How to effectively use freelancers

09 Sep
2018

Outsourcing your project might just be one of the best business decisions you’ll make – it frees up your time to focus on other important tasks; helps you get things done faster while ensuring you keep a tight leash on your overhead cost.

According to a study by the Freelancers’ Union, more and more professionals are opting to become freelancers; in the past 12 months alone, the number of workers identified as freelancers jumped from 700,000 to about 50 million. Marketplace sites like Experts Exchange, Fiverr and Upwork, are giving workers much more freedom and flexibility to offer their professional services.

And of course, workers aren’t the only ones benefiting from these sites; companies are transforming their business by hiring contractors who deliver professional services on the go. The “gig-economy” as it is referred to, can help your company expands its resource pool and complete projects at a much faster rate. So why are you not taking advantage of the numerous benefits involved in outsourcing projects to professional contractors?

Most business managers I came across within the process of writing this article had good reviews after outsourcing their projects, and the few who didn’t relate it to a few problems that could have been easily averted.

So, how best can you integrate professional contractors into your project seamlessly to help you achieve your business goals?

Hiring the right contractor

Mitchell Bryson, Start-up developer, and designer are of the opinion that shortlisting applicants and interviewing each of them to find the right freelancer with the right skill set will help to produce the best person for the job.

Freelancers regularly differ in skill set; having a professional with the right skill set can help to achieve work efficiency and avoid recurring costs.

Communication

Raghunath Reddy, Executive Vice President, UTI Mutual Fund agrees that effective communication forms the base of the relationship between manager and freelancer.

Consistent communication between both parties is essential. There might be a broad vision that needs to be broken into parts to make it easier to complete without having bottlenecks. Communicate these visions clearly, or you are risking a huge disappointment. You can hire for a part by part so that even before completion, these individual projects can stand on their own; It will minimize the risks involved in the project.

Spelling out the details at the beginning for clear understanding, and breaking into parts if it is a huge project you are embarking on, are effective ways to use freelancers.

Team-work can still happen virtually

Henry Ford once said: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

If Ford were to rewrite his famous saying today, it could read like this… “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together virtually is advancement”. When Introducing freelancers to work with your full-time employees on a project, be sure to set clear roles for all involved in the team to avoid a clash of responsibility and ambiguity as to who is in charge of what. Misunderstanding about responsibility regarding who is in charge, it can slow down your team progress and delay the completion of projects on schedule.

There should be cohesion, and each member of the unit should be fully aware of their roles. Your responsibility as a manager is to set the goals and allow for flexibility in your workplace. Set the tone for your workplace and the style for doing things that mirrors your actions and behavior. When hiring freelancers, it is necessary that their behavior and knowledge is also a fit as well. Take time to integrate freelancers with full-time workers and add them to company meetings if possible.

We are on the cusp of something special, reduce company operational costs and improve efficiency!

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