31 May 2021
How to Work with Freelancers and Get Things Done
If you read this article, then you are perhaps facing the question “how to work with freelancers”. It may be tough in terms of time, communications and budget. When these three aspects aren’t properly managed by you, you run the risk of failing your project and wasting resources. But at the same time, having all these properly set makes them work towards your goal and achieve great results.
The advantages of hiring a freelancer
- Maximum flexibility
- Less supervision
- Risks reduction
- Faster work and hiring
Flexible schedules and part-time work
Hiring a freelancer to do a job for you, you don’t need to worry about thу time when you actually have no tasks for them. You agree to a particular task and a payment that your freelancer will have, and that’s your deal. Whether you plan to hire a freelancer for a small-scale project or a larger one, you may discuss the schedule before entering the agreement. Freelancers are flexible with their work hours and may cover your needs in staff outside of your normal working hours.
Quality and access to top talents
Working with freelancers gives you access to a wide pool of talents. You might need a designer today and a good copywriter for another two days. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense having all these people in-house.
Freelancing is a sort of business, and therefore people doing freelance work are business owners who value their reputation. They strive for the best quality of their work, so you may be sure that you are getting highly skilled professionals right when you need them and for the exact time you need them.
When you hire freelancers, you can save a lot of money. First of all, on the salary itself, because you only pay for the time people actually work. And second, on the cost of the office, supplies, etc. that you would have to bear if you weren’t hiring people who have their own home offices equipped exactly like needed for the type of job they do. Sometimes you even may hire more professional people at less cost because they may reduce their rate deliberately compared to if they worked for you in-house. Just because they don’t need to spend money on daily commuting, eating out, etc.
Less supervision and training
Speaking of the in-house staff, you spend a lot of resources training your employees. Obviously, because you are interested in their professional growth. With freelancers it’s their own expenses, they pay for their training, courses, etc.
Another great advantage of freelancers is that they require less supervision. They have likely performed this job many times before and know exactly what to do. If we are talking about the particular work that may be performed independently. like creating a website or creating an agreement template.
Legally freelancers aren’t your employees, and that reduces the risk that your company may incur. Freelancers can’t claim unemployment benefits or make insurance claims. You can easily terminate their contract in case they do not perform like expected.
The rates you agree on when hiring a freelancer are defined by the amount of work to be done, so you don’t risk paying more than the output you get.
Faster work and hiring
Again, having someone who performed the work you need to be done a thousand times before, provides you with the opportunity to get things faster. Sometimes a freelance specialist can perform the task twice faster than your in-house worker who is not so narrow-specialized.
The very process of hiring a freelancer is much faster than the complicated one of the in-house employee. You may always have a small pilot project with a freelancer before involving them in bigger projects.
How do you make sure you don’t make a mistake?
The freelance market is currently flooded with people. You need to be prepared before you hire someone. This instruction should help you to avoid mistakes that may be made when hiring freelancers and lead to a valuable result.
First of all, you need to clearly understand what is the result of the job you post on a freelance platform. Website, blog article, review, document?
Then you need to evaluate to the best possible understanding how many hours a freelancer may spend and make preliminary calculations to the cost. Even if the project is based on the hourly rate, it’s possible to talk to a freelancer beforehand to get an estimate of hours that may possibly be spent on a task. This estimated time may be set as a maximum time, it’s always possible to prolong their contract later.
You may consider performing your own research to understand the average cost of the type of work you hire a freelancer for. Also, you may look at how much other freelancers charge for the same kind of work. Check their listed skills. Keep in mind the opportunity cost. There might be a significant difference in rates of freelancers from different countries. Think a little bit if you are ready to work with people from other countries.
When posting a job, be very precise, explain what you need exactly. If it’s a particular output that can be named (article, document), list it as the desired output. Provide as many details as possible for the right person to identify himself suitable for this job. If there are any particular requirements for a freelancer, they should also be listed.
When you have a pool of applicants, check the reviews given to them by other people. How many positive reviews do they have? Is there any specific information in reviews that you are interested in? If you don’t mind hiring freelancers new to the platform you are using and who don’t have reviews yet, ask them to provide examples of their previous work. Check the necessary requirements (skills, certificates, education, etc.). If the project is complex, it may be necessary to set up a call to talk over the details.
When working with a new person, consider checking their progress regularly to understand if they claim a reasonable amount of time for the actual work they are doing. Talk to a freelancer if you think they are spending too much time. As time goes, you will identify trusted people that you will work with in the future more often. They will require less even if no supervision at all.
Whenever possible, prefer fixed-price contracts over hourly rates. In most cases, it’s even easier for a freelancer to identify the exact end cost of a particular task or the scope of tasks. Set up milestones if the contract is long and requires a scope of work that may be split into steps.
Keeping track of the freelance work
The question of keeping track of tasks arises not only when working with freelancers. However, in this case, it may be the very crucial one. Consider having a system that will support you during this process. Kanbanchi boards may be used to track tasks that you give your freelancers.
You may even share your boards with them and make these boards the ultimate placeholder for the information about your project. Assign cards to different freelancers and ask them to update their cards so that you are always aware of what they are currently doing.