Shak Studios

Looking for a Video Editor? Pros & Cons of Hiring

If you own or run a company, entrepreneur, or content creator which happens to make promotional videos, either for marketing or instruction purposes, then it is essential that you invest some time and consideration into finding the right person to edit your videos.

With a global market such as video editing, there are 100s of options when it comes to finding a good editor.

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of one of the most common routes, hiring a video editor.

Hiring Video Editor: Local vs. Overseas

Before we dive into hiring a video editor, we need to work out if you’re going to be going down the local or overseas video editor route. Both have their pros & cons when it comes to professional video editing.

The Benefit of Hiring Local Talented Video Editors:

Highlights:

  • Easier communication
  • Typically, a higher standard of output

Right in front of you, and can communicate with them easily. You don’t need to worry about any language barriers or video editing software issues when hiring locally; everything is smooth sailing. As smooth as it can be for video editing & post-production.

Sense of pride for employing locally. When you hire locally, you see the impact that you are having on the individual’s life, employee culture can be fostered and a real comradery in what you are doing can be formed.

Better for Music Videos and stylized videos. In my experience hiring a local video editor is better for music videos and other projects that have a high level of specificity to the styling. Feature film, TV commercials and other high quality videos really do work best when you’re in the same room as each other, brainstorming and throwing ideas around.

No international fees, taxes & employee records.

The Down Side of Hiring Local Talented Staff:

Highlights:

  • High Wages, Super Contributions (or 401K for those in the USA)
  • Holiday pay, sick pay, national insurance, pension contributions etc

Hiring local talented video editors is not cheap. When you’re looking at USA-based editors, the average salary is anywhere between $3000-5000 per month (likely higher in areas such as California or New York). That doesn’t include any holiday pay or sick days.

The interview process can be tedious. When it comes to hiring local video editing talent, you need to be prepared for your interview and hiring decision to take some time. In the USA, it’s recommended that you plan for a minimum of 10-15 hour interview process.

Local Video Editors have a tendency of leaving sooner than you’d like. Even if you do find the perfect video editor & job for them, they may not stay in your company long. This is because the appeal of starting their own business or offering video production services on their own is extremely high in developed countries. Money is really good for creating a youtube video, promotional video or corporate videos for clients.

The Benefit of Hiring an Overseas Professional Video Editor:

More Cost-Effective. While local video editors’ salaries could cost anywhere between $3,000 -$5,000 + sick pay and whatnot. A professional video editor from India, the Philippines, or Bangladesh could cost only $600-$1000 per month, with no additional charges or obligations.

Ability to Pay via Credit Card. When hiring overseas video editors through an organization/agency, you are purchasing a service overseas, this means that you can put the expense on a credit card, as opposed to paying an employee out of your balance. This can really improve cash flow and allow you to get in front of those video editing tasks especially if those videos are what makes you money!

The Down Side of Hiring an Overseas Professional Video Editor:

Time-consuming communication. To me, this is one of the largest downsides of hiring overseas. Language barriers mean that communicating tasks can take 2 – 3 x as long to communicate. A great way to counter this is to create screen-recording videos to visually show your video editor what needs changing in a video editing task.

Overseas Hiring Communication Tip: Repeatable video editing tasks involve significantly less communication than brand new, never attempted tasks. Consider using your overseas video editor to the same styled editing tasks week in and week out.

Internet Speed, Connection Issues & Video editing software barriers. This is less of an issue in 2021 but can stand in the way of your seamless editing utopia. When hiring overseas video editors, you need to be aware that the quality of your employee’s internet connection can hinder their productivity, especially when it comes to video editing. Blackouts and internet drop-outs are far more common in developing nations, so these should be expected.

Cultural barriers. Cultural barriers come into play when you look at what styles you vs. your overseas video editor think ‘look good’.

Cost of Hiring a Video Editor

Overseas Professional Editors

So let’s talk about the cost of hiring overseas. Hiring a full-time video editor in a developing country to work on your videos can be done for as low as $500/month or as much as $1500, either way, this is far less expensive than hiring local talent.

