Freelancing makes up a massive portion of the workforce in 2021. The idea of providing independent services on the internet has been attracting workers for a long time. However, freelancing has been boosting up in popularity in the past couple of years due to lockdowns.
According to reports, freelancers are twice as hard to manage compared to in-office employees. To begin with, most freelancers reside in a different country or state from their clients. When you go looking for a freelancer on the internet, there’s a high possibility for you to end up hiring someone from another corner of the world. Keeping an eye on the work schedule of someone who’s situated thousands of miles away from you isn’t a walk in the park.
To streamline your quest of hiring freelancers and keeping them in check, I’ve compiled a list of best practices.
Understand if you need freelancers in your team
First and foremost, you should figure out if you actually need freelancers on your team. There are certain pros and cons to working with them. To begin with, freelancers are eager to meet and even exceed your expectations to build a reputable profile. They are flexible with their time and can often finish your work earlier than you’d expect. Many freelancers even work through the weekends, so sometimes, you might find a request you sent on Friday evening got finished before Monday morning.
However, you might face some problems as well due to massively varying time zones. Plus, a few freelancers could leave your work in the middle when they find it too challenging. In such a case, you can’t do anything about it as there’s no legal binding between you two.
In my opinion, the pros of working with freelancers far outweigh the cons. However, you want to make sure you only work with authentic, high-quality freelancers that are less likely to abandon your project in the middle.
Dedicate a budget
Just like every other business activity, you want to dedicate a budget to the freelancers of your team — and then stick to it. Instead of making the said budget when you choose and hire a freelancer, make an annual budget way before you even publish your job opening.
By honoring this practice, you’ll make sure you don’t run into unexpected budget problems during the project.
Hire the ideal freelancers
The most important step of managing the freelancers in your team is to make sure you’ve hired the right ones. If you’re afraid of hiring people you’ve never seen, and will never see, in your life, you can ask for recommendations from your colleagues, friends, and family. For instance, if you want to hire a nurse, make sure that they are certified and successfully passed the NCLEX RN exam.
In my opinion, the best way to get the right freelancers is to head to a freelancing platform like Upwork, Fiverr, and Guru. On these platforms, you can find freelancers in any category and budget. Moreover, you can deeply look into a freelancer’s work history before making a decision. It minimizes the risk of hiring someone who’s not ideal for you and maximizes the possibility of ending up with the best fit.
Predefine project details and communicate effectively
Before you hire freelancers, you must have a clear picture of what you want them to do. Plan the projects you want each freelancer to handle. Develop milestones if needed. Declare reasonable deadlines for each milestone and project. Make sure that your deadlines aren’t too tight and your expectations not unreasonably high.
Present the information you’ve gathered to your freelancers clearly and concisely. Make sure to paint a clear picture of every aspect of the project so there’s no confusion left behind.
Use file sharing and time management tools
If you want to make the most out of your freelancers, make sure to use the latest tools and applications in the market. Track your freelancers’ working time with a time-tracking tool to keep things in control.
To share large files, get a reliable tool that can perform the said function with minimum hassle. You don’t want your projects to be set back due to a lack of file-sharing capabilities.
Freelancers are an important component of every business team today. Although they have their pros and cons, hiring freelancers can provide you with a lot of value for your team. With the practices mentioned above, you can make sure you’re hiring and managing your freelancers in the best way possible.