Freelancers are an untapped resource for many businesses, especially for start-ups. Freelancers have amassed a set of very particular skills and they can find you and work with you, but on their own terms. This gives them flexibility and it allows businesses to make use of talented, skilled or experienced individuals who they would not have been able to accommodate on a full-time basis.
However, working with freelancers is not a walk in the park and despite the many benefits they offer, if you’re not aware of how to work with them, you will be causing a lot of problems. Similarly, a problematic employer will not be able to make work easier for an employee. A freelancer is a remote employee who can’t always come in to your office. For this reason, you should take a look at the following tips and pointers that will simplify how you can find and work with freelancers.
Have a Timeline and a Budget
Freelance projects are usually meant for a short time period that could range from a few weeks to a few months. Always keep the timeline of the project in mind so that you can make allowance for the hiring process. This means that you will have a few days to spend on finding, sifting and hiring the right applicant without pushing your project dangerously close to the deadline.
It is also a good idea to have a budget in place, which can allow you to afford the freelancer. Also, keep in mind that the bigger your budget, the more flexibility you will have in paying the freelance employee you are choosing to work with. It is a good idea to make sure that you have all these details sorted out before you start to post for the job.
Be Clear and Concise
When you’re posting a job for a freelance employee, always make sure that your job description mentions this factor and other details that can make a difference in the kind of response you get. Outline the job responsibilities, title, duties and more when you’re posting the job. This will allow you to find the best applicants who fit the role perfectly.
Moreover, make sure to include any details that will reduce any vagueness regarding the job you have in mind. Jobs, where there are a lot of gray areas regarding their job descriptions, details and more, may not garner as much response as a well-detailed one. It also means that freelancers will have more confusion regarding their jobs and will be unable to do the tasks properly.
Make Use of Online Resources
Searching for the right freelancer can be done with the help of your network, but you can also consider making use of online platforms that can allow you to connect with freelancers. Various online resources and apps are available that are all aimed at facilitating your search to finding the perfect employee.
Similarly, many freelancers make use of online platforms to enhance their job search. This can be a win-win situation for both parties involved so be sure to incorporate online resources when you are searching for an employee. Moreover, you can also either choose to work with one online platform or use multiple ones to get better results.
Be Meticulous in Vetting
Once you have started getting applicants, you need to be meticulous in vetting them out. The vetting process allows you to quickly discard applicants who won’t be right for the project. For this reason, you need to be more detailed in vetting someone. When you get an applicant, don’t just focus on their resume, take a look at their portfolio as well as ensure that your project will benefit with that particular person on board.
Never get so impressed by someone’s skill sets that you forget your own project details. If that person isn’t a good fit, then they aren’t a good fit. If you like their skill sets of their portfolio, you can keep it in mind and get in touch with them when you need a project done where their skill sets might come in handy. This ensures that you’re not working with the wrong person who is unable to deliver on your project, despite having impressive skills.
Beware of the Cheap Ones
Freelancers are free to quote their own prices – they usually take their experience the kind of project you need them for into account before quoting. But there’s always room for haggling. However, beware of freelancers who are offering you rates that are extremely low. This can mean either that the freelancer is still learning or they aren’t that skilled. With freelancers, you definitely get what you are paying for, which means that if you opt for the cheaper route, you’re going to get work that is going to be worth that amount.
You might want to consider outsourcing your work to an international freelancer, but then there are other concerns. Apart from timings, you also have to deal with currency difference, payments, work schedules and more. It is better to work with a professional freelancer who is at a higher rate than to work with a freelancer who costs you less, but you constantly have to hound them, correct them and look after them to get results.
When you are working with a freelancer, good communication is the main key that can define the overall progress that is being made. With proper communication, you can keep a tab on the project that is being developed. You can also ensure that there are no confusions regarding any process on the project. Good communication also creates a good rapport with the freelancer which, of course, motivates them to do better.
It also means that should you have any future projects, you can expect to work well with them again. Expecting a freelancer to deliver the product, based off of just a few lines of communication is poor form. Not only are they going to be vague regarding the overall concept but if you just don’t have the time to answer their questions, you are not going to get the kind of result you want. This just ends up wasting time, money and resources of both parties involved.
Have a Shift Schedule
When working with freelance employees, it is necessary to have a proper shift schedule. Think of them as remote employees of a company and they will be required to work company hours. This can go a long way in calculating the total amount of payment that they are eligible for. Similarly, working with a shift also helps the freelance employees as they can then fit the project into their daily routine.
On the other hand, be sure to discuss the shift schedule with your potential freelance employee. Many freelancers are working on two or more projects at a time. For this reason, you need to ensure that they can work the shift schedule you are suggesting. In some cases, they might ask for flexibility to accommodate this aspect. Keep in mind that in freelance projects revolving around programming, tech, illustration or more, it can be difficult to enforce a shift schedule.
Make Payments on Time
Always make sure to make your payments to your freelance employees on time. Just like you have a payment schedule with your permanent employees, treat your freelance ones with a regular schedule. It also simplifies any problems you might have in making payments and ensures that you’re recording all eligible income tax, tax benefits and more.
Be very careful about excluding any details regarding freelance employees in your payment plans. In some cases, this exclusion can also be viewed as tax evasion or more. To avoid any complications, make sure that you are making your payments on time. A good idea is to automate payments so that you don’t have to deal with unnecessary paperwork or more procedures when you are working with them.
UWork to the Rescue!
When you’re working with freelancers, a good idea is to make use of an online app that can simplify various problems. While businesses make use of different tools to track the shifts, calculate payments, make payments and more, it is a good idea to look for plans that offer you all that and more. One single app that handles everything is going to simplify everything for you.
Want everything in one place? Make use of UWork. UWork is an online platform that allows you to post a job, sift through potential applicants and also manage shift and make payments with ease. The app is secure and works as the Uber of Employment, allowing you to connect with the right employees. Employees can also sign up with UWork and apply for jobs posted to work on a freelance basis with the company.