So you have started a company – well, is everything running smoothly? Most likely, it isn’t yet, since there are many aspects in running a business that are far from easy to handle: Tight schedules, packed sessions, peak sales hours, pressures regarding time-sensitive deliveries and mass-bulk orders, and so many more such innumerable situations.
However, there is a solution that could help you cope with such intensive operational workloads: Simply put, hire freelancers and consultants to handle these operational tasks.
At the most basic level, hiring freelancers will allow you to manage your more time-sensitive and more intense business tasks, especially during peak business hours, by adding to the manpower that you need without making it a permanent change in your team numbers (which you will have little to no use for during the slower seasons of your business). At best, you gain freelance employees who can add great value to your business and might even take a more permanent role in your business.
What you should know about hiring freelancers:
Strengthening your workforce with freelancers needs a different work process than the one you use for hiring and managing in-house employees. The main things you should make sure of, though, is that you get good value from the work-relationship, that you clearly explain the roles and responsibilities expected of the freelancers you hire, that you clearly stipulate what they can expect from you regarding payments and benefits and communication in terms of their tenure in your business.
Consider former employees as potential freelance hires:
People who have left your company, but who you are still on good terms with, should definitely be considered as part of the talent resources from which you can hire freelancers for your business. In fact, if a good employee from your company has given notice that they are leaving the job, but have not planned to jump into any other full-time activity or job (for whatever reason), then it is a good idea to ask them if they’re willing to continue working for you on a freelance basis. Even better is the fact that you do not need to train these freelancers, as they already know how your business works and what working with your team entails. In fact, unlike when you hire new freelancers, you don’t even need to give them an introduction.
On another side, the fact that you value your employees to consider their work valuable in any capacity, will certainly earn you employee loyalty.
Stick to the clauses and milestones that are defined in the business contracts:
In case there is a gap in supervision, clearly identified milestones will ensure a smooth work relationship between your freelancers and your business. Make sure that the freelancer sticks to the contract milestones for each project (which are usually defined when the contract is given for signing). It should explain the scope of the freelance services expected, the methodology they follow, the start and end dates of the contract, payment dates, and other various requirements. Samples of such contracts can be found on sites like Upwork, which is a site that helps connect businesses with freelancers.
Schedule time for check-ins with your freelance employees:
While you do not require hour-by-hour updates from your freelance employees, regular communications and meetings (maybe via video calls or chats if in-person meetings are not possible) are definitely good ways to keep up-to-date with your freelancers and to keep your project running smoothly. You can take advantage of cloud-based project management tools and various document sharing tools (that are available online) in order to make clear a project’s details and to keep track of them. For instance, Slack is one such collaboration tool that could make the management of freelancers in your team a lot easier
Abide by the payment terms agreed upon:
Freelancers will be eager to work with your business if they are aware about how promptly you make payments. Slow payments are one of the biggest stumbling blocks for freelancers, as they do not enjoy wasting time to follow up with your payroll departments on missing cheques. Therefore, when it comes to processing payments, you must give prioritize your freelancers’ payments on the same level that you prioritize the same for your in-house employees. In fact, the best method with freelancer payments is to automate your payroll processes; this will also free you to focus on other more important core tasks as well.
Having a great team of freelancers is not only good for your business, but it is also a way to identify the future full-time employees for your business. Freelancers on the other hand may decide to join a company at some point of time, thus hiring the known freelancers will save your resource hunting time and money spent on recruiting as well.