Talent Maximization

Employing Freelancers: Tips for Getting Started

A business owner who is employing a freelancer is sitting in front of a computer for a virtual interview. 

Maintaining a balanced staff with the natural fluctuations and challenges of business is hard enough, but even more so with changes in the nature of work. From shifting to remote office environments in May 2020 to the Great Resignation and now worker shortages, it’s safe to say finding quality, dