Hiring Freelance Designers: 5 Things to Consider Which You Probably Missed

Attractive design plays a key role in brand building. See the top 5 things to consider hiring freelance designers which you probably missed.

By Claudio Pires
Updated on July 25, 2022
Hiring Freelance Designers: 5 Things to Consider Which You Probably Missed

Attractive design plays a key role in brand building. Whether you want to build a strong social media presence or engage website visitors, you need to invest in thoughtful, eye-catching, and relevant design. In this article, we’ll explore the five things to consider hiring freelance designers which you probably missed.


That emphasizes the importance of hiring skilled designers who will help you achieve your goals. But depending on the size and niche of your business, recruiting a full-time designer may not be affordable or practical for your company.

In such a scenario, hiring a freelancer or independent contractor will be a more feasible alternative. Working with a freelance professional presents a win-win situation for both employers and designers.

It gives designers the flexibility to work on their terms without the need for constant supervision. On the other hand, it absolves employers of legal liability, and eliminates the need for you to worry about employee benefits, taxes, overtime wages, etc.

The Rise of the Gig Economy

The culture of freelancing has been gaining traction among the younger generations. They enjoy the creative freedom and earning potential that come with being a freelancer. Roughly 44% of millennials and 50% of Gen Z are currently working as independent contractors. That figure will further skyrocket as more college graduates enter the job market. 

Moreover, pandemic-driven furloughs, layoffs, and pay cuts have compelled older generations to turn to the gig economy as well. A recent survey shows that nearly 2 million U.S. workers became freelancers in 2020.

Another 10 million employees might be contemplating becoming independent contractors in the near future.

That highlights the need for employers to change their recruitment strategies to accommodate freelancers. Apart from the economic advantage, you also get the liberty to hire designers in different time zones. It can go a long way to ensure continuity of work throughout the day.

However, it’s important to understand that recruiting independent contractors takes more effort than browsing a few freelancing platforms. You must have a clear understanding of how to negotiate the terms and maintain transparency with the selected designer.

Key Considerations for Hiring Freelance Designers

In the following sections, we’ll discuss a few important yet neglected things you should keep in mind before hiring a freelance designer for your company.

1. Contractor Misclassification: Consider Hiring Freelance Designers

It’s one of the most common mistakes that employers make when working with independent contractors. As long as you’re hiring them for short-term projects, it’s acceptable to classify a designer as a freelancer.

However, if they’re expected to work full-time or on long-term projects, they might be entitled to the same benefits and rights as permanent employees. Ignoring that aspect could put you at risk of hefty penalties due to contractor misclassification.

If you aren’t open to the idea of hiring a full-time designer for a long-term project, a clever alternative would be to work through an employer of record (EoR).

An employer of record for independent contractors assumes complete responsibility for payroll, taxes, and legal compliance. While you continue to supervise and instruct employees, you don’t have to worry about workforce management.

Working with an EoR is particularly useful when you’re hiring a freelancer from overseas. It eliminates the need for you to establish a legal entity in a foreign country before you can start recruiting. Also, it helps you avoid legal hassles due to non-compliance with local labor laws and tax codes.

2. Aesthetic Fit

It’s easy to get impressed by a portfolio featuring trendy designs and edgy artwork. But you should consider how well a designer’s aesthetic style will align with your brand. Also, keep in mind the project you want to hire them for.

Let’s say you need a designer to create a sales pitch presentation using PowerPoint. It’d be wiser to hire someone with traditional sensibilities instead of out-of-the-box ideas. On the other hand, if you need graphics for a social media campaign, a quirky aesthetic sense could do the trick.

3. Consider References Hiring Freelance Designers

Trust is one of the most crucial factors that deter employers from hiring freelancers. An effective way of building trust is to ask the designer for references. If they’re worth their salt, they’ll readily connect you with clients they’ve worked with, in the past. 

Whether you’re hiring through a freelancing platform or word-of-mouth recommendations, make sure you check a few references. Keep an eye out for the type of projects they’ve worked on, and the kind of challenges their clients had to face.

4. Other Professional Commitments

When you’re hiring an independent contractor, you can’t expect them to dedicate all their time and resources to your project. It’s obvious that they’re going to simultaneously handle multiple projects and clients.

Talk to the designer to get an idea of the projects they’re currently involved in. Explain the full extent and scope of the project to help them determine whether they can devote the required time. It’ll help avoid any misunderstandings once you’ve hired them.

5. A Well-Defined Timeline: Consider Hiring Freelance Designers

Specifying a date for finishing the project isn’t enough. You need to provide the designer with a clear timeline of how the project will progress. Outline key milestones, such as completion of the first draft and final revision before submission. Make sure you clearly identify the deliverables at each stage as well.

Closing Thoughts

The freelance economy offers several benefits to both employers and professionals. If you’re hiring a freelance designer, make sure you check a few references and get an idea of their current work commitments. Also, if you’re hiring for a long-term project, it might be wiser to work with an employer of record for independent contractors.

Claudio Pires

Claudio Pires is the co-founder of Visualmodo, a renowned company in web development and design. With over 15 years of experience, Claudio has honed his skills in content creation, web development support, and senior web designer. A trilingual expert fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he brings a global perspective to his work. Beyond his professional endeavors, Claudio is an active YouTuber, sharing his insights and expertise with a broader audience. Based in Brazil, Claudio continues to push the boundaries of web design and digital content, making him a pivotal figure in the industry.