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Updated: May 12

One of the advantages of hiring freelancers and independent contractors is the opportunity to tap into a global talent market.

Expanding your search for freelance talent beyond domestic freelancers can significantly broaden your qualified talent pool, particularly for the most in-demand skillsets. And international freelancers are often available at lower rates, saving your company money. But how do you source and hire international freelancers and independent contractors?


Top countries for freelancers


The gig economy is growing rapidly, not just in the US but around the globe. You can hire freelancers located in many different countries. Outside of the US, some of the countries with the fastest freelancing growth include:

  1. Bangladesh

  2. Brazil

  3. India

  4. Pakistan

  5. Philippines

  6. Russia

  7. Serbia

  8. Ukraine

Ways to source international freelance talent


So how do you find the right freelancer or independent contractor? In many ways, the best ways to find the right talent are the same as when sourcing domestic freelancers.


Start with your network. Referrals are an excellent source for highly qualified talent. Expand your search by leveraging LinkedIn and other professional networks. Post and share opportunities through social channels and freelance communities. For example, Reddit and Facebook have freelance groups. You can also use local job boards to source talent.


Many freelancers maintain websites that include their portfolio or work samples — use search keywords based on the type of role/skillset you are hiring for plus the desired country (for example, “graphic designer India”). You can also work with freelancing platforms such as Fiverr and Freelance.com.


Vetting international freelance talent


Vetting talent is critical for ensuring the right fit for your project and team. And vetting goes beyond an interview — make sure to request client testimonials/references, samples of past work, and portfolios (if applicable). You may also want to complete a background check.


Paying Freelancers and Vendors?

Our customers report that using Liquid allows them to put off hiring an Operations Manager and/or Bookkeeper.


Consider a small, paid trial project when engaging an international freelancer or independent contractor for the first time. A trial project is a great way to verify that the freelancer has the right skills, communicates effectively, and partners well with your team. And it also allows the freelancer to assess whether your company and work is the right fit for them.


Hiring international freelance talent


When hiring international freelancers or independent contractors, you need to make sure that your company is complying with the requirements for the US and the country the freelancer is located in. Laws and regulations that determine whether you are hiring a freelancer and not an overseas employee vary by country. Our Essential Guide to Working with International Freelancers breaks down the key steps to follow.


As always, you should always have a well-drafted contract prior to initiating any work with a freelancer or independent contractor. A detailed work order (WO) or statement of work (SOW) should delineate the project specifics and deadlines. Depending on the nature of the work, you may also want to have the freelancer sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)


A must-have document for all international freelancers to complete is IRS Form W-8 (Form W-8BEN for individuals, Form-8BEN-E for entities). Form W-8 is required to determine tax reporting and withholding. Note that if you are working with a US freelancer living abroad, you instead need to collect Form W-9. Liquid is designed to make working with domestic and international freelancers easy and includes the option to request these forms automatically.


Paying international freelancers and contractors


There are several ways to pay international freelancers. Liquid makes it fast and simple to pay freelancers, independent contractors, and vendors in 175+ countries. International payments are delivered securely in 3-5 days via wire transfers to bank accounts. Freelancers and vendors can choose to receive their payouts in USD or their local currency (where currently supported). Additionally, as the client, you can choose whether you want to receive invoices in USD or in select foreign currencies.


Managing Freelancers and Vendors?

Our customers report saving 20 hours per month (on average) when they use Liquid’s complete contractor and vendor management system.

Start working with international freelance talent


Tapping into the global liquid workforce provides your company with a new source of skilled talent, frequently at a lower cost. Liquid helps you simplify onboarding, managing, and paying your foreign/international freelancers, independent contractors, and vendors. And Liquid is designed to help you with compliance requirements and mitigate permanent establishment risk. It’s time to take advantage of the global freelance market.

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3 min read

How to Source International Freelance Talent

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