If you have ever tried outsourcing a simple or complex task, you might have stumbled across a freelancer who seemed to know what he was doing, but was unable to deliver. Here are the top 3 tactics to use in order to find a good freelancer:

Ask to work on a fixed-price basis: The most confident freelancers about your project will certainly agree. People who aren’t so sure about their skills will want to work on an hourly basis. Some freelancers only work on an hourly basis, but if they’re good enough, they should be able to guarantee that they won’t exceed the maximum number of hours agreed upon.

Check your freelancer’s background: Freelancers these days have websites, LinkedIn profiles, blogs, profiles on freelance marketplaces and so on. Make sure you check those, and ask for at least two client references. Get in touch with those references, and ask about your freelancer’s strengths.

Conduct a real-time interview: If you’re hiring offline, then face to interviews are best. If not, a Skype video call is the next best thing. Ask them about their work process, issues they had with clients and how they worked on preventing them on future projects, and their preferred communication method. The purpose of this interview is to help you understand if your personalities are compatible or not.

These are simple, straightforward steps I use when hiring for my own team. Are there any other tactics that have worked for you?