Partnering with a freelancer is a cost-effective way to leverage fast deliverables from specialist talent. This could include project-specific support; setting up new business processes; or going through a period of transformation. Furthermore, freelancers often reduce costs, avoid adding permanent headcount and bring new ideas which challenge thinking.
When choosing the right freelancer for your business, we recommend the following…
Planning and Positioning
Strategic planning is essential; qualify, define and strategise a project in detail to ensure both yourself and the freelancer are confident of what is needed, expected and are on the same page. It is also worth considering how attractive your business – and project – is for a freelancer. There might be a large pool of freelancers out there, but the highly skilled often have their pick of clients!
- Is the project unique?
- Does the project have a positive impact on the community/ wider population?
- Is there an opportunity for long-term work?
- Will you provide references/ testimonials?
- Can they work flexible hours and/ or remotely?
- Is your pay rate competitive? Do you offer a bonus for early completion/ high-quality work?
- What are your company values?
- What is the company culture like?
Invest in the Hiring Process
Even though a freelancer is not a permanent employee, the hiring process should still be treated with the same due diligence. Advertising your job will likely result in a high volume of responses, especially if you’re open to remote working. With the advances in technology/connectivity and increasingly mobile workforce, geographical boundaries have been eliminated, opening your business to a much larger talentpool which all state they are the best fit for the job. Filtering through applications is a time-consuming task, and that’s just the start! Then you have to manage the whole process; from initial screening, to interviewing, to rejecting candidates and contract negotiations.
Using a recruitment partner is a great way to streamline the process to a handful of applicants that are the perfect fit for the project and culture. You can work with recruiters to decide on how you would like to screen candidates, what questions to ask and how deep to dive into their experience and application preparation. Did they read the brief? Have they researched the business? Do they have experience working on similar projects? Do they have references? The list goes on…
Draft Agreements and Integrate
Once you have selected your freelancer, ensure you align expectations and have a well-drafted consultancy agreement which you both sign. This should include payment terms, duration of work, and clearly define who owns the IP rights or the deliverable of the work product that the freelancer produces.
Introduce them with the wider team and integrate them into the business. This is an opportunity to share contact details so the freelancer can ask questions and gather information from the relevant individuals when required. Do a thorough onboarding, going through the business, brand and growth plans. This will ensure the freelancer works in conjunction with business values. Gather all project documentation to ensure the freelancer can get up to speed fast and understand every detail of the work required. This will also encourage the freelancer to offer new ideas/improvements aligning to business needs.
Ensure all technology that the freelancer will need access to has been shared. It is also recommended to give the freelancer a list of these tools in advance so if they aren’t already, they can familiarize themselves with the platforms and hit the ground running.