Taking the risk out of hiring an IT freelancer

Taking the risk out of hiring an IT freelancer

As the owner of a medium-sized retail medical company, I’ve watched over the years as technical experts raise awareness of website security and the protection of data. My customers demand privacy! A breach of our ecommerce site was a huge concern – one we could no longer ignore this past year.

I knew I needed to find a tech to help plug any holes that might exist in our system. Yet, I had no idea how to vet someone to ensure they had the required expertise to identify the vulnerabilities and select proven methods to make sure the holes remained closed. So, I embarked on an extensive research project to find an IT professional that fit my needs and my budget.

My journey began with big freelance aggregators that seemed to provide a huge number of contractor choices. I was optimistic when I posted a couple of jobs, but my hopefulness soon faded. My first red flag was the lack of transparency as to who would be completing the work. My selected IT service provider had a head office in the US, but the actual programmers were in Romania or India.

freelancer

While this alone wasn’t a problem, it made me nervous not knowing the name of the individual, or knowing whether they had the right credentials for my needs. Did they have the necessary expertise my projects need to be well executed? Would they deliver quality work with the necessary protection for my business in today’s hacker-vulnerable IT landscape? I wasn’t sure.

What troubled me most was that I had no idea whether these techs would place as high a priority on due diligence as I would have. I do not possess the knowledge to provide a high level of scrutiny when working with such contractors. I found myself taking a leap of faith that I would be working with individuals who held a stringent standard of excellence. Needless to say, my quest to rid myself of online vulnerabilities made me more nervous than ever before.

After spending far too many hours fretting over the fact that I may have created more risk in the process of trying to mitigate my risk, I stumbled across SWAG. I soon discovered the benefits of working with an outsourced talent marketplace in which the IT pros were vetted through first- and third-party systems. Let me share with you the benefits of using such a system.

  1. Verified Up-to-Date Knowledge: My concerns about real-time vulnerabilities made me especially careful about finding a contractor with current knowledge on security threats. SWAG made it easy for me to search only individuals who’d received recent training on security protocols, ensuring my network and data would be protected.
  2. One-to-One Communication: Unlike other talent search sites, I was able to communicate personally with the individual working on my website. This personalized service was provided every step of the process. From the time we negotiated and signed the contract, through the evaluation and programming stage, all the way to invoicing and payment. I was more comfortable collaborating with a single individual than I was working with a larger shop.
  3. Technology-Specific Expertise: When posting by project, I was presented with specific questions to determine which technologies I currently used. With that information, I was able to refine my project and zero in on the professionals I needed based on differentiated certifications. This self-selection process, based on contractor certification, made it incredibly easy for me, a non-tech person, to know I was working with the right expert.
  4. Performance Goals: Working with certified professionals meant that they were able to provide top-tier metrics, such as yearly performance goals and ongoing security check-ups. This gave me a much greater degree of confidence in their work.

freelancer work call

Needless to say, I could have saved myself a significant amount of stress had I found SWAG sooner. Now that I’m aware of this amazing resource, there’s no going back to my original research-heavy solution. I confidently tell my customers that their information is secure, giving piece of mind to everyone involved.

Speak With A Geek

This post was sponsored by Speak With A Geek (SWAG), the leading provider of tech help to businesses.

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