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  1. #1
    illegal ********* immigrant
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    How to deal with 'per hour' rates as an employer?

    Hi!

    I want to hire freelance designers on a per hour basis for my next project but I don't know how to make sure that the freelancer work exactly the amount of time that he bills me for.

    I don't want to pay for 3 hours if he only worked 45 minutes! Do any of you guys have any experience with 'per hour' freelancers?

    Is it ethically correct to have him screen capture his pc and send me the video file afterwards?

    Any tips would be great!
    Thanks
    My latest project: http://voxmap.com, an awesome real-time traffic map. "See" your website's traffic!

  2. #2
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
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    I think it is essential to retain a level of trust between you and the person you are hiring. I would hate to have to send video files to prove I am working for a solid 3 hours. - it's just silly! (IMO)

    Sometimes I will bill less then the amount of time I have worked because I feel it has taken be longer than it should have, and sometimes, in the past, I have billed more than the amount of hours it actually took me because I know what my skills are worth.

    I would go ahead and hire somebody - and if they are billing too much (regardless of how long they have actually worked) then tell him/her that!

    One freelancer will do in an hour what another freelancer will do in two hours.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru babyboy808's Avatar
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    It's all relative to the freelancer you hire. As Jimmy has said:

    One freelancer will do in an hour what another freelancer will do in two hours.
    I understand where you are coming from and if you have a small budget. I personally would charge on per project basis as this limits extra hours slipped in by them.

  4. #4
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    I also agree with Jimmy, the time it takes will vary from designer to designer but you do need to place some trust in the designers you hire.

    If you want to make sure you are going to get value for money you can ask for references of previous clients of theirs and ask the client what they thought about whether they thought the hours were fair. Also ask for detailed time sheets of what work was done.

    Some designers may take less time than others, but also some designers may have terrible people skills or be difficult to work with - money isn't everything. You want to have designers that you are comfortable with that you can build a relationship with and who will be good to your clients. If these designers take a bit longer then it may be worth it.

    Over time as you work with different designers you will get a better idea of how long it takes them to do certain aspects of work, so that will help you as well.

    I charge an hourly rate, but I would say more often than not I undercharge the hours if I feel that it has taken longer than it should for whatever reason.

    If a client wanted to video me as I worked I would probably refuse the job.


  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    You might want to look for someone who can give you a fixed cost for a work "session". You'd have to agree exactly what work would be done but at least there wouldn't be any nasty surprises.

    Like others here I usually bill by the hour and pro-rata for every block of 20 minutes. If it's a big job then I'm sometimes happy workinng to a flat fee, but it really depends on the project.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I myself work at a web design company which allows companies to hire professionals on hourly basis. From my experience, I can suggest that there are three pieces to your puzzle:

    1. Timesheets
    Ask the designer to maintain a timesheet of work that they are doing and send it to you before the end of the day. Open a google excel sheet for this, so that you can keep track of it from anywhere. Just put following columns in it:

    1. Date
    2. Project
    3. Task
    4. Hrs

    You should confront the designer directly if you feel something is taking unsually longer.

    2. Ask for estimates
    Just after any task is assigned, ask the designer - "How much time do you think it should take?".

    3. Monitoring and Benchmarking
    You have to check-in with the designer at-least twice everyday to make sure that a) the designer is on-track b) has all the information that is required to do the piece of job that has been assigned. You need to use your own experience to determine if it is going fine or taking too long. Once the designer knows that the work is being tracked, the chances of any smart plays will be minimized.
    Mukul Gupta
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    _______________________________________
    Design | Development | Internet Marketing

  7. #7
    I hate Spammers mobyme's Avatar
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    This snooping facility already available if you hire your freelancers through 0desk. I personally wouldn't dream of doing it to any of our freelancers as I think it shows a complete lack of trust and respect. Its not that difficult to assess how long a task or assignment should take based on prior agreement; if something takes a little longer there is usually a good explanation. The vast majority of freelancers are not looking to rip you off and quite often submit less hours than it actually took because they think it reflects on their capabilities. The best way to get good work from freelancers that you can totally rely on is to treat them as absolute equals; and not as some sort of underling that needs to be watched.
    There are three kinds of men:
    The ones that learn by reading.
    The few who learn by observation.
    The rest of us have to pee on the electric fence.

  8. #8
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    Yes, I was about to say Odesk also. I don't use this. What I find is if someone is not getting the quality of work I need, it will become apparent. Someone who does good work will never need to lie about hours.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by weirdmonkey View Post
    I want to hire freelance designers on a per hour basis for my next project but I don't know how to make sure that the freelancer work exactly the amount of time that he bills me for.

    I don't want to pay for 3 hours if he only worked 45 minutes! Do any of you guys have any experience with 'per hour' freelancers?
    I'm going to make a couple of assumptions here, correct me if I'm wrong. Assumption 1: You know what you want the freelance designers to do. Assumption 2: You know how much you're wanting to pay for the freelancer's aspect of the project. If both of those assuptions are correct, it doesn't make any sense to me at all to complicate the relationship with an hourly rate. Keeping it per project simplifies things greatly (in this situation). Paying per project puts the responsibility of time management and accurate estimation on the other party...per hour means YOU have to manage his/her time and then attempt to estimate how long it will take at his/her current rate of progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by weirdmonkey View Post
    Is it ethically correct to have him screen capture his pc and send me the video file afterwards?
    If I thought this would be even remotely necessary for the freelancer I was looking at, I would keep looking. Don't hire someone unless you're comfortable with the relationship. I personally would never request a screen capture nor would I ever fulfill a request for a screen capture.


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