Discover insights on how to work with freelancers to make the biggest impact on your business.
Is it possible for a contract employee to feel like they’re part of your business team? Does that even matter?
Yes! says Elizabeth Eiss, the Founder and CEO of the talent curation and freelance recruiting platform ResultsResourcing. She believes skilled quality contract talent can be a meaningful part of a business growth plan.
No one has control over workers, whether they’re W2 employees or contractors. So, the idea that it’s more secure to have full-time employees is accurate only when the work circumstances foster it – such as wages, benefits, work/life balance, and workplace culture and community.
This may require a slight shift to their overall mindset, but small and mid-sized business owners and their HR departments should start focusing on “access to talent” instead of “talent acquisition.”
Sensibly utilizing freelancers allows these businesses to access a pool of talent they might not attract as full-time employees or could not afford. In addition, freelancers bring new skills, dynamic marketplace experience and perspectives that can be very valuable.
Freelancers also enable a business to scale up and down on-demand as required by customer demand or project needs. This strategy provides some much-needed agility during unpredictable times.
Understanding why people decide to freelance as a career instead of seeking full-time employment is helpful when trying to integrate them into a team.
Many people begin a freelancing career as a side-hustle to a traditional job. Often, it’s a passion project, something they enjoy and can maybe make a couple of bucks doing it. However, as they gain experience, they realize it can be independently sustainable with enough work.
Others may need the flexibility that freelancing provides for various reasons, such as family or work/life balance.
It's a matter of leadership and vision, Eiss says. “I actually think good leadership is similar whether you are supervising W2 employees or contractors. Success depends on well-defined work and hiring the right skill set to perform that work in both cases. Substantive and regular communications and performance feedback, positive and directional, are essential for both sets of employees. Leading staff to embrace a vision, mission and work accordingly is powerful influencing behavior that engages vs an old-time command and control approach (which didn’t work well with employees or contractors0
When it comes to making a contract employee feel like part of the team, being inclusive and fostering healthy collaboration and teamwork is crucial. If contractors are appropriately sourced and vetted, it’s more a matter of onboarding and leading the existing team to embrace a contractor, like you would an employee from another division or department.
Finally, it’s important to remember that the freelancer is independent. You may not be able to control hours or how their work gets done. That’s why you want to manage the results, not the method.
If you need additional help onboarding freelancers, developing a relationship with a trusted recruiting provider can help. To schedule a complimentary talent assessment and job survey session with ResultsResourcing CEO Elizabeth Eiss, click HERE.
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