The era of the freelance economy is now here.
This trend isn’t only about the fact that millennials aren’t willing to stay in the office from 9 to 5, but also about the benefits that freelancers offer. When hiring freelancers, companies have a wider range of options, reduce labor costs, and oftentimes increase productivity, as well as the quality of projects delivered.
However, all of these benefits might not appear right away. To make the most out of this collaboration, you need to know how to attract and retain your freelance team.
Freelance teams: how do you make them work?
So how do you make your freelancers work for your business? How do you gain loyalty from developers, designers, or copywriters who work for your company 15 hours a week? In this post, we’ll answer these questions and address management challenges that arise when you work with remote teams.
7 ways for freelance teams to work
- Define your needs
- Find the right candidates
- Select the right software tools
- Communicate your goals and aspirations
- Encourage communication
- Let them implement their fresh perspective into the process
- Motivate them and provide feedback
1. Define your needs
Building your dream team of freelancers starts even before you start hiring. First of all, you should define your project scope and come up with a clear idea of what you expect from the candidates.
To create a clearly defined work description, answer the following questions:
- What are the estimates of your project duration?
- Are you going to cultivate a long-term relationship?
- What are the hard and soft skills your project requires?
- Are you building a team from scratch, or you want to integrate freelancers within an existing team?
- How do you want to manage freelancers’ workload?
Once you determine what kind of specialists you’re looking for and what you need from them, you can proceed directly to the hiring process.
2. Find the right candidates
Hiring the right freelance talents is a foundation for a successful relationship. Finding the right place to hire, selecting the best candidates and interviewing them: these steps may take a lot of time and effort, but it’s worth the result.
With a growing number of freelance marketplaces, hiring doesn’t seem to be rocket science anymore. And here comes the first challenge. How do you select the best candidates from such a wide diversity of talent cards? Moreover, if you’re looking for technical talents, e.g. Android developers or iOS developers, will you be able to assess their quality?
Selecting and interviewing specialized experts may be especially challenging for small businesses. Not having a wide range of experts at hand, you can’t rely on someone from your team to interview and assess candidates. Fortunately, this issue is easily addressed by working with reputable freelance marketplaces that not only set up a rigorous screening process for every talent, but also keep monitoring their performance during the project.
3. Select the right software tools
When managing a remote team, you won’t go far without the right tools. Using management tools to set tasks, plan, and monitor the work being done, you’ll simplify both you and your freelancers’ lives.
Here are the 5 types of software tools you should pay attention to if you want to build an efficient remote team:
- Project management software (or task management software) that lets you separate projects into tasks, adding comments and tracking overall progress easily
- Time tracking software for managing and billing time spent on projects
- Internal communications software to help your entire team communicate with ease
- Video conferencing software for hosting online meetings and conferences with your team
- Resource management software so you can check the availability of everyone on your team.
|TIP: Read about the best way to build a remote work policy for your team that actually works to improve your business’ success!|
4. Communicate your goals and aspirations
Remember that freelancers have never been a part of your company. To complete tasks, they need more information than someone internal.
Make sure your freelance team is on the same page as you. They need to know your vision and understand your goals. Learning more about your vision and your aspirations will also give them a sense of belonging to your company, making them more loyal and dedicated.
Next, clearly define your project’s scope and schedule. To ensure your freelancers know what you expect from them, provide clear guidelines and set deadlines for the completion of the project tasks.
5. Encourage communication
Create a social space for team members to communicate. Organize weekly team meetings and start calls by asking how they are.
With the experience of working as a freelancer, it can be discouraging when your team comes back after a meeting with project changes you never discussed with them. If there are both freelancers and full-time employees working on the same project, don’t forget to include your contractors on project kickoff calls and other team events.
Be responsive. Like everyone in your company, freelancers may have questions, require relevant materials, or simply need your advice. By addressing issues and answering questions in a timely manner, you will increase project productivity.
6. Let them implement their fresh perspective into the process
You hire freelancers to fill a talent gap needed for the upcoming project, right? So treat them as full participants in decision-making as well. It’s important that you tell them where you want to go, and not how you want them to do a certain thing.
Freelancers come to your company with a wealth of experience. Instead of simply handing them over the project brief, let them communicate their fresh perspective into decision-making processes.
7. Motivate them and provide feedback
Freelancers need motivation, too. From the moment you hire them, they become an integral part of your company. Make sure they know it. Like everyone else, freelancers need to feel they’re valued and appreciated. No matter how you acknowledge their efforts: by making a shout out during a weekly meeting or inviting them to the staff holiday party, any incentive can be a powerful motivator to your contractors.
Feedback is another essential thing for successful collaboration. Reward awesome work, but don’t hesitate to provide constructive feedback if your requirements aren’t met. Being honest and constructive, you’ll help your team members successfully finish the current project and produce better results in the future.
Ready to build the most productive freelance team ever?
Freelance teams can bring untold advantages to your business if you manage them wisely. Follow the above-mentioned tips and share them with others on your team to build a great team of freelancers and make your business grow faster.
Find the right freelance management software platforms to keep you on track to have one of the most successful freelance teams ever!