"We, the operator of the business and creator of the product need to be solving the needs of the marketplace and solving the problems for our team. " - Jamie Stenhouse

This UpWork Screening System Attracted “A Player” Talent At One-Tenth The Cost.

Between my agency and my software company its rare to find anyone on our staff who is being paid over $10usd.

Why? Not because we’re cheap or we’re delivering crap to our clients, quite the opposite actually as we have generated customers in over 100 different industries.

I’ve chosen to build my companies on processes, not people. That single line is why I can attract A Player Talent at One-Tenth the cost.

Most entrepreneurs when they go onto upwork or any other freelance hiring platform are going in there expecting to have their problems solved by someone when in reality we need to be addressing them.

We, the operator of the business and creator of the product need to be solving the needs of the marketplace and solving the problems for our team. This allows our team to quickly and effectively hop in, do our work or get our clients results with minimal effort on their end and little to zero input on our end.

So what does this look like you may ask?

It looks like US designing a simple process based on a production line or a before and after template that allows our team to solve a problem or a set series of challenges. The moment you rely on your team to solve problems, the entire machine will slow down, and you’ll begin paying for experts.


Does this mean our team should never solve problems? No of course not.


This means that the team has a clear understanding of how to get a result done. If it be onboarding a client and the client gets stuck, we have a solution for our team to fix that. If it is we need more leads for our agency, then the team has a series of steps to take to book 12 sales calls a day. If the client’s search rankings have been slipping, there is a contingency plan to begin deploying to combat that.

How about when your team runs into new problems? You guessed it, you work with them to solve that problem then document and create a before / after process around this. (This video explains what a before / after process is. They are the most natural thing in the world to create: https://www.jamiestenhouse.com/letstalk)

That may be all well and good, solving problems for your team before they run into them removes friction from the business. Below is a screenshot of my team solving 22 problems and completing 22 tasks overnight.

If you want a team like this then lets set up a time to chat, and I can show you how it’s done: https://www.jamiestenhouse.com/letstalk


Otherwise, how do you attract that kind of a team that isn’t:


a) Overpriced

b) Doesn’t need to be micromanaged

c) Doesn’t need to have their work checked or more importantly re-done.

There are a few vital signs of an A-Player in the making without the price that I look for when I hire from Upwork.

The first, of course, is I sort the applicants by price. If they are 3x and above what we are looking for regarding hourly wage then its usually quite hard to have them come down to the price we need. So rather than waste their time and our time, we merely archive those.

The next is we review the number of hours they have worked on the platform, ideally the more hours, the better but with the consideration that some freelancers are just starting on upwork. Which takes us to point 3.

Communication on and attention to detail. This is where I spend the most amount of time reviewing everybody’s application. I’m not considering what they say but how they say it. Is it correct grammar, have they used single spacing or accidental double or even triple spacing? How do they form their lists? How about the size of their paragraphs and how they address questions I’ve asked inside the job add.

All of these showcase someones attention to detail and care in reviewing their work before they submit it.


I’ve found that the way someone applies for your job add is how they are going to work for you.


If its rushed or squished up together, hard to read with a missing full stop or extra space here and there….then that is how your work is going to look once they start.

On the other hand, if it is neat, well formatted. Correct grammar with the right amount of spacing and it’s clear that they’ve checked it a few times before submitting it, then that is how they will be completing your work.

To learn more about hiring from UpWork, watch this in-depth case study where I explain the entire process from hiring to onboard to competing client work: https://www.jamiestenhouse.com/letstalk




Jamie Stenhouse

Founder at Production Line Agency

Jamie Stenhouse

Starting in 2009, his early success as an online marketer led him to generate customers online in over 150+ different industries around the world for his clients.

After running and selling multiple agencies and companies, he is now the creator of the "Dream Team Intensive" – A unique methodology that help digital marketers to productise their agency through systems and teams.

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