How to Effectively Work with Your Freelancers and Contractors

Almost any business can benefit from the extra help of freelancers and contractors. Not only do these flexible employees require less overhead (they typically get paid hourly or per project and then are finished once the task is complete), but oftentimes they can be located anywhere in the world, which makes finding the right match easier simply because there’s more talent to choose from. Thanks to technology today, freelancers and contractors can effectively contribute to established teams without ever needing to step foot in an office. Of course, making sure you hire the right contractors, and then manage them effectively, will ultimately determine how much they’ll actually contribute to your business.

What to Consider When Hiring Freelancers or Contractors

One of the most important things to consider when looking to hire a freelancer is how your business works. Or, more specifically, exactly how the work you need done will be accomplished. Knowing if you need a contractor available in your timezone, for example, will help you determine how to narrow down your talent search almost immediately. 

Here are a few other questions you should consider when looking for the right freelancer:1. Do you need your freelancer to speak your language fluently? Or are they able to perform the task with minimal communication, making basic proficiency acceptable?
2. Is there a software or tool you’ll be requiring them to use in order to accomplish their tasks or communicate to your team?
3. Do you want to hire the cheapest freelancer available or would you rather pay more for higher quality work and experience?
4. Does the contractor you’re considering have recommendations, references, or work samples that you can easily access or review?
5. Is there information about your prospective candidate online, like a personal website, freelancer profile, or even social media account?

Tips for Managing the Freelancers on Your Team

Once you’ve hired the right freelancer, it’s critical that you have systems in place so that you can manage them easily, including both the work they are submitting and communication between them, yourself, and any other members on your team. To make sure you’re working together as efficiently as possible, consider these tips below.1. Determine whether or not you’ll be working with your freelancer on a short-term or long-term basis. For short-term or one-time projects, it’s probably not necessary to integrate them into your team completely. Longer relationships, however, will require you to make sure they’re on-boarded correctly so that there aren’t issues with communication down the road. 
2. Let your freelancer know which tools they will be required to use in order to communicate and complete their tasks. Give them time to familiarize themselves with the tools and be sure you’re able to field questions in the beginning. 
3. Make sure you’re not micromanaging your freelancers by giving them space to get their work done. If you find yourself needing to get in touch with them regularly, go back to your on-boarding process and see what has been overlooked. 
4. Always ask for revisions as needed. Most freelancers don’t have any problem going back and fixing issues or revising work. Problems occur with contractor relationships if you don’t communicate your expectations or let them know if you’re satisfied with the work they are doing. 
5. As your team of freelancers and contractors grows, don’t forget that you can actually hire a freelancer to manage this team for you, giving you more time and energy to focus on other aspects of your business. 

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