6 things to consider when working with freelancers
Learn how to work with freelancers successfully.Bojan Mijatovic
Freelancer market is getting bigger and bigger each year. A lot of talented people, especially the younger generation, enjoy the freedom of choice they have when working as freelancer contractors. Companies looking to hire freelancers need to be aware of various aspects in order to incorporate them successfully within their organizations. Let's check out some of the essentials you need to consider if you want to have a great working relationship with freelancers.
Invest Time to Choose the Right Candidate
Remote interviews are not that different from regular interviews. Though in-person interviews are the best option, you can still get the job done via Skype perfectly fine. Look for the same desirable qualities in a candidate as you normally would, but pay close attention to their previous freelancing experience. Determine if they already performed well in a remote work environment. Before you start your talent search, prepare the list of technical and personality questions you'll ask each candidate. Once you have the answers, analyze them and if necessary, schedule a second interview with the best candidates.
Asking For a Reference
With many online how-to resources, almost anyone can get prepared to give the "right" answers during an interview. To ensure you're making a smart hiring decision, ask for any references they could share with you. By seeing what their previous clients thought of them, their work, how they tackled problems during a project, how responsive they were - you'll be able to get a clear picture on how your collaboration might look like.
Making Project Requirements as Detailed as Possible
Personally, I consider this to be one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs can make, especially in fixed term projects. Dedicate the time to clearly define each stage of the process and establish the expected deliverables. If necessary, talk to your team and learn who can assist you in refining the details. If you don't have clear specifications about what you're looking for, you can’t expect to get true time and cost estimates from your freelancer either.
Starting Your Collaboration With a Paid Test Project
One of the most notorious questions you can ask any freelancer can get is this: "Will you be willing to do a free sample? If everything goes well, I promise there will be plenty of work for you..."
Don’t be that guy. Remember that top talent (that's who you want on your team, right?) don't wish to be associated with cheap organizations. Instead, create an offer to do a small paid test project and see how well you can work together. How much you'll pay for this test is something you can easily negotiate.
Defining Work Schedule
In order to establish a healthy and productive environment for your entire team, you need to define work schedules for everyone. Define the time when your freelancers need to be online for daily meetings, to update you on the progress or to clarify any arising issue during the day. If you do not need daily meetings, you can let them make their own daily schedule and create a weekly meeting. Freelancers who like working on their own terms will greatly appreciate this option.
Paying Your Freelancer on Time
Last, but not least: if you wish to collaborate with someone remotely, you need to take good care of billing and work hours. To avoid any misunderstandings, they can keep track of their work hours with a simple time tracker. By logging their daily activities, both your remote employees and you can monitor precisely how much money goes into the project. From there, it's up to you to pay them fair and square.
These are just some of the most common things you need to focus on when working with freelancers. While you still need to take care of proper paperwork and methods of payments, you'll see that working with remote employees doesn't have to be difficult at all. Remember to be clear about what you want and define exactly how you want your tasks to be done. By doing so, you'll have a much greater chance of attracting top talent and more importantly – retaining it.