Growing any type of online business usually involves figuring out whether should you hire freelancers or full-time/part-time workers. In this post, we’re going to talk about how to hire freelancers, how to manage freelancers at scale, and what are the pros and cons of having them on board.
The Advantage Of Using Freelancers To Help Scale Your Business
Freelancers are a great way to scale your business. They can help you expand your operations without having to bring on full-time employees or make big investments in infrastructure. But before you decide to use freelancers, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of this approach. Here are some of the biggest advantages:
When you hire a freelancer, there is less risk of them quitting on you. They have skin in the game, and they’re working for you directly. They are also more likely to be loyal to your company because they want to be able to keep getting work from you.
Freelancers offer you the ability to scale your business by hiring temporary staff to help with specific projects. You can hire freelancers for short-term or long-term projects, for specific tasks or for full-time work, and for a specific type of work or all types of work.
This flexibility makes it easier for you to adapt quickly as market conditions change or new opportunities arise. For example, if one of your employees gets sick, you can quickly hire someone else through Upwork rather than waiting weeks until they return from their leave.
Better Quality Work
People who work for themselves are more likely to give a quality product. This is because freelancers are typically experts in their field, and therefore it is their passion to produce the highest quality work.
If you hire someone from a large company or agency, they have less motivation to take pride in their work and will be less likely to provide you with a stellar product.
Also, freelancers are usually more creative than employees; this means that they can come up with unique ideas that may not have otherwise been considered by an employee of your business.
When you hire freelance talent, you can focus on your core business. You can focus on your core strengths, and keep your attention firmly fixed on the customers and products that make up the heart of your business. This is especially important as a company begins to scale. As new business models arise to accommodate growth, it may be tempting for leaders to spread themselves too thin by trying to work in multiple fields at once.
A freelancer’s expertise allows them to help keep this from happening by focusing exclusively on one particular aspect of your larger project – a small but crucial piece that builds up into an integral part of the whole picture when combined with their peers’ contributions.
While their expertise might lie outside the realm of what would normally be considered “core” for a single employee (or even multiple employees), they’re still able to contribute meaningfully toward achieving common goals because they are clear about what those goals are – and how best they can achieve them
Freedom To Be Creative
You can work with a variety of people who have different skills, different perspectives and experiences, and different ideas.
The advantages of using freelancers outweigh the disadvantages.
- You may be able to get more done in less time when you have access to a network of specialists who can help with specific tasks and projects.
- You have more flexibility since you can hire someone on short notice or as needed. This means that your business won’t be held back by hiring employees who are not available when you need them most (for example, during busy seasons).
- It’s much easier to set up a freelance relationship than it is to set up an employee job offer because there are fewer forms involved and no worry about taxes or benefits packages
The Best Way To Hire Freelancers For Your Business
Hiring a freelancer can be a great way to get work done faster, more efficiently, and at a lower cost than hiring an employee. But if you’re not careful, you could end up with a low-quality worker who doesn’t deliver on time or even at all. Here are five steps for hiring the best freelance talent for your business:
1. Learn About The Work That’s Needed
The first step is to learn about the work that’s needed. You want to make sure you’re clear on what your freelancer will be doing for your business, so you can evaluate whether their skills and experience are appropriate for this particular project.
Ask them to describe the work they’ll be doing, and ask them to give examples of projects they’ve taken on in similar situations. Then have them tell you what tools and software they would need in order to do the job properly – if it’s something like web design or writing an eBook, there should be an entire ecosystem of relevant software available on the market today including things like Adobe Creative Cloud or Microsoft Office 365 (for example).
Then ask them about their process management approach – how are they going to manage this project? Do they have a system in place? If not, ask if they use Trello or Basecamp (or whatever tool) as part of their workflow when working with clients.
2. Verify The Freelance Workers’ Skills
After you’ve found a potential freelancer and decided that they’re worth your time, it’s important to make sure that they have the skills necessary to complete the work you need. No matter how skilled or talented someone is, if they can’t do what you need to be done, then they won’t be able to help you.
