The How-To: Managing Freelancers Effectively
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Thanks to the gig economy, companies can tap into a pool of independent experts in any field on a freelance basis. The flexibility of using a contractor on a short-term basis makes it attractive for organizations to get support without having the burden of overheads. However, you and the freelancer need to be aligned for the relationship to be successful. This requires identifying what, how and when to deliver the task.
As the CEO of Ureed, one of the Middle East region’s largest editorial marketplace for freelancers, here are my tips on how organizations should approach hiring freelancers, and be successful at that:
1. Check the freelancers track record. The best way to know what you’re going to get is to review what they have done before for others. Check their projects, their thinking, vet them as if they are being interviewed for a job. Seeing their work will give you a good idea of what you can expect in terms of final deliverables. Ask for similar projects in size and scope so you can compare apples to apples.
2. Know what you want. Be clear about what tasks are required from the freelancer by setting objectives and having a brief. A written brief will assist you to articulate your needs and think through the role and job at hand. Also, it’s important to define your expectations for how much time is required to finish the task. Lastly, don’t forget to set a budget so you are up front about how much you are willing to pay a freelancer to perform the job.
3. Have an open communications channel. Successful client-freelancer relationships work best when there is an open communication channel. Make time to discuss the work to ensure you and the freelancer are on the same page. You can connect with your freelancer through emails, chats, phone calls or through social media applications to keep the track of the work and discuss ideas when necessary. Take time to train them on your business so they can add value to your project.
4. Check the work. You have to assess the work delivered by your freelancer and check it against the brief. It’s smart to assign the freelancer small tasks to complete before advancing to bigger projects to make sure the work fits your style and needs.
5. Give critical and constructive feedback. Giving feedback is important for the freelancer so they understand what it takes to deliver rock star work. They will want your feedback because they want you to be happy. Happy clients mean repeat business for them, so gift your feedback to them.