How can HRs effectively manage freelancers
Hiring freelancers is an excellent way to get tasks done at the eleventh hour when regular resources aren’t available. However, managing them can be difficult as you don’t have any formal authority. It’s a big challenge for HR professionals to bridge the gap and keep the freelancers motivated.
Understand their expectations – they are valuable to the project too
Freelancers don’t earn the usual employee benefits that your fulltime workforce does. Subsequently, it is important to acknowledge their contribution no matter its paid. Identify what keeps them motivated; is it the lucrative money or the skills growth that they are seeking from you? Freelance resources operate remotely from a far off distance and in most instances you may not be meeting them in real. As the entire communication executes through digital medium, it is imperative to understand their expectations, keep them motivated and thus boost their productivity. Assign variety in work, offer fee hikes, and acknowledge letters and ultimately a sense of employment security that they won’t be laid off instantly. Freelancers fear abrupt loss of work and its your responsibility to settle that forever.
Search online and expand your reach
The Internet, in fact is the only reliable medium to hire freelancers. Many portals that started freelance network websites have produced entrepreneurs out of assignment seeking contractual workers. Such portals have engaged millions of freelancers from the world who respond to posted project descriptions that are divided by categories. As you receive resumes from a pool of eager and skilled professionals, keep adding them to your database. This helps in hiring a freelancer instantly, negating delay times and not affecting the ongoing project in any case. Not all organizations are friendly to freelancers and if you’re is, keep your social pages updated so that the best resources stay in touch with you. Noteworthy, a verbal recommendation is the best marketing tool for a freelancer. You can always ask other associates or business owners for their recommendations.
Make the on-boarding process easy and fast
Following up with the above point, have a backup data of available freelancers. Encourage them to stay in touch with you even if there’s no work. As the market gets more agile, you need to be sure beforehand as to when you may need freelancers to work for a particular assignment. Freelancers do not rely on their regular income and so, every hour of missed billing is missed revenue. If your hiring process is similar to the lengthy process you employ for hiring permanent employees, they will be gone in no time. The freelance – organization engagement is mostly empowered through trust and that’s where you score higher than competition. Remember, if taken care of, freelancers have proven to be more valuable than full time employees.
Make your expectations clear and detailed
It is always better to put the expectations upfront. Deadlines for the completion of the project, checkpoints, outlining of the scope of the project, guidelines, etc. should be made clear to the freelancer especially if he/she is working remotely. You need to be clear about what you want- be it a website, an application, or a brochure, etc. Drafting a statement referring to the details of the project containing details of what is needed is a smart move. Although, quick adaptation of the requirement is the anchoring attraction of freelancers, still you must leave sufficient bandwidth that they’ll utilize to understand the business effectively.
Be a critic and review their work
The idea of hiring freelancers is their valuable experience and the knack to work effortlessly. However, they are vulnerable to produce errors under extreme cases. Besides carefully reviewing portfolio in the first stance, it is essential to perform regular revisions of their work post hiring. Although poking them continuously isn’t a great idea, you may have to build understanding so that exchange of newer ideas is welcomed. Share feedbacks and encourage them to perform better. This will help both the parties as you will not have to regret upon the quality of the work. Apart from that, feedbacks will help them grow and hone their skills; something they’ll cherish and deepen the association.
Acknowledge the work flexibility they want
There’s a reason someone chose to be a freelancer than a full time employee and that’s the freedom to work as per their comfort. Freelancers love flexibility and room provided to them as it helps them function better. They need to feel that they can work however and whenever they like. To be a successful freelancer, you need to be motivated and eager enough so that you can do the work assigned to you without anyone to look at you. Freelancers don’t like micromanagement. You may not be their only client and hence, you need to give them their space. Generally, best contractors are very good at their jobs and they love to do it and if something is done out of passion, it will be done well.
Make them feel at home.
Try to work in a way that they don’t feel they are contractors. Make them feel as if they are a part of team and are working with alignment towards the same goal as that of the organization. People generally deliver better when they feel they are respected. To get the most out of a freelancer relationship, a company must focus of forming a relationship between the contractors and the permanent team members. Try to avoid all the subtle differentiators that may arise, like not giving them access to the corporate gym, different colors of ID badges, etc. Try to invite them to team’s important meetings so that they don’t feel as if they are second-class citizens.
Payments should be up to the mark.
Freelancers deserve to be treated fairly. You need to pay them the market rate at the least and if you really appreciate their work and efforts, don’t hesitate to pay them more. Even for tryouts, don’t hesitate on paying them for them. You need to make the payments on time though it may seem a very basic thing to be considered but it can be the biggest area leading to miscommunication between contractors and companies. So, it should be made clear that when and how much compensation is to be provided to the freelancer prior to the start of the work.
Moreover, you must know about the tax obligations you are entitled to. Classified as an independent worker, that person is in business for himself alone. You do not have the right to withhold any taxes from their wages. Neither are you responsible to pay payroll taxes on their behalf. So, understand your tax obligations with respect to freelancers.