5 Essential Tips for Working with Freelancers

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Hiring new staff can be an expensive and time-consuming process, especially if you only need their skills and expertise for a short amount of time.

That’s why freelancers could be the perfect solution. You can hire them for whatever you need, and then stop working with them once the project is over.

If you need their skills again, then all you have to do is reach out to them, and they’ll be happy to help you with your next project. 

Freelancers can save your operation and play a vital role in the modern business climate. However, working with the wrong set of freelancers can become a nightmare and open you up to all sorts of consequences. 

You could put your company’s cybersecurity at risk by hiring malicious web programmers or designers. You could hire someone who will sabotage your marketing efforts by releasing conflicting or false information, or you might have to deal with someone who holds the keys to your social media and could wreak havoc. 

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That’s why you need to take your time when picking a freelancer and know what you should and should not do if you want your project done, and have no issues to worry about. 

For any business leaders seeking to start outsourcing work for the first time, here are our 5 essential tips for working with freelancers.

Get Familiar with How They Work

Ideally, you want a track record of this person’s work and how they performed. This is why popular freelancing sites are a great way to find talents. You can easily get a snapshot of what other people had to say about them. If you connect with them somewhere else, ask if you can get some references and ask them how it was to work with the person, and how satisfied they were with the results.

You should also give any freelancer a few test jobs at first to see how the two of your work together. You want to see if they can meet deadlines and how attentive they are. See how easy it is to get a response from them, their tone, and whether they like to be asked for or give regular updates. This will give you a better idea of who you’re dealing with.

Know Who They Are

You don’t necessarily need to have a face to face conversation with the freelancer you’re going to hire. If you go through a freelancer site, or a public forum when they have a verifiable record, then you’ll have a chance to know a lot about them right there. But, if you’re hiring them for something serious, like anything that has to do with IT, we suggest that you run them through a background check.

All you need is the person’s first and last name as well as their state of residence, and you can run a background search on a service like Public Records Reviews. You can easily check for things like Federal Court Records and see if they were accused of something like identity theft for instance. You’ll be able to see if they had any convictions that could jeopardize yours, your business’s, or your employees’ security in seconds and make a decision accordingly.

Don’t Try to Micromanage

Freelancers like freedom, and if you constantly nag them for details before the end of a deadline, you can expect your relationship to deteriorate. Instead of trying to micromanage and put them on constant pressure, try to give them some context of the project instead, the ultimate goals of it, and any meaningful input from stakeholders.

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When working with freelancers, it’s also important to give them reliable timelines. If you’ve used the above tips, then you should be able to trust that they’ll stick to your deadlines and provide the work promptly. Be approachable and supportive, so that if they do struggle with anything, they feel able to reach out to you and ask for help or advice. 

Be Careful with Last Minute Work

Freelancers usually juggle all sorts of projects at once, and, while they will accommodate you from time to time and be open to last-minute requests, you can’t make it a habit. Again, this is a sure-fire way for them to start ignoring you at some point. So, try to let them know in advance if you expect to need any assistance at some point. 

By being courteous and supporting the freelancers that you use regularly, you’ll build trust and create a strong working relationship. In the future, you might find that the standard improves, or that you get a discount or a faster turnaround. 

Don’t Assume Quality Based on Price

Price should not be the main indicator of how good a freelancer is. Some will charge very low but are very qualified. These are the ones who are usually just getting started and don’t know the value of their work. There are a few of these gems out there, but they’re not the norm. While the price is not the end all be all, it’s still somewhat indicative of what you can expect.

However, this is much more reliable when we look at the lower end of the spectrum. There is no limit to how much a particular freelancer decides to charge, so someone asking for a crazy amount won’t necessarily give it back in terms of quality. There is no cap on how much they can charge, but the same can’t be said about value.

If you want to play things safe, try to concentrate on quotes down the middle, and give a few tests to those with low quotes but good reviews. You’ll then be able to build a solid list of freelancers you can contact when you need anything.

These are just some of the things you need to do before you start looking for freelancers to supplement your team. Make sure that you take the time necessary to find someone who you can trust both with important data, and to complete the work assigned.

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