Working With Freelancers: What You Need To Know
There might come a time when your small business starts working with freelancers. Whether this is something you want to consider is totally up to you, but it can be very beneficial in the right circumstances. If you’re carrying out a large volume of work that requires many employees to complete it, the last thing you want to do is hire them all permanently. That work is profitable, but not if you have to recruit and pay all the additional costs that employees require. At this point, hiring freelancers to do the job is a much better option.
While hiring freelancers might seem like the best solution in many circumstances, it isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It’s very difficult to make mistakes, and there are plenty of things you have to consider that you otherwise might neglect. I’m going to assume that many of you have never dealt with freelancers before, so here are a few things to watch out for.
Find The Right People
If you’re searching around for freelancers, you’re going to want to find the right people. If you’re hiring someone to work from home on your behalf, this is going to be mightily difficult. You may never even get to meet them in person, so ensuring they can do the job adequately is imperative. There are lots of ways to figure this out. Put out application forms on as many websites as possible. Gather a list of CV’s or ask them to complete preliminary tests so you can get an idea of their skill sets. Then, you should be in a position where you’ll have a good idea of whether these people can do the job.
Pay & Contracts
Most freelancers work on a self-employed basis. This means that you aren’t responsible for paying certain taxes on their behalf. This all depends on the country and the local laws, so make sure you’ve done extensive research ahead of time. Try and pay your workers on time, too. You don’t want them to be wasting important work time chasing you with invoices. You also need to make sure you do the right thing when it comes to their contracts. You’ll have a lot of them to deal with, so contract lifecycle management can be key to make sure you aren’t going wrong anywhere.
Be Clear With Your Expectations
Before you hire a freelancer to come and work for you, you need to be clear about what you want out of them. Clearly define what the roles of the job will be, and how long you’ll expect to keep them on for. There’s no point exaggerating this, as it’ll just leave workers feeling delusioned when the real truths come out. Many freelancers converse with each other, so don’t be surprised if you find a lack of interest if you aren’t willing to treat them right. If you aren’t clear with your expectations, you also might find the wrong sort of people applying for the position.
Get Used To Remote Working Processes
Freelancing will involve a lot of remote working on their part. For many reasons, you’re at an advantage. You don’t have to worry about hosting them in-house, and all the additional costs that come with it. You can also pick from a pool of talent all over the world, rather than limiting it to the local vicinity. You’re still going to need to figure out how to keep in contact with your employees when they’re working remotely, though. You don’t have that piece of mind that they are working hard in the same office as you, and you never quite know if they’re going to disappear tomorrow! Open the lines of communication effectively and remain in close discussions.
Treat Them Like A Normal Employee
When you’re hiring a freelancer, it’s tempting to treat them differently from your normal employees. They certainly will offer help when necessary, but they’re more invested in the long-term future of their main workers. Not every company is like this, of course. The best thing you can do is not discriminate between freelancers and employed staff. They’re still doing important work for you, and no matter how long they stick around, they’re an important part of the team. Take the time to thank them regularly, and incorporate them into the team environment as best you can.
Whether your business should be working with freelancers depends entirely on the nature of the work you do. Do more research and think about whether it could be beneficial for your company.