The freelance economy is growing at a rapid pace. The forced experiments of remote working, hiring freelancers by COVID19 have only proven to be a catalyst to the thriving gig economy.
However, managing freelancers effectively as a part of your organizational setup is very vital for the decision taken to hire freelancers to be proven right. In this blog, we discuss a few points which should be taken into consideration when hiring and planning work with freelancers:
Sharing Contracts and Information
- Make clear contracts
As a company, you hire a freelancer for a specific purpose. The purpose might be specific expertise or a temporary rise in the amount of work etc. You would want the purpose to get fulfilled on time with the desired output without causing any collateral damage to information leakage. Hence, it becomes important as a first step to sign a comprehensive contract with the freelancer(s) to protect the interests of both parties. Factors like a conflict of interest etc. should be taken care of to avoid the situation of a freelancer working for a competitor.
- Access to Information
Access to information is an important subject. While you should make the relevant company policies etc. accessible to freelancers, complete project workflows shouldn’t be made accessible as it can lead to leakage of sensitive information. From a humanitarian perspective, treat them as your full-time employee, but practice restrains when sharing information about projects, etc. Putting an appropriate level of access is the key to all this.
- Setup Payment Processes
Almost every freelancer in the world complains about irregular payments and the effort spent in chasing payments. That’s their biggest pain point. If, as an organization, you can solve this problem for the freelancers you hire, you will be able to establish a strong foundation of trust. It is strongly recommended to set up a strong payment process since the beginning to avoid any trust issues so that the freelancer stays motivated
Getting the work done
- Be clear about due date and processes
Hiring managers or departments will have some expectations from the freelancers and freelancers would also have certain expectations from hiring managers or departments. As HR, it is better to set the expectations right for both parties. How many reviews/edits can be done for the work? How many people will review the work? How much time, in general, will the freelancer have to finish the work? Who is the contact person for the freelancer in the organization for project-related queries? Answering all these questions in advance can avoid a potentially chaotic situation.
- Allow the freelancer to apply their expertise
As an organization, you hired a freelancer for a purpose. Most likely, for his or her expertise. Many organizations, hiring managers, and teams fall into the trap of not allowing the freelancer to work with his or her own expertise. This approach leads to the failure of why freelancers are hired in the first place. In fact, you should be open to their suggestions since their experience in different companies, industries bring a rush of new thought in a possibly rustic thought process of a long time serving full-time employees. Freelancers have a habit of juggling between multiple projects, micromanaging them can be detrimental to the organization’s goals, this should be taken care of as well.
- Feedback and Communication
Everyone who works for an organization irrespective of full time or freelancer needs regular feedback about the work he or she is doing. Feedback not only helps one improve their output, work, etc. but also instills a feeling of belongingness in the freelancers. While some hiring managers overburden themselves with the effort required to give feedback, it can be as simple as a fifteen-minute session just after the task is completed or an informal online/coffee session. Praising them in public is a great booster to motivation which the hiring managers can think of.
In the end, although, you hire the freelancer for a short period of time, consider them as your own. A feeling of belongingness in people can make them walk a few extra miles for you.
Ashutosh works as a Product Manager at Refrens.com – India’s most powerful platform for freelancer’s finances and growth. He has helped some renowned technology companies with their product. In this blog, Ashutosh shares his thoughts on how HR Managers can devise processes and strategies while dealing with freelancers. You can follow Refrens.com on Twitter, LinkedIn