Hiring freelancers can be an effective alternative especially in a talent-short market, wherein you are tight on deadlines to finish particular tasks. In the digital era, gig economy has become the new norm. Accordingly, freelancing seems to the new growing trend among Millennials, as they choose to work independently rather than dedicating their whole time for a company.
For these talents, freelancing offers the comfort of working flexibly from anywhere, anytime. As for the employers, freelancing helps them to get jobs accomplished using limited resources. Due to these advantages, it comes as no surprise when Freelancers Union survey announced that there are 53 million Americans working as freelancers. The number makes up for 34 percent of the total labour force, which means that one-third of American talents are contingent workers.
If you need some advice on how to scale up and leverage freelancers’ for better business outcomes and maximise profits, while saving on costs then here are several tips to manage freelancers in a gig economy:
See: Hiring for Cultural Fit: Do You Think You Can Change How People Really Are?
Before assigning freelancers to commence working on a certain project, you will have to align your values and expectations with theirs. You need to find freelancers who share the same value and worldview as you, so it will be easier to communicate your intention to them.
Define the goals of the project, their roles in it, what you expect from the freelancers, and communicate guidelines on how the project should be conducted.
You can avoid future confusion about when they should complete tasks, by sketching out a clear schedule and setting time agenda. Provide them a timeline of when the project starts, when they should report on the progress, and when they have to hand in the final reports.
You can explain your company’s agenda regarding the project, so if possible, freelancers can prioritise their time to work on your tasks.
Since most freelancers work remotely, technology will be crucial to keep the communication flow. Make sure that your company has the needed tools to always keep in touch with the freelancers, such as speedy internet connection, project management software, and webcam to hold video calls.
When you do not have sufficient tools to support them, freelancers will be frustrated and more likely move to the other company.
Communication is the key to maintaining good relationships between freelancers and employers. You should make sure to hold regular chat with freelancers to stay updated about the progress and obstacles they might face along the way. Either by Skype, chat messaging, or emails, you should not lose contact with freelancers, or else your project timeline will be in a mess.
There is ‘free’ in freelancers. You should bear in mind that people choose to be freelancers for the freedom and flexibility it offers. Hence, do not ask them to comply with the company rules as set for the other full-timers.
For example, freelancers value the fact that they do not have to get up early in the morning to go the office, so you should not force them to start working at 9 am. As long as targets and deadlines are met, allow freelancers to work as per their own methods and schedules.
Do not just ask freelancers to finish monotonous and administrative errands. They work with creativity and will be more than happy to bring in fresh and new perspectives to your projects if they are asked to. You should ask for their opinions about the projects and what can be improved to make it better. You never know what great ideas might pop up.
Just like your regular employees, freelancers need constructive feedback to improve on their skills. When freelancers submit tasks, evaluate it right away by giving brief feedbacks. This will not just help them review their own works, but you can also check on whether the projects and costs you invest on the freelancers is on the right track.
In a rising gig economy, freelancers are a great help to meet stringent timelines and aid business reach efforts. Hiring the right freelancers, can help you can forget the hassle and stress of dealing with lack of skilled resources to meet exact client requirements. Pick and choose freelancers from the trusted hiring platforms, so you can manage them and encourage their personal growth.
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