In this digital age, freelancing is on the rise within businesses both small and large. With easy access to a variety of tools online, such as great how-to guides, helpful online communities and payment platforms with a free invoice template, it is more straightforward than ever to get started as a freelancer. How to organise and maximise the use of freelancers as an SME, on the other hand, comes with its own complications.
Given the opportunity presented by freelancing in the modern business landscape, it is important that you take the time to understand the process involved in hiring a freelancer and developing the relationship over time. It’s crucial that you carry out as much research as possible to ensure you get started on the right track in how to employ freelancers effectively for your needs.
Continue reading to learn more about how you can improve your freelancer processes and develop more effective relationships with the freelancers on your team.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that freelancers generally manage unstructured time. It can be difficult for them to have a clear picture of what their daily, weekly, and more long-term deliverables are and, as an employer, it’s important to be aware of this. Knowing how much time you expect to be devoted to certain tasks each day can help your freelancer to keep a more regular schedule. The workload you assign can quickly become difficult to manage if you fail to communicate your expectations clearly.
It is also critical that you set out concise invoicing procedures from the very beginning to ensure there is no confusion down the line. Some tasks will be paid upon completion and for these, the freelancer might receive a flat rate. On the other hand, if there are more regular assignments, you might find it easier to pay an hourly rate. However, you choose to handle the payment process, it is important that this is clearly laid out in the beginning, so that both you and the freelancer know where they stand in terms of the payment amount and payment date.
Hiring A Freelancer
Hiring a freelancer has never been easier. There is a huge choice of websites that you can use to find freelancers to assist you with just about any aspect of your business. However, before using these services, it’s important to know what you need a freelancer for and that you have an idea of what qualifications you would like this person to have. As with hiring a long-term employee, it is critical that you clearly define the requirements of the role and your expectations. Remember, for many business owners, freelancer relationships develop into meaningful, long-term arrangements so it is in your best interest to be diligent in your hiring process.
Be sure to interview or test at least a few prospective candidates before committing to one person. With the anonymity that the internet often provides, it is relatively easy for people to misrepresent their skillset, their experience, level of expertise and even who they are. Being thorough in the interview process will ensure that you find the right candidate for your needs and will help you to find a freelancer that you can rely on as your business grows and expands.
Efficiency And Flexibility
There are many benefits to hiring freelancers. The most obvious of these is the flexibility that freelancers can provide. For example, work can be completed in contrasting time zones to yours so that while you are asleep, your business tasks are still being done. You can also hire talented people from anywhere in the world and you do not have to provide the same perks or privileges as you might with a more traditional hire. With the right approach, freelancers can be a huge advantage to your business and, ultimately, they can become an integral part of your team over time. However, to ensure that you reap the benefits that freelancers can provide, first, you need to put the right processes in place to ensure that the relationship is mutually beneficial for both you and your freelancers. Once you have the right processes in place, the possibilities are endless.