The cost of hiring an overseas video editor will depend on two key factors. Firstly, which country they reside in & secondly, whether you hire an individual or an agency.

Let’s start with the first, countries.

The average cost for hiring a video editor in different countries:

India – $8-15 USD per hour for Video Editing Tasks.

Philippines – $6 – $10 USD per hour for Video Editing Tasks.

Secondly, if you hire an individual or agency.

There are companies such as MyTasker, Brickwork & Virtual Co-Worker who operate on an agency level, protecting you as the employee in case anything happens to the video editor.

We will explore this a little more below, but for now, all you need to know is that you’ll be paying a 30/40% premium for this service.

So for example, if you engage an Indian agency for your video editor, expect to pay closer to $15 USD per hour rather than $8 USD per hour.

Hiring Overseas Video Editors Individually or through Agency

When hiring an individual, your costs will be lower than hiring an agency.

The benefits of hiring an individual are that you can choose the price, negotiate and there’s often no need to pay any intermediary fees or commissions. It is more difficult to find the ‘right person when you hire an individual overseas video editor, but it can really work out in your favor if you do find the right person!

On the flip side, hiring an overseas video editor through an agency can be really beneficial. When you hire through an agency, typically you pay the agency and the video editors aren’t even on your books, they stay as an employee of the agency.

When you hire through an agency you have:

  • Vetting & interviews completed for you.
  • HR is handled. You literally don’t have to worry about any of it.
  • Better security. A lot of agencies actually have their employees screened every day they come into work, phones and USB sticks taken off them, etc. (Not every agency does this though)
  • No downtime. If your video editor is sick for a week, the agency finds you a replacement and seamlessly brings them up to speed so your video editing does not suffer.

I personally recommend going through an agency, the cost is still so much cheaper than a local video editor, it’s worth the extra 40% to have these features, especially when it comes to video editing.

It is important to note here that when hiring an agency, you are trusting that their staff has been trained well in video editing, you won’t have the same one-on-one screening process as you would with a video editor by themself, so just be sure to probe the agency for how many staff are trained in video editing and ask for examples.

Best places to find Freelance Video Editors:

Elance.com – This site of the most popular freelancing sites in the world and has video editors from all countries on it. People use this site to find both full-time employees and part-time contractors e.g part-time video editors for a week or so. This is one of the best websites to go to when looking for freelance video editors.

Upwork – This site is another popular freelancing site in the world and has video editors from all countries on it. People use this site to find both full-time employees and part-time contractors e.g part-time video editors for a week or so. This is one of the best websites to go when looking for freelance video editors

People Per Hour – This website is more selective than elance & Upwork, but has some really good talent on there. If you are looking for someone specific, perhaps with certain video editing skills, then I would recommend using this website first before trying others.

Video Editing Freelancers On Reddit – Check out this subreddit r/forhire which lists people who are interested in becoming your video editor among other things.

Odesk.com – A good website but not as good as elance when it comes to finding independent contractors in my opinion, you can sometimes get better deals if you’re prepared to spend a little more time on your search though!

Freelancer.com – Similar idea to Elance & odesk, but smaller in my experience! Guru.com – This is similar to Guru! I personally find it easier to find good workers on Elance than on this site, but some people swear by it!

Fiverr – Fiverr is possibly the largest pool of creative talent in the world. And I’ve seen some Fiverr creatives edit videos that are just outright amazing videos. But the talent can vary from top video editors to beginners.

You can definitely hire a video editor here, just be aware that quality can vary hugely and is very dependant on the video editing task; some are just better at certain video editing tasks than others.

Also, don’t get caught up in the number of positive reviews they have either, there are ways for freelancers to make themselves look better than they actually are (illegal ways too). People also sell fake positive reviews online which you would never know unless you’ve hired them before.

What makes a Good Video Editor?

Whether you hire a video editor locally or from overseas, through an agency, or on your own, it is important to know what makes a good video editor and the attributes that they need to possess.

