When it comes to hiring people for your business, you can get freelancers or employees. Each has a benefit that will be determined by what your current needs are as an employer. There are times when you should use freelancers, but there are also times when employees are what you need. A freelancer is defined as someone that is not an employee and therefore are not able to collect the same benefits that an employee would. However, a freelancer is not tied down to your specific business and can work for anyone they please. Employing freelancers comes with tremendous benefits that almost every company should want.
When it comes to how to use freelancers, there are many things you need to take into consideration. The most important reason to hire a freelancer is if the length of the project isn’t long. For example, for a two-month project, you wouldn’t want to hire an employee that would just be idle after the project has been finished. This is a great way to get the project done. Hiring a freelancer will help you make sure that things are completed to your specifications. A freelancer will also not know how your business operates and therefore, they will need more onboarding before things can be done. Freelancers will save you a lot of money on employee compensation. Things like benefits, healthcare, and other methods of compensation are not available to freelancers. You only pay for the services a freelancer provides.
Using Freelancers: Is It Right For Your Team?
Freelancers can offer tremendous benefits in terms of cost savings in the long term. Depending on your business model, you might want to use them instant of full-time employees. Not only will you save time, but you will save money. The only pay for what you need and in the end, freelancers will get the job done at a great level. The major benefit of an employee is the cost. Also, for specialized work, you will be able to get a freelancer that is more qualified than your employees. Some jobs will require talent that your workers don’t have.
Pros of Working with Freelancers:
There are many positives to hiring freelancers:
- By hiring a freelancer, you get the best work possible for your money.
- Depending on your business, you may not need to hire a full-time worker. With freelancers, you can scale the number of hours and time-frame to only pay what you need to.
- For specialized work, you will be able to get a freelancer that is more qualified than your employees. Some jobs will require talent that your workers don’t have.
Cons of Working with Freelancers:
There are major downsides to using freelancers, however:
- Freelancers are not an employee and are not tied to your business – and because of that, they may not feel as connected.
- Freelancers work for anyone they please and you cannot rely on them to be there when you need them.
Amount of work: You should consider how much work you have available. If your work is ongoing, it may be better to hire a full-time employee who can take care of that work as it comes.
Onboarding & Integrating Freelancers with Meetings
If you have made the decision to hire a freelancer, then the next question is how to integrate that freelancer into your team. The best way to introduce freelancers is through meetings. Here are some best practices that will help you get the freelancer integrated into your team.
The first thing you need to make sure you have are documents that the freelancer can use to get onboarding relatively quickly. Alternatively, you can get software that helps onboard people easily and quickly. You also need to update them on your procedures and help them understand what you need from them. Setting proper project parameters is also something you must do in order to get the most out of a freelancer. Without this, the freelancer won’t know in which direction to go and you may end up having to pay them to do the job over again.
Intro Meeting with the Team
Introduce the new team member by scheduling a meeting. If the freelancer is up to speed on a project, you can invite your new freelance team member to a project meeting, just as long as you take the time initially to introduce them to the other team members.
On-Going Status Meetings
Holding meetings relatively periodically will help keep the freelancer on track so you get the best work possible. Typically, freelancers will work remotely, so an emphasis on communication is important. More importantly, effective communication with remote workers is different than in-person communication. Making sure team members continuously communicate with freelancers is important, particularly if all other team members are working in the same office space. If your team utilizes messaging software like Slack, that will be a great tool to get freelancers included, and on the same page as the whole team.
If it’s possible, consider an in-person meeting. Hosting an in-person meeting can help create stronger bonds with members of your team. This is something that is advisable for people who live relatively close to their freelancers. Sometimes, companies will want to meet in-person first, before beginning a project. This can be a good strategy.
How to Work Freelancers
What better way to learn how to work with freelancers than from a freelance expert! We’ve interviewed Justine Clay, who has been working with creative freelance professionals for 20 years.
What should enterprise companies keep in mind while working with freelancers?
Justine: “The most common challenge I see is companies treating freelancers like a pair of hands instead of creative partners. When a company is really clear about the desired outcome, they can look for the best, rather than cheapest, person to help them achieve that outcome. I highly recommend looking at communication and work style (yours and theirs), the freelancer’s ability to quickly grasp your needs, and their ability to work independently. I’d always advise hiring the best talent you can afford”.
How companies can do a better job of communicating with freelancers?
Justine: “From my 15+ years of experience as a rep for creative freelancers, I can say the #1 reason anything ever went wrong was that expectations were not clearly and consistently communicated. Start with a really good brief and if you don’t have one, the project is already in trouble. Things to consider are project objective, scope, deliverables, budget, timing, and success markers. Assign one point person to the freelancer through whom all feedback and communication flow. Agree on the number of refinements that are included in the project fee ahead of time and give timely and clear feedback. If the scope of the project changes, let the freelancer know, ask if they can accommodate the extra work, be prepared to pay extra and have them send an estimate for approval before they embark on the work. If you’re respectful, consistent and clear, the freelancer will likely bend over backward to give you what you need”.
How often or long should meetings with freelancers be in order to be most productive?
Justine: “This will vary on the complexity and size of the project. Ideally, you don’t want to be meeting more than you need, so I’d recommend a meeting (which can be by virtual or in-person) with the key parties when you provide the brief, for the freelancer to present the concept and first round of design, and to review final designs before any files go to press/live, etc. If you feel you’re in need of multiple meetings, it might mean you need to look any your own internal processes and see where things can be streamlined”.
Yoyomeeting Helps Better Communicate & Manage Freelancers
Yoyomeeting is a meeting management software used with Microsoft 365 that helps manage meetings more easily. Whether it’s an in-person meeting or a virtual meeting, our platform helps you schedule and run meetings with freelancers. Learn more.