Things have changed dramatically even in the last five years. Yes, in just half a decade ago, remote workers were not a mainstream concept. Because of better technology and COVID, all that has changed. Business for many is different than it used to be.
Like most things there are pros and cons of hiring online and then working with that individual digitally. Clearly, referrals by someone in your industry who you trust is the best possible solution. But this is not always possible.
We live in a world where reviews are vital. If you have never worked with a specific freelancer before, even with that person having good reviews, for you it is still a gamble. Most freelancer digital worker sites give you ways you can observe your hire doing the work, which is especially important if you are being charged by the hour.
Another protection that can help you as well, is that most online dig refer sites give you a way that you can inspect the work before you pay. This is helpful because it means that if you are unhappy with the outcome, you can get them to try again, now maybe with the worker having a clearer idea of what you want.
The flip side of scrutinizing remote workers is that just as you can positive or negative reviews of a person, they can do the same back to you, with both side of this often being visible to all.
But moving aside for the moment the downsides of online hiring, the benefits are quite remarkable for those on a budget for which they do not have room for hiring more employees. It now becomes possible to hire on a project-by-project basis, rather than the expense of an employee, either part or full time.
Also, although you still have to go through a worker vetting process, it is a lot faster and easier than do in-person interviews and then tracking the hire.