Once you’ve created a job posting on oDesk, the applications will start rolling in.

If you’ve included some pre-screening questions (as well as an accurate, intriguing description), your job posting might discourage unqualified candidates from applying to the position. Or, it might not.

If you wait for people to apply, you simply can’t guarantee what type of applicants you’ll get.

In this post, I’ll offer some quick tips for identifying and engaging better talent on oDesk.

Time is Often of the Essence

Reaching out to candidates is especially helpful when you need a candidate with highly specialized skills or if time is of the essence. Sometimes you simply don’t have time to spend several days waiting for qualified candidates to apply, setting up interviews, and finally getting them started on the project.

Maybe your company’s mobile app desperately needs to be updated, but the person who created the app no longer works for the company. Maybe your website crashed. Maybe a client needs a flyer created by Thursday morning. Whatever the case may be, sometimes recruiting a candidate is your best choice.

Be Proactive & Use oDesk’s Filters

If you have a posting that requires specific skills (for example, knowledge of a particular CRM platform), you may find that it’s easier to approach the hiring process from the standpoint of a recruiter. Instead of waiting for qualified applicants to apply for the position, you might choose to reach out to those applicants with an invitation to interview.

oDesk’s platform allows you to search for freelancers by specific skills (you can type a particular skill or keyword into the freelancer search tool), oDesk feedback rating, hourly rate, hours billed, last activity, location, English level, other languages spoken, type of freelancer, and performance on skills tests.

odesk filters

Using filters such as these can help you bolster your candidate pool. As pointed out in the Executive in Sweatpants outsourcing training, filters are your friend when recruiting freelancers.

Make Your Job Sound Interesting

Once you’ve narrowed down your candidate pool, it’s time to reach out and set up an interview.

When you reach out to a candidate with a request to interview, you may be unsure of what to say in your invite. After all, you aren’t anyone a job at this point. You are simply reaching out to learn if he or she is available and interested. In short, here are some quick tips:

  • Personalize the note – people love to see their names in lights!
  • Make your post sound important
  • Avoid grammatical or spelling errors
  • Give specific dates and times that you’re available to chat
  • Keep it brief

Want to see an example of an effective invitation to interview? Click here to download an email template for contacting candidates to interview.

Download the Template


Becky Trowbridge is a freelance marketing professional. She offers a wide variety of marketing support services, including content creation, social media cultivation, and landing page design.

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