Below are the 9 key attributes that I look for in a potential Shak Studios video editor (in order of priority):

  1. Communicates clearly and asks questions if unsure
  2. Attention to detail
  3. Produces high-quality videos (not necessarily a high technical ability, they are different)
  4. Prioritises audio editing
  5. Humility to compromise their emotions to meet deadlines
  6. Ability to think outside the box to find creative solutions
  7. Has complementary skill-sets such as photoshop, colour-grading, audio mixing etc.
  8. Enjoy’s the process with a positive mindset
  9. Has some video marketing or digital marketing knowledge

Obviously what you look for in a video editor might be different from what I look for, but the importance of good video editing cannot be overstated.

Not only does it frame your entire content marketing strategy, but it can also make or break how potential customers perceive your brand and determine whether they stay loyal to you.

Video Editing Hire Tips

Here are Shak Studios we’ve had a lot of experience hiring video editors, both locally and overseas. Let’s break down some of the best tips for when you hire a video editor that is universal for both a local video editor & an overseas video editor!

Find Overseas Individuals Video Editors Online and reach out

Don’t follow the standard job post route, instead use platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and freelancer to find a talented video editor and then try to bring them into the herd. The best video editors are editing videos, not applying to your job post!

Outreach Tip: If you’re after an experienced video editor, don’t be afraid to jump on LinkedIn and message a freelance video editor or two.

Interview & Screening Process

We’ve found that hiring an individual is a lot harder than we first thought! We went on the assumption that we would just find someone with experience and be good to go. It turns out, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.

When you hire overseas, you’re allowing them into your business and on your team. This means that they need to be able to communicate well with you and vice versa, and also that the general direction and style of editing needs to fit within your company ethos & values.

We found our best interview process for a video editor is:

Find them on UpWork (most video editor freelancers will be using this). Go through their profiles, portfolios, etc. We usually only look at the freelancers with good feedback.

Get them to make a sample video for us (we like to test their speed and comprehension of our style).

We also like to ask them some questions about how they would edit a specific project we give them (It’s important that they actually read what you are writing, most don’t).

Once we find the right person it usually goes quite smoothly that.

Communication is more important than Technical Ability

Hiring a video editor is so much more than just hiring someone who can edit well. I would argue that communication skills are just as important, if not more important when you’re hiring a video editor from overseas.

In an office environment, it’s easy to communicate with your co-workers. You usually have good AC in the office, everyone is caffeinated and all parties are in close proximity. When you hire an overseas video editor, this isn’t the case.

Clear Expectations from the Beginning

Having your own video editor sounds cool, but knowing exactly the tasks and being able to delegate is the important part.

When we hire video editors, we always give them a detailed task list and timeline. When you hire overseas, you need to be able to write the task list in such a way that is easy for the overseas professional editor to understand. Using team-based tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams and Asana are get for collaborating on video editing tasks (I recommend using Microsoft Teams & Onedrive).

The Best Video Editors are Creative & Know Your Brand

One thing that I’ve found with video editors is that if you give them complete creative control, the end result will usually be outstanding video editing. A good video editor needs to know your business well enough to know what content or imagery would work best for any given campaign.

Consider how you’ll Share Raw Footage & Assets

This is one of the most overlooked aspects of hiring a video editor, whether they are local or overseas, you’ll need some way to get them the raw footage. Assets such as Logos, motion graphics templates, and other elements will all need to be organized and centralized between you and your video editing professionals.

Upskill your Video Editor

The best way to add value to that youtube channel is to upskill your video editor by training them in color correction, audio editing, visual effects, digital marketing, motion graphics, and other related skill-sets that will improve the quality of all the deliverables you’ll be creating far beyond basic video editing.

Some ways to upskill your video editor is to purchase online courses, get them to watch youtube tutorials or one on one training by you!

Remember, your video editor is going to need to be in control of the creative process of your video.

Don’t Re-Invent the Wheel, Copy Successful Processes & Workflows

Companies such as Shak Studios, Video Husky & other video editing services make a living by having their video editing processes and workflows dialed in. If you’re not sure how to do something, go kick some tires! Read their FAQs and see how professional video editing companies approach having video editors working for them.

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