Many businesses are now seeing the benefits of hiring remote freelance workers. They’re often cheaper than hiring full-time office workers and you can hire them as and when needed.
If you’re new to hiring freelancers it can seem like a bit of a minefield. How do you pick the right person and how do you go about managing this business relationship? Here are some tips for hiring and working with your first freelancer.
Get contracts sorted
If they don’t bring up the subject of contracts, then make sure you do. A contract is a written agreement that protects both of you. It’s also a good way to check that you’re both on the same page and expect the same things from each other. If the freelancer you’re speaking to brings up contracts and policies, this is a good sign that you’re dealing with a professional.
Communication is key when it comes to managing anyone who works for you but particularly for people who aren’t in the office.
Some people rely on email which can work well enough but now people are moving towards different tools. Slack is a popular option. It’s an instant messaging tool that teams can join and communicate in real time and send over files whenever necessary.
There are loads of freelancers operating online. You don’t have to limit yourself to someone who lives nearby. A lot of people never meet the freelancers they hire because they can handle all of their communication online or via phone.
Shop around and look for freelancers who have their own website and portfolio so you can see examples of their work. This will help you see whether they’re the right fit for you before you even have to contact them. Ideally you want one who specialises in the type of work that you need and can demonstrate this via a portfolio.
Don’t go for the cheapest
Content mills and budget freelancers are popular but if you want quality work from an experienced freelancer, you should be prepared to pay for one. That’s not to say that every budget freelancer is bad but they are usually charging less because they’ve just started and are lacking experience.
If you want a freelancer who is going to add value to your business, then don’t risk your investment by going with the cheapest option. The last thing you want to do is realise too late and have to hire another freelancer anyway for more money.
Remember they’re not your employee
Hiring someone who won’t be in the office and will be working with other companies at the same time can be a bit of a learning curve for some.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have any control over how they spend their time. They are running a business and you’ve hired them only for what is said on the contract. You can set deadlines, as long as the freelancer agrees, but it’s not up to you how they spend their working hours.
This means that you can’t call them at random parts of the day and expect them to drop everything. They have other clients and jobs to work on.
Don’t be a scope creep
Scope creeps are clients who ask for “just a little bit” extra work than what the freelancer has been contracted to do. It’s pretty common but as small as you think the amount of work is, you’re still asking someone to work for free.
One little bit might not be much but freelancers often make it a rule that they won’t do any work they haven’t been paid for because all the little bits add up to a lot and end with them losing money.
Have you ever hired a freelancer? Have you got any other tips? Let us know your thoughts.