Mistakes to avoid when working with freelancers

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Freelancing has never been so popular. Millions of people are already self-employed at least some of the time, and an Upwork survey found that up to 20% of American employees plan to become self-employed.

It’s no surprise that more companies are hiring freelance talent to provide specialized skills, fill gaps in their talent pool, or handle some of the workload during peak periods.

Freelancers offer important skills and additional flexibility for any business. But hiring a freelancer isn’t as easy as sending an email, and working with freelancers can have its own pitfalls and issues.

We’ve rounded up the top five mistakes you should avoid if you’re working with freelancers, from the biggest problems to the smallest tips that can make the experience easier for everyone involved. If you want to hire a freelancer, head here to read our verdict of the best free and paid freelance sites – and here is our selection of best american job sitestoo much.

Do not talk to HR

It’s easier to hire a freelancer than a conventional employee, but that doesn’t mean you should skip the proper processes – if you want the relationship to be successful and smooth, then follow the rules.

Before hiring a freelancer, head to your human resources department and find out exactly what contracts you need to meet all of your legal requirements. This will vary from country to country, but a good freelance contract will protect both the freelancer and your business and ensure that you comply with the correct tax codes.

Ideally, your contracts should confirm the type of work, the outcome and duration of the contract as well as the rates of pay. Contracts can also cover revisions, deadlines, cancellations, copyright and ownership, and what happens in the event of a dispute. Consult with the freelancer to establish a contract that works for everyone involved. If you can eliminate as much ambiguity as possible, it will produce a better working relationship.

Apart from your contractual obligations, your company should have a freelancer policy so that everyone involved is aware of the hiring process, what to do if there is a problem, or if the freelancer has a grievance.

Make Freelancers Feel Welcome

The contracts you make with freelancers should detail the work they will do, the schedule, and all other information required by the freelancer and the company. And that’s fine, but if you’re the one handling the freelancer, treating it right is key.

Too many managers treat freelancers like strangers. If you’ve hired a freelancer for a long project or know they’ll be working with you and your team for an extended period of time, acting like you’re suspicious of their motives isn’t a recipe for success.

Instead, make sure freelancers feel comfortable and welcome on your team and as part of the broader business – they may not be salaried, but they’re always essential to success. Keep lines of communication open and be kind and caring rather than dismissive.

Man troubleshooting computer problems

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Find a communication balance

It is important for a freelancer to know exactly what work they are doing and when it is due. If you want your freelancers to produce their best work on time, they need accurate information delivered regularly – if you’re vague or inconsistent, it’ll only make things worse.

Keep in mind, however, that it is possible to go too far in this direction. If you are in constant contact with your freelancer, you may seem picky and irritating. When freelancers often keep their own schedules and work for multiple clients, they resent being micro-managed.

Ultimately, you need to strike a balance to get the most out of freelancers. Give them accurate information, stay in touch, and make them feel valued without being pushy.

Don’t mess with their money

Freelancers don’t have the security of a salary or hourly rate, so it’s important that companies and HR departments don’t prolong the payment process for as long as necessary.

Your company’s freelance contracts should detail the rate of pay, and when a freelancer sends an invoice for their completed work, there will usually be a payment date on the document. This is when the freelancer waits for their money, and if the payment is late, they can add late fees or interest charges.

This costs your business money, and a business that develops a reputation for late payment may struggle to attract freelancers in the future. And, at the end of the day, paying quickly is the right thing to do – so make sure it gets done.

Find the right people

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Hire the right people for the right tasks

The pool of freelance talent is huge, which means there are plenty of people to choose from if you’re looking for temporary additions to your workforce. While this can be a huge opportunity, it also means it’s easy to hire someone who isn’t a good fit.

Make sure you have established a shortlist of requirements before you start looking for a freelancer. You’ll need to talk to each stakeholder to make sure your contractor’s requirements are clear.

Try not to hire the cheapest people available if you can avoid it – because doing this increases the risk of hiring someone without the talent or experience to be successful. Also, be sure to check their skills and portfolio before hiring a freelancer, as they must have the right qualities to do the job.

Once you hire a freelancer, also make sure they stay focused on their task. If you have a freelancer who ends up working jobs in many different industries or departments, they may not be able to focus on their primary job. If they end up taking on workloads in a variety of different areas, quality will suffer across the board.

And, once they’ve moved on to a new contract or client, you could find yourself or your team in trouble if you inadvertently end up with a freelancer who finds themselves responsible for many different tasks. It will make life stressful for you and your staff, and it could cost you a lot of time and money.

We have also rounded the best HR outsourcing services, best background check services and best job sites

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