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Why skills-based hiring is the smartest way to choose freelancers


As the digital age progresses, more and more workers are searching for flexibility in their career options – up to 36 percent of Americans now identify as independent workers. That makes freelance work an increasingly popular option.¹

Given this changing landscape and the large talent pool, HR professionals need to vet freelancers efficiently and accurately so they can confidently hire and create successful partnerships.

Skills-based hiring helps recruiters find the best possible talent for a specific job by accurately evaluating capabilities and knowledge. By taking a more targeted approach, HR professionals can ensure that the right person for the job is hired, even if it’s just a single project.

Contract freelancers with confidence using TestGorilla

Filter and find the right freelance talent

Finding the right freelancer for your company’s needs isn’t easy, especially considering the increased interest in freelance work by both workers and companies. Research predicts that the market share of freelance platforms that connect businesses to freelance talent will see an annual growth rate of 15%. This means the competition for good freelancers will get tougher.

Using skills-based assessments, recruiters can narrow down their search for freelancers based on the skills needed for the job. This leads to better outcomes and improved performance.

For example, imagine an organization looking for a web designer with coding expertise. Instead of screening hundreds of resumes (many with outdated job titles and degrees), HR teams can use skills-based assessments containing a specific target of tests, like JavaScript and Photoshop for designers, to identify freelancers who are the most qualified for the job. 

By testing freelancers before they're hired, companies ensure that the talent they've hired meets expectations

By testing freelancers before they’re hired, companies ensure that the talent they’ve hired meets their expectations. 

And candidates get the chance to showcase their knowledge using skills-based assessments rather than relying on a recruiter’s ability to infer their skills from their resume. These evaluations permit the best freelancers to showcase their specialized abilities and expertise, granting them an advantage over other applicants. 

As an added bonus: Skills-based assessments ensure your company is hiring freelancers with current knowledge of innovative platforms and industry standards. Your freelancers can integrate seamlessly with your team and keep projects moving whilst adding value and keeping costs low.

Recruit faster and more accurately

Skills-based hiring supports recruiters with an effective and streamlined hiring process. Candidates are tested before you even start scheduling or preparing to interview them. 

That means recruiters only spend time reviewing freelance candidates that have already demonstrated an aptitude for the task. In the long run, it means that you reduce your time to hire the right freelance talent for projects.

Through skills-based assessments, recruiters are empowered with insights that support faster and more informed decisions. With data on the performance of each freelancer, recruiters get an overall understanding of which freelancers best fit the job. 

For example, imagine you get 100 applications for a copywriting project. Each freelancer boasts they know SEO copywriting in their bio. So you’re left believing every word on their resume, going through countless writing samples, or relying on your familiarity with their past companies or background. Those, however, are not efficient or unbiased ways to evaluate freelancers. 

You don’t have the time to go through hundreds of applications, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find the ideal candidate by doing so. However, if you test all the freelancers with an SEO Copywriting test, you’ll be able to find suitable candidates and confidently schedule interviews. 

Match the freelancer to the specific opportunity

Skills-based hiring helps you identify freelancers whose knowledge and skill sets can positively contribute to specific desired outcomes rather than simply filling an empty position. 

Let’s imagine a computer company that is launching a new laptop. For the product launch, their marketing department needs additional help with Google Ads. In this case, the company doesn’t need someone with a well-rounded marketing skill set. They just need someone with a strong understanding of Google Ads that will bring their product page traffic and sales. 

With a skills-based hiring approach, recruiters can isolate a particular skill, like Google Ads, to find the best candidate for their particular needs. 

This approach makes your team agile and ready for any changes in customer demand and market trends. No matter the project you’re working on, you can always find the right freelancer with the specific skill set you need.

And apart from isolating the particular skill that will make a candidate successful, skills-based assessments can help avoid cultural mis-hires. Assessments find potential freelance candidates that will be a culture add to your company. Ultimately, this will affect the strength and compatibility of the working relationship. 

The agility and specificity of skills-based hiring allow you to find freelancers that can integrate with your team and hit the ground running. It allows you to manage projects more productively and cost-effectively, enabling successful matching of the best freelancer with the opportunity at hand.

Hire globally with ease

With flexibility at the core of freelancing, the talent pool for contractors goes beyond national borders. Companies now have the choice to hire from all corners of the world.

Global remote hiring of freelancers comes with its own set of challenges. Namely, there is a lack of confidence when it comes to venturing into hiring unknown talent with companies or institutes that aren’t recognized. And contracting global freelancers using traditional methods like resumes tends to raise problems of bias and an inability to test freelancers around the globe.

Skills-based assessments create a level playing field. This means that freelancers can compete for the same opportunities in a fair environment, regardless of location and academic background. This avoids the discrimination and bias inherent in traditional hiring.

For example, let’s say you have a project that requires input from a GDPR and privacy expert. The application attracts candidates from every corner of the globe. Without the tools to evaluate the candidates’ specific GDPR skills, recruiters may find it hard to make a decision or may end up relying on secondary information such as timezone or location without true insights into each candidate’s abilities. 

However, when recruiters are given the tools to test candidates objectively through skills-based assessment, it leaves less room for judgment and familiarity bias. Now the background, past company experience, and residence of a candidate don’t represent them – their skills and capabilities do. 

With skills-based assessment, you can hire your next freelancer with confidence that they have the capabilities, knowledge, and skills to succeed in the role, regardless of their background.

Contract freelancers with confidence using TestGorilla

TestGorilla’s skills-based assessments provide a reliable and consistent testing process that allows for an unbiased evaluation of freelance talent. Choose from our range of skills-based tests to hire with confidence, knowing the contracted freelancer will perform and match your project’s needs.

With skills-based hiring, you eliminate prejudice and outdated resumes, replacing them with insights into the skills and knowledge that freelancers bring to a project. This makes it easier for recruiters to find talented individuals who are qualified for projects and up-to-date on their skills, providing greater assurance in every hire.

TestGorilla makes hiring easy

TestGorilla makes hiring easy, giving you the best tools to find the right talent. Take a peek at how our skills-based assessments make hiring faster, easier, and better.


  1. McKinsey, ‘Freelance, side hustles, and gigs: Many more Americans have become independent workers,’ (August 2022)


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