To verify their skills:
- Ask for a portfolio of past work they’ve done
- Ask for references from previous clients
- Ask them to verbally describe their process and style of working with clients; then look at samples of their work (if possible). You can also ask them to write out a description of their process and style in detail so that you have something concrete on paper.
3. Interview Them To Evaluate Their Personalities
The next step in hiring a freelancer is to interview them and determine if they’re right for your business. You’ll want to ask questions that get at the core of their abilities and personal motivations, like:
- What are some examples of past projects?
- Describe your experience working with clients/who you have worked with in the past.
- Tell me about yourself, what is your background/skillset?
- What are some of your goals as a freelancer? How does this position fit into those goals?
- How do you approach projects and work with others?
4. Have The Candidate Perform A Test Project
Test projects are a great way to get a sense of how a freelancer will work with you and your team. After all, if you’re going to pay someone to work on your business’s behalf, it’s important that they’re able to complete the job in question quickly and effectively.
You can give them as much time as they need, but try not to overthink it – the test project should be no more than an hour or two in length so that there’s time at the end of the day for both parties to reflect upon whether or not this collaboration would be beneficial for everyone involved.
This can sometimes require some adjustments on either party’s part (e.g., changing deadlines), so keep this in mind when setting up your initial meeting with candidates for testing purposes!
5. Check References
After you’ve found a freelancer who seems like they would be a good fit for your project, ask them to provide you with references. It’s important to get references from previous clients and employers, as well as any schools or volunteer organizations where the freelancer has been involved.
These will give you an idea of the quality of work that the freelancer does, their level of responsibility and professionalism, and whether or not they will be able to complete whatever project you have in mind for them.
Freelancers are great for companies who need specific jobs done on an as-needed basis. For example, a company may want to outsource design work or copywriting projects that they don’t have their own staff in-house. Instead of hiring an employee and paying them benefits, it’s often more cost-effective to hire freelancers through websites like Upwork and Fiverr. Some people even use these platforms as a full-time job!
Which Parts Of Your Business Should You Not Hire Freelancers For?
Hiring freelancers to help run your business offers huge benefits. They can take on more tasks, freeing up your time to focus on growth and profitability. But not everything can be outsourced. Here are the areas you need to think about when deciding whether or not to outsource:
Customer Service And Client Relations
You should never outsource customer service to a freelancer unless it’s absolutely necessary. While some freelancers are able to handle client relations, they often lack the ability to respond quickly and build trust with customers, which is crucial for any business.
To succeed in this role, you need to be able to solve problems, understand customer needs, and build rapport with clients quickly and effectively. If you’re not ready for that kind of responsibility yet, it makes sense for you to pass on hiring someone else – especially if you don’t have enough experience yourself!
Complex, Ongoing Projects That Require Multiple People
When considering outsourcing, you need to ask yourself if the project is complex and requires multiple people. For example, if your business needs a new website built from scratch and you don’t have anyone on staff who can do this work well, then it would be beneficial to hire a freelancer instead of hiring someone full-time. The same goes for content creation or marketing campaigns requiring specific skills that aren’t available internally.
However, if your business is looking for help with simple tasks like data entry or simple graphic design projects (like creating logos), then these jobs are better suited for part-time employees than an external company whose employees could be working on other projects at any given time.
The Meat And Potatoes Of Your Business
When you’re building your business, the core of it is the most important part. This is because (1) you’ll be spending a lot of time there, and (2) if you don’t get the core right, there won’t be much left to work with.
So when someone says they want to hire a freelancer for their business’ meat and potatoes – those things that are absolutely essential – they can end up with an unhappy ending: no core, or just a bad one.
Tasks You Are Not Good At
There are some tasks that you shouldn’t hire freelancers for because you can’t do it better than a freelancer. You don’t have the time to do it, the expertise needed to complete it, or simply don’t want to do it at all.
If you’re struggling with a task and feel like your business needs help with it, by all means, get out there and find someone who can give advice or assist with something else in return for your services. It’s much easier on everyone when people are working together as opposed to against each other!
Be Wary When Outsourcing Core Business Processes
When outsourcing core business processes, you need to be careful. If you don’t have the expertise or knowledge in a certain area, it might not be worth hiring freelancers to complete that task for you. This can lead to more problems than just wasting money on an unqualified worker (like poor results or difficulty communicating).
