Benefits of Hiring Freelancers and Management Practices
For those thinking about becoming freelancers, see here: Top 5 Reasons for Becoming a Freelancer
For a company looking to go the route of freelance employees, a common question may be – “How can I hire and manage freelancers effectively?”
That’s a question that always seems to be there at the back of your mind. And if it isn’t something you’ve been wondering about, then it should be.
Well, let me ask you this, are you having a hard time finding new talent? Do you have a problem in finding the resources to hire a full-time employee?
The solution to your problem then is to look into the benefits of hiring freelancers.
So, just how do you hire and manage freelancers? No. You don’t go put a sign up in the local laundromat, there is actually a process to hiring freelancers for your business, so we’ve put a few tips together to help you join the freelance revolution.
What are the Benefits to Hiring a Freelancer?
The primary benefit is flexibility and savings. Freelancers work on demand, but you also get to pick talents for specific projects, which means less time to spend on training.
Hiring a freelancer lets you roll with the demand fluctuation of your business. In other words, with the increase or decrease of the external factors that influence it.
Identify the Freelance Task Needs
You need to identify the tasks you can outsource. Once you know, you need to identify your need to hire freelancers well in advance of a project. You don’t want to be scrounging around for a freelancer when you need a specific project done, because I can almost guarantee you that you will have an extremely difficult time finding anyone qualified for the job. So to prevent this from happening create a list of a Go-To Team. This is a good team that can handle the projects you get, based on past experiences.
Granted this is the best-case scenario but you may not be coming to a freelancer under ideal circumstances. Business fluctuations may be driving you to outsource excess work, in which you may not be able to plan out ahead of time. Just make sure that you have put the task together and clearly identified the required inputs and desired outputs of the project. Just like many other tasks, the project is dependent on the quality of communications.
When Hiring Freelancers for Your Business Identify Your Budget
Companies often find themselves seeking outsourced freelancers during periods of unexpected expansion, which is most often the time of decreased profits through unmanageable revenue increases. Exploring freelance hiring helps alleviate this from a human resource perspective but even then needs to be managed appropriately. Your budget is probably one of the primary reasons driving you to freelance hiring so keep it top-of-mind while outsourcing so you can effectively manage it.
You’ll be much more efficient if you create a budget for your hiring needs. Make sure that all the appropriate departments know that you have a budget for your freelance hiring needs.
When it comes to the money side of things, most freelancers will have a day, hourly, or piece work (per project) price. Based on hourly and per-project pricing, here is a breakdown of each:
When there are uncertainties in the project inputs (i.e. the freelancer), a per-project pricing is optimal. The reason being is that as an employer you are not familiar with the effectiveness and efficiency of the freelancer doing the work. Providing hourly pay to this kind of freelancer could take the budget out of your control.
Hourly Priced Projects
These are best when there are uncertainties in the project outputs. If you are outsourcing a project that your company has very little experience in managing, hourly pricing is best. Additionally, hourly pricing is more ideal for dynamic circumstances, where the project or environment keeps changing or for continued freelance employment.
Remember though, you will be paying for what you are getting. You may get lucky with a project being priced under market-value but these are usually one-off expressions of goodwill. The desired affect is for that freelancer to get in with company and demand higher rates in the future. Treating your freelancers poorly will reflect in project quality over time.
Regardless, it’s best to find freelancers you can get on long-term contracts.
Hire the Appropriate Freelancer for the Job
This is really important, so pay attention. I can’t stress it enough. Hire people who give your business value. You want professionals whose skills match your project. Don’t hire someone that specializes in television if you need web. This is one of the main benefits of freelance hiring compared to traditional employment. A company is more agile with the freelancers that they hire so you can hire very specific people for certain projects. With traditional employment, employees often find their job role broadened to encompass a new area they either have no experience in or very little.
Hire the right freelancer for the level of the project you have.
Make sure you are matching skills and experiences specifically with the job task in front of you. Don’t hire that TV guy for the web. In fact, don’t even hire that HTML guy if you have a problem requiring CSS attention – both web, different skill set.
Avoid hiring someone with a lot of experience for a junior project. You might think this person will get the job done faster and you’ll save money, but that may not be the case. In most cases, the more experienced a freelancer is, and the easier the job, the more likely the project is to bore him. This means your job will get squeezed between bigger jobs. These are called filler slots, and every freelancer has them. These are the jobs that pay the bills.
Define the Project
You must be clear about your needs and expectations when it comes to using a freelancer’s services. You need to offer a complete scope of the project and include budget, deadlines, materials and deliverables. Be aware that if the scope of the work changes so may your contract change. Finally don’t leave anything open ended. Define what you’ll pay for and what you won’t.
Set Time Frames and Meeting Agendas
Make sure freelancers understand what you expect from them. They need to know about the business protocol, what you expect and what the values and culture of your business are. Sometimes it’s easier to get freelancers to go to the office and work closely with the primary team for a while.
Implement a Policy when You are Hiring Freelancers for Your Business
Policies are good and help keep control of the work, but you need to let freelancers know what the policy is before they start work. Define what you will and won’t accept.
Give Your Freelancers Good Projects Too
Freelancers use word of mouth too, so if you get a reputation of only giving freelancers crappy work, they won’t want to work with you again. At least the good freelancers won’t want to continue taking on projects from you.
Care about The Freelancer’s Professional Career
A freelancer also has a business, and he is interested in his own growth, so if you care about his/her professional development, the freelancer will also care about your projects. When you hire the right freelancers for your business, you won’t have a problem. Treat them as you do your associates or employees as they are just as important as other aspects of your business.
Bottom Line of Freelancing Benefits
There are a number of benefits to hiring freelancers for your business. These help you get the work done quickly for a fraction of the cost. However, you need to be clear on your expectations and your limits to make this effort a success. Learning how to hire and manage freelancers takes a nack as you can be managing people virtually, but in the long run it is more efficient than hiring permanent employees. Just because they are a freelancer, doesn’t mean they are a one-off hiring. You can choose to continue with a freelancer that you had a positive experience with or discontinue freelance employment of one you had a negative experience with. This ongoing and constant progress will ensure that your hiring systems become increasingly better and your projects add more value to your organization.
Are you ready to begin hiring?
Here is a list of some of the top freelance websites: