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How to make the right hire on Fiverr: assessing people effectively

A quick step-by-step technique/approach that I took recently:

I  was disappointed with how my last Fiverr relationship turned out.

So, when it came time to make updates to my website for the upcoming TSS launch, I wanted to find someone new to work with.

Previously, I found that first web designer by:

  1. Typing the service in the search bar
  2. Searching for the professional with the most and highest reviews in that search's results
  3.  Checking their reviews and prices
  4. If both look good, going with them

However, I may have found a better way.

Here's how I went about it this time:

#1. View Recommendations Made By Fiverr

Despite the Fiverr seller's poor character, he was still qualified from an expertise standpoint. So, I wanted to find someone similar in that regard.

I went to his sales page and scrolled down to the "Recommended For You" section:

This way, I was able to find the other Fiverr sellers who are relevant to what I'm looking for.

#2. Review Only the Top Recommendations

I opened all of the recommendations with a high number of reviews and high review rating in new tabs to compare them side-by-side, as well as to weed out any recommendations that Fiverr had put in that list but weren't relevant.

#3. Contact All of the Top Candidates

This will give you an idea of how they communicate as well as an opportunity to begin assessing their character.

Assessing People: A Search for Good Character

This approach has the obvious benefit of avoiding those who are simply unable to do the work (which is great, it avoids wasting time on both sides):

However, you also have the people who seem to show early signs of being a possible challenge to work with:

A minute later, he responds with:

These are signs to me that he may be a bit neurotic (or simply anxious).

But, it was enough for me to move forward with someone else that I feel more comfortable with.

Lucio Buffalmano, Growfast and Bel have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoGrowfastBel

I think the person you had the conversation with on fiverr is quite eager/enthusiastic to work.

It can be a positive, a guy who gives every minor update will help in keeping track, Of course you don't need to give long responses to whatever updates he gives.


If he has good reviews from customers and does quality work (which you ask samples off), I see it as a good deal.


(I noticed he is from Bangladesh, it's common there to not combine multiple messages at once)


Lucio Buffalmano and Ali Scarlett have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoAli Scarlett

Thank you for this guide, Ali!

I'll give it a try.

I agree with Growfast that there may be a cultural element there.

On the other hand, there are also some intercultural elements (and red flags) that are valid anywhere.
And I'd have also seen that pestering as a negative (it's also an intercultural power-signal that if one chases you, it sub-communicates he's not very busy with work, which is not exactly a green signal. If you contact my developer for example, he won't do that because he's full of work :).

Ali Scarlett, Bel and leaderoffun have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettBelleaderoffun
Check the forum guidelines for effective communication.
(Book a call) for personalized & private feedback


Here's how this new approach panned out for me the first time around.

First, I proposed my project idea:

She responds:

These days, I prefer if the freelancers I hire refrain from emojis because most of the time it comes across as unprofessional to me.

But, I think this one was particularly harmless, so I let it go.

What caught my attention though was the double-question mark.

A bit annoying to me, one would've been fine. But, not a huge red flag yet, more something to make a mental note of (in my opinion).

We start work and one of her first messages contains this:

Another double-question mark (which I'm now thinking might be a pattern of behavior for her) and, in this context, seems to be used to imply an urgency (especially, since she coupled it with "so I can start work" which made it seem to me like she's concerned about missing her deadline for this project because I didn't put the login in the Requirements field).

So, I send it over and, as it turns out, there was no urgency. She wasn't even planning to start that day.

On top of that, she adds another (even less professional, to me) emoji.

So far, not looking so good.

The next day, she sends me an update via the Fiverr inbox.

I prefer to keep communications in the order's thread in case I need a Fiverr dispute, so I move it back over:

By now, you get the idea that I'm not a fan of how she uses question marks :).

But, the "thanks for your feedback" was nice and a good sign to me.

