In this article??from Search Engine Watch??directed toward sites who want to hire content creators
, the author suggests that they have a "contest" to determine which writer they may want to hire. I guess he calls it a contest for his audience; certainly, professional writers (which is the assumption here) are used to being offered "trial runs" or probationary periods; they don't need to be told it's a contest. But that's just a matter of nomenclature; we'll pass that by.
On the whole, though, the advice here is actually not bad — as long as the would-be hirer reads the entire article. One crucial section:
After you've narrowed down your short list of top candidates, give them writing assignments as part of the "contest." Have each of them write a blog post or an article.??
You can either choose to have them do it for free or pay them. We like to pay because not paying and expecting to get free content starts things off on the wrong foot.
Since what follows is an explanation of the requirements of the content — which includes not only writing the article, but uploading into the content management system and promoting it online — I would think that payment would be a necessity. Any freelancer who would not only write an entire article, but also post it to a company's CMS and promote it without any kind of recompense is really desperate — and ready to be taken advantage of. Unfortunately, while the write of this particular piece gives good advice about payment, there are too many content sites whose management will pass over the "payment" part of the equation.