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I'm currently freelancing doing mostly front-end development and design; things are going very well, sometimes a little too well... Lately I'm finding myself overbooked, if they are and hold ups along a project its eating away at my time and I'm starting to annoy clients because I'm over stretched!

I'd really like to find another freelancing in the UK who would be willing to partner up and take some load off me. Obviously I'd like to find someone who I could trust, and they would have to have strong skills.

I just haven't got time to go to freelancing sites and do it that way, plus I'm really fussy about good clean consistent code.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for how to find a partner as a freelancer?

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    Soliciting freelancers is quite definitely against the scope of this site (regardless of the fact it's not even written down fully yet). I suggest you edit your question and try not to make it sound like you're trying to do this. – Amelia Aug 23 '13 at 5:42
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    I'm a freelancer and have a genuine question about sourcing partners... – MyShopify Consultants Aug 23 '13 at 8:27
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    I got that, but I've deleted a bunch of comments that seem to think otherwise. – Amelia Aug 23 '13 at 8:29
  • Let me point you in the direction of the Professional Contractors Group link who have a forum for this sort of solicitation. – Andrew Aug 23 '13 at 9:34
  • Read my post about finding the right contractor for your overload is not as easy as it sounds. Best of luck anyway. – Peter MV Aug 23 '13 at 12:41
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Place an advertisement in traditional venues (Online/newspapers).

You aren't going to just stumble upon someone. You will have to seek them out, or ask them to contact you then vet them yourself.

In my experience, looking for people online with a specific skill set simply results in a lot of wasted time due to many thinking they can do a job they can't. You'll need to get a list of prospective partners, then go over their qualifications just as any employer would.

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You can post online or local ads, but if you prefer to work with someone in your country, you can specify it. It's also very different to "partner" with someone or to hire that person as a contractor; you cannot either expect the same kind of loyalty from a contractor you will get from a partner.

There are a few things you need to consider and that can give you some clues on where you should look for freelancing partners:

  1. You need to make sure they sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with you before the "interview." Trust is very important but the law is what will protect you in these cases. That's why you also benefit from hiring someone in the same country as you. It's also very important to add clauses that forbid the contractor or candidate to contact your clients. I suggest to be transparent with your clients if you use a contractor but this is your personal decision.

  2. You might want to hire someone first and then offer a partnership agreement after testing her/his skills. This gives you more control on the information you're expected to share with them and what you prefer to keep for yourself. This is a good investment for you.

  3. If possible, find a partner that is a full-time freelancer as well. The reason is that many freelancers do it as a side job and they will always prioritize their full-time job first. It's important to find someone who has the same goals as you and understands your priorities. They're also usually more reliable than part-time workers.

  4. If you have a potential candidate in mind, go have a look at their social media profiles and do a good search online with any of the email addresses you have that belongs to this person, pseudonym, interests, etc. This way you'll learn a lot about the candidate his/her level of maturity, understanding of privacy and professionalism. That will also help to add important details in your contract that could save you a lot of troubles later (eg. people posting drunk pictures or saying negative comments about their clients online or people with a "Steam" gamer profile with 30hr a week of gaming!)

  5. Ask for a Skype interviews, phone conversations and meetings. Lot of things can be read through body language and the voice tone (eg. hesitation)!

  6. If you ever, EVER have a little red light or weird feeling about a candidate, listen to your guts instinct and try to not compromise. If you aren't sure of something, do your investigation, don't feel uncomfortable to ask questions For example, if the candidate says things like "My wife will help if I can't do all the work..." This is a big NO; you don't want to be stuck with a third party that isn't fully part of your NDA and contract.

  7. And of course, ask for references if possible but most of all, examples of previous projects. Do a research such as reverse image search or looking in the source code to see if the work is really his/hers. Sometimes a nice Wordpress theme might look very good but it's still not really about coding but small code customization. That might not be what you need or can't do yourself.

  8. Make sure the terms, payments, mode of payments, number of weekly hours and conditions are agreed on, and understood. As contractors, they should understand that you cannot give them 100% of the payment you get yourself simply because of your work managing the projects and also the cost of transactions. A good number, is to keep at least 30% for yourself and adjust this accordingly. If you ever get into partnership with someone else, then that number can change but so is the share of the expenses.

  9. You should tell your contractor or future partner about the kind of contract and clients you target. Some people might not be comfortable working on some topics for different reasons (eg. moral principles, religious beliefs, previous agreement with their own clients, etc.)

  10. You can find freelancers pretty much anywhere and don't limit yourself to freelance websites. In fact you might find a better fit in business online groups (eg. LinkedIn), associations, by referral, local employment center or by browsing the web. On freelancers's sites, a lot of freelancers have their own business and enjoy the "freedom" they get there, OR have very rigid terms that may not be a good fit for collaboration OR are part-time freelancers and not fully invested in their freelance career. A lot of very talented and hard working freelancers are not always "hawking" loud about their skills because... they're busy working or they simply more introvert! You can find these people sometimes by being observant on social media or following their blogs; they could be a friend of a friend for example. Have initiative and take the attitude of a talent seeker.


Finally, it's the same as hiring an employee and you have all rights and the tools to make sure you hire someone you'll enjoy working with. You can totally act in the same way as any employer, you can set your requirements as you want. You can start by hiring them as contractors and then offer partnership that should give you more freedom if you change your mind along the way or discover things you don't like about the contractor (eg. bad attitude, late projects, bad quality.)

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