According to this Intuit report, by 2020 around 40% of the total workforce will be freelancers. Before you know it, everyone will be in some manner working and managing freelance workers.
Plan in Advance
Don’t wait too long to start searching for freelancers. Instead, analyze your situation carefully in advance and see what kind of freelance workers you need for the project.
For example, identify the traits that you would want in the freelancer for the job. Do you want a junior-level person with less experience to work on a small test project? Or an experienced senior-level person to manage a big project? Whatever the case, it is a good idea to know what kind of freelancer you want in advance.
Understand the Need of Freelancer
Freelancers don’t just work for money. You will come across some who might be looking to gain solid experience in a big company or project and compensation might not be the primary reason. Don’t be afraid to ask the freelancer about his objective for working on your project. Whatever the expectations of the freelancer, you need to ensure he/she gets it while working in your organization.
Set Clear Expectations
Set clear expectations with the freelancer about the task. Document the requirement details, including project description, timeline, deliverable and share it with the freelancer to ensure both of you are on the same page and no misunderstanding pops us later on.
Create an Annual Budget for Freelancers
Creating an annual budget for freelance workers will give you clarity about the rates you can offer to them. Some freelancers prefer to work in hourly rate while some quotes a fixed rate. Always pay your freelance workers as per industry standards. Don’t try to take advantage of them due to a different type of employer-worker relationship.
If you require their services for longer periods, offer them long-term contracts and they will be happy to charge less for the guarantee of work for a longer period of time. It will help you keep costs low and make the freelancers happy.
Build the Relationship
Freelance workers are like your employees, even though they are in your organization for a limited period. You need to build a relationship with your freelance workers. Don’t make the relationships with freelancer (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-freelancer.htm) purely transactional. This is essential if you want to work with freelance workers in the future as well.
Freelancers might be working for more than one client at a time. You should remember they have chosen the career path as a freelancer as they like the freedom in the work they do. It is necessary that you give them some space to plan things in their own way and not try to micromanage every aspect of their work.
Some employers think it is not necessary to provide a formal review of the work freelancers have done. Though it may be partly true, you should not skimp on giving feedback to freelancers. Giving them feedback will help them improve work and also deepen the relationship that you share.
The feedback can be as simple as talking to them for 5-10 minutes and discussing high and low points of their work. Continuous feedback is a better way. Regularly revisit the statement of work and remind them if they are missing any timelines. If they are doing a great job, praise them in front of others that will encourage them to excel in their work.
The above-mentioned tips will help you effectively manage freelance workers and get the most out of this working relationship.
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