to the work ahead of them.

 

Walk the freelancer walk? Nabbesh freelancers talk…

Ever wished you could get into the same elevator with a successful freelancer who has been on the job for  some time and actually survived to tell the tale? Ask them some questions about their experience and possibly receive some advice? Well, Nabbesh just made the chase much easier. We  sat down with three top freelancers* working in the Middle East. Enjoy their ‘ real life’ testimonials!

H.A., Magazine freelancer, based in Beirut, servicing clients in Lebanon and the broader Middle East (15 years)

I’ve been freelancing for about 15 years starting off by mixing it with full or part-timework but eventually going entirely freelance about eight years ago. The best thing is you get to dictate your schedule to a certain extent – take a coffee break, nap, go out, take a day off – these are all decisions you control, and even aspects such as if you want to work entirely in your pajamas from the comfort of your sofa. Yet while freelancing gives you flexibility, you may end up working more than if you were full-time — particularly if you work with clients who think nothing of dumping urgent jobs on you on a Friday evening. This makes it important to maintain a balance between being available and committed to your clients while ensuring you still have a personal life left.

…One of the big lessons to learn is when to say no. In the beginning you might feel like it’s
good to say yes to everything. You will reach a point, though, when you realize the great feeling that comes with saying no. Maybe the trickiest topic for any freelancer is how to gauge how much money to charge – and make sure that you get paid. Be smart in thinking how to secure compensation for your time. Always make sure the client gives you a firm and detailed brief. You will meet a lot of people who want something but don’t know how to express what they want and who are happy to send you off on a wild goose chase to find out, only to tell you when you have done all the work what exactly they had in mind was something altogether different. Your time is not free or limitless. Don’t accept a revised brief without explaining it will cost more.

Starting out on the right foot is the best way to minimize your time involvement and end up with a happy client – which as a freelancer is exactly what you should be aiming at.

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Ramy K., graphic design and digital media freelancer, based in Jordan, servicing clients all over the Middle East and Australia (6 years)

In 2009, I was a graduate student studying in London when I first started helping some of my friends who still hadn’t graduated from university in Jordan. They would ask me to check a digital render, an illustration, weigh in on the choice of font or color, among others. I used to do it free of charge at first. A couple of months later one of my classmates noticed that I always had extra work. She looked at me and said, “You know, it would be great if those people you’re helping could at least buy you the coffee you order every time you come to the coffee shop to look over their projects.”

…It was hard for me to talk to people I knew—my friends—about it. I was surprised that almost all of them welcomed the idea and didn’t mind paying a fee for my services. They even started referring me to professionals in the field such as agency owners. I started a full-time job in 2012. Five months later, I had quit, purchased a new computer and a beautiful, wide desk and transitioned to freelance. I now work not only on small projects but also on large-scale campaigns and commit to long-term contracts.

I would say managing my time, prioritizing tasks, and knowing how to approach a client about suggestions and concerns have been the most challenging skills to acquire and develop, but I’m getting there.

Mehr Farahani, Magazine and technical reports writer, based in Beirut, servicing clients in Saudi Arabia/broader GCC and Europe (3 years)

I am fairly new to the freelance game—I started while based in Beirut in May 2012 after having lived in the West all my life, and I have been doing it full-time up until the present. If it’s done right it can be the best possible way to live: you get to schedule your own time, you can pick and choose what to take on, and you usually end up doing a wide range of work.

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As a freelance writer, I feel like it is very similar to being in grad school — at least in terms of tempo and levels of stress. Despite my best efforts, I find I have to pull a few all-nighters a month just to get through my work. Most other freelancers I speak with have the same problem.

The most challenging thing about not working a 9-5 is being disciplined enough to stick to your deadlines. This requires a great deal of self-motivation and time management skills since you don’t have a boss over your shoulder policing you. If you can do that then working for yourself is the best possible way to live your life. Just remember: with freedom comes responsibility!

 

 

*The real names of the subjects have been replaced with pseudonyms.