Outsourcing tasks that are too complex is another mistake that businesses make when they are new to hiring freelancers. A simple task might take the freelancer twenty minutes and cost $20. While this may seem like a good deal at first glance if it takes three hours for them to complete a more complicated job with multiple steps and file formats then suddenly their hourly rate becomes much higher than expected – and this could put your company over budget!
In general, when it comes to outsourcing, there are many potential pitfalls. It can be a costly and time-consuming process that often takes more effort than you think it will. But if you’ve thought through all of the potential problems and know what you’re getting into beforehand, then working with freelancers can be a great way to grow your business without having to take on too much risk yourself.
How To Manage Freelancers In Your Business
Freelancers can be a great way to boost your business. Unfortunately, freelancers can also cause headaches if they aren’t managed properly. To avoid those headaches, here are some best practices for managing your freelancers so that everyone is happy with the arrangement:
Set Firm Expectations
You should communicate your expectations clearly and give examples of what you expect from the freelancer. This can be done through email or in person, but make sure you are clear about what you expect from them.
Make sure that the freelancer knows exactly what is expected from them as well!
Give Feedback In A Timely Manner
Feedback is one of the most critical aspects of managing freelancers. It helps you understand what’s working and what isn’t so you can continue to improve your business as well as ensure that every freelancer is working towards the same goal.
To ensure that feedback is given in a timely, constructive manner, try following these tips:
- Give feedback in a private setting where it can be given openly without interruption. This can be done over email or in person, whichever works best for your business needs at the time.
- Make sure to provide only constructive criticism when giving feedback to any freelancers – this means no backhanded compliments or condescending remarks! Instead of saying “Wow, this project was amazing” say something like “This project was amazing but there were some areas that could use refinement.”
Establish A Timeline And Stick To It
Establishing a timeline is one of the most important factors when working with freelancers. The timeline should include the following:
- Defining the project, including its goals and objectives. This will help you stay focused on what needs to be done, instead of getting sidetracked by other tasks that seem more urgent at first glance.
- Setting a deadline for completion by which time all work must be completed or delivered in order for you to use any material provided by your team member(s). If a deadline is missed, remind everyone involved that there are repercussions for missing deadlines (e.g., payment penalties).
- Establishing a budget that covers all expenses related to completing this project – including fees paid out to freelancers/external contractors/etc., as well as any other costs associated with creating or executing this project (e.g., equipment rental fees). It’s important not only because it keeps everyone involved accountable but also because knowing how much money they have available allows them to make better decisions about what they really need versus what they think they might need based solely on personal preference/opinion alone.
Keep Communication Lines Open
Communication is the bedrock of any successful relationship, and this is especially true when managing freelancers. In order to ensure that your team members are able to do their jobs well and on time, they need to know where they stand as far as deadlines go. One way you can make sure of this is by using an easy-to-use messaging system that keeps everyone up-to-date with what’s happening in their projects at all times. This will lead to fewer misunderstandings between clients and freelancers, which can help improve efficiency while saving money on rework due to miscommunication.
If you use freelancers in your business, it’s important to have a system for managing them. They’re not employees, so there are no official contracts. You can’t measure their productivity with the same metrics you’d use with employees. However, that doesn’t mean that good management doesn’t apply at all!
- Set clear expectations: A contract is not necessary but it’s still important to set clear expectations and make sure that both parties are on the same page about what they want from each other. This means making sure there are no misunderstandings about deliverables and timelines – if you get what was promised by a deadline then great! If not then perhaps re-negotiate those details before starting another project together (with the benefit of hindsight).
- Give feedback regularly: Like in any workplace relationship, communication is key when working with freelancers so make sure everyone knows how they’re doing and if something needs improvement or fixing right away without waiting until after everything else has been done (which could lead to stress later down the line).
This advice should help you to understand not only what the benefits are of hiring freelancers to help scale your business, but also which areas are most suited to this, and which areas are best left to contracted employees, as well as providing some of the best ways to manage those freelancers at scale.