Still, she was asking me to invest the effort of re-explaining something I'd already explained via a mockup that I took the time to graphic design just for this project. So, I point her back to the initial discussion we had where I sent her those images of what to make (which is the "assertiveness: jump through this hoop / make it easier for me" technique):

A positive response to my assertiveness.

And, we continue like this, her still sending the double-question marks sometimes, and me still ignoring them while giving good feedback on her progress.

So far, it's looking good, and here's a snapshot of how I communicate with the mockups included (so you can see how I try to make it as easy and clear as possible for designers to do my web design):

Then, a little later on, she seems to be getting tired of the revisions:

You might notice she says "let me know if I did any mistake again", as if she's now taking the revision requests as personal feedback on her competency as a web designer.

Hardly so, and I rarely frame my revisions as due to a "job done poorly" but often "something good that could be even better with these adjustments".

Then, I see why she was getting tired of the revisions...she was coming up on her deadline (which affects her Fiverr rating):

Ordering me to mark the order as complete (before I'm done) and give her a good review, but making it "optional" to ask for more revisions (with a "feel free" format) made me feel like she probably really wanted me to just mark the job as done.

That was a bit of an orange/red flag to me because we'd already discussed everything that needed to be done in the Fiverr inbox, so she knew the project was far from over. (She should've simply requested an extension.)

So, I do the opposite:

And, at first, she seems fairly OK about it, simply doing the work without complaints.

But, then she starts making frequent mistakes:

And, again:

My main issue is that she'll say she's done and then have to backtrack when it turns out she wasn't.

So, I address it after she makes two more mistakes:

She comes back saying it's all fixed:

Without having checked her work yet (and being a little frustrated with constantly finding more mistakes after she says she's done), I ask her if she made sure.

She says "yes" with a rolling eyes emoji (negative judge role).

I could ignore it as I've done with the question marks.

But, this felt like it was too disrespectful to me, so I address it:

I would've preferred if she apologized, or at least framed her request for me to ignore the emoji more power-protecting (e.g. "you can ignore that emoji, please..." rather than "please, ignore that emoji").

But, rather than press it more, it turned out she'd still left the job unfinished. So, I focus on bringing that up instead.

Now, would be a good time for her to apologize. But, instead, she only says, "Fixed," after resolving this last mistake.

After wrapping up the project, I give her permission to deliver the order. She does, with that same script ordering me to leave her a good review.

I leave her nothing instead.

Now, keep in mind, this is only the first case.

Through this same approach I was also able to have two really great experiences with Fiverr sellers that I plan to work with again for my future website needs.

So, it could be a case of sticking with it through the poor sellers to get to the gems. (And, this approach avoids wasting time with people who reveal themselves to be poor-quality early on.)

I noticed that this case study is from back in August, talk about long overdue :).

If you have any feedback, happy to read.

Transitioned and Bel have reacted to this post.

Thanks Ali, that's extremely useful.

I also share the same feeling that people using double or combined question or exclamation marks are very annoying.

It's also useful to confirm that emoji use on work should be avoided as much as possible as it comes across as unprofessional.

And finally your comments on her coming back with a question that annoyed you because you had already explained it to her. This is a very important point: making sure one doesn't have something already, before asking the client. I feel that it is an indication of experience, as a beginner will probably do that.

In general, if one has expertise, he's going to minimize requests to the client (and maybe make a single all-encompassing request at the start or after some time); if one does not, while working he will likely find he needs something else, and then something else, and so on, and burden the client more.

There could also be a correlation with the complexity of the work - the more work is complex, the more repeated requests for information and documents may be "justified".

Ali Scarlett and Transitioned have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettTransitioned

Thanks Ali. This will be very useful.  I had similar problem with a 5verr hire.  Coder kept blaming my requirements turns out they didn't have the skills.  I was doing the much easier half of the coding myself so across the detail of the needed.

I found a Romanian on Upwork who was grumpy but could do it. I do find the eastern European coders harder to catch but excellent.  I was doing the much easier half of the coding myself so across the detail of the needed

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