Freelancers are self-employed individuals who work with companies on a project-by-project basis rather than being employed by the company itself.
As working from home and remote jobs become more common, many people are beginning to explore freelancing options rather than a traditional office job.
Freelancing provides great benefits to freelancers and businesses alike. Hiring a freelancer can be a great cost-saving option and help get you support when you need it without going through an interview, hiring, and training process with an in-house employee.
Thankfully, finding a freelancer is becoming easier and easier. However, successfully working with freelancers requires a different approach than a traditional employee.
In this article, we’ll help you learn how to take on working freelancers and provide tips on how to manage a freelance workforce.
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1. Define Your Needs
The first tip for working with freelancers is to clearly define what it is you are looking for. The term freelancing covers a wide range of different jobs and skills, including:
- HR professionals
- Social media professionals
- SEO professionals
- Branding consultants
Before you can even start thinking about working with freelancers, you first need to know what kind of project you need to complete.
You also need to know what the end deliverable you want will be, and what budget or other considerations you will have.
This makes finding the right person easier and ensures that you can give them all of the information needed to complete the job correctly.
2. Write a Detailed Project Description
When working with freelancers, you can’t just send them a project and assume they will take it.
You need to create a detailed project description that lets any potential freelancing candidate understand exactly what you are asking for.
Clearly define and outline the project, and make sure you explain what qualifications you are looking for.
When you can clearly explain the type of job you have and the type of person you need to fill it, you can find the right person.
Think of it as a job description, where you are trying to find the best person to fill the role.
3. Consider the Cultural Fit
While a freelancer won’t be a permanent or full-time part of your team, they will still likely be interacting with different people within your organization.
And they’ll also be completing work that needs to fit into the values and mission of your brand. Therefore, you’ll want to consider the cultural fit of any freelancer you work with.
While you can hire freelancers from anywhere in the world, you’ll want to ensure that they can understand what your goals are and appreciate the value of your company.
Finding the right fit means that they fit into your company culture, which ultimately leads to a better relationship.
4. Be Present and Supportive
Far too often, a company will hire a freelancer, send them a project description, and then never reach out to them again until the deadline comes up.
However, working with freelancers requires a little more management than just that in order to be successful.
You don’t want to micromanage, as a freelancer won’t appreciate the unnecessary oversight, but make sure that your freelancers know that you are available for help and are willing to jump on a call or take a look at what they are working on.
Being present and supportive will help you manage your freelancers better.
5. Learn to Manage a Remote Freelance Workforce
Speaking of managing your freelancers , you’ll need to change up your management style when it comes to your freelance workforce.
A great place to start is to learn how to manage remote employees in general. If your company already has remote employees, you are on the right track.
If not, then you’ll want to learn how to adjust your mindset for remote management. Things like planning check-ins, setting meetings to level-set, and being available on chat can help you manage remote employees more successfully.
Then you can apply those skills to your freelance employees as you hire them.
6. Understand that They are Not Full-Time Employees
Sometimes managers expect more out of their freelancers than what they are contracted to do for you.
It can be easy to slip into the patterns you have with your regular full-time employees and send them additional requests or tasks that you didn’t plan on at first.
It’s important to remember that a freelancer likely has many different clients that they are working for at once.
That means that they plan their time and working hours carefully to fit into their schedule.
If you start going beyond your project and expecting them to have the time to handle it like a full-time employee, you might damage the relationship permanently.
7. Interview and Screen Potential Candidates
You don’t have to go with the first freelancer who responds to a project description.
Finding a freelancer requires a screening and interviewing process to be put in place to find the best candidates.
You need to make sure they have the knowledge, tools, and abilities to successfully complete the projects you have for them.
By interviewing your candidates, asking for reviews or references, and viewing previous work that they have done can help you find the right fit for your needs.
The process doesn’t need to be as detailed as a traditional interview, but it still should happen before you find someone.
8. Pay Them Fairly
Working with freelancers tends to be more economical than hiring a full-time employee for your company.
You don’t have to pay for benefits, and usually only pay by the hour or a monthly retainer cost. However, you shouldn’t think that hiring freelancers is a cheap way to get work done.
Freelancers need to be compensated fairly for what they do.
High-quality freelancers are likely to have high rates to match the skills that they are bringing for you.
People offering to work for extremely low prices should be a red flag that they might not be as skilled as you need.
9. Create a Contract
A contract is a way to protect both your interests and the interests of the freelancer you hire.
It can clearly detail what your goals are and what is expected for your payment. It can also set terms around when payments are due and when the deadlines are.
A contract ensures that both parties are aware of what needs to be done for each project.
A simple contract template can be enough to make sure that deliverables and expectations are set for your freelancing jobs.
You can also make this process a lot easier by working with a freelance platform like
10. Provide the Right Tools
Working with freelancers is a low-cost option for many reasons. One of which is that you aren’t responsible for their technology costs except for special circumstances.
However, you still need to provide the right tools for your freelance employees.
Make sure that they have access and clearance for whatever systems you have that they need to be a part of in order to successfully complete their work.
You might also want to add them to your work chat program so they can ask questions and become a part of your team.
11. Communicate Clearly
Communication with freelancers is key to success.
If you can’t communicate clearly with your freelance workforce, then you won’t be able to build up trust and a healthy relationship.
Be open to conversations and communication, and give them several options about how they can reach out and get in contact with you.
You’ll also want to make sure that your projects and requests are clearly communicated from the beginning.
That will ensure that there isn’t unnecessary back and forth between you and your freelance workforce.
12. Thank Freelancers for the Work They Do
Freelancing can sometimes be a thankless job.
Because a freelancer isn’t a full-time member of a company, they can miss out on benefits like company parties, fun rewards, bonuses, and other signs of appreciation.
And sometimes managers just accept the work from a freelancer without saying a “thank you” for doing that work.
Be appreciative to your freelancers, and sincerely thank them for the work that they do for you.
Just going out of your way to praise them for a job well done can go a long way in ensuring that you have a healthy relationship with them and that they are excited to work for your brand.
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Freelancing, otherwise known as the gig economy, is becoming a popular option for both employees and businesses looking to hire people for different projects.
But working with freelancers requires a different skill set than working with traditional employees.
With the help of these tips and an open mind, you’ll find that working with freelancers is much easier than you thought it would be.
Working with freelancers is one thing, but you first need to learn how to find them. If you’re interested in starting to work with freelancers, then check out our blog on how to find freelancers !
There you’ll learn some of the best places and tips on how to find the best freelancers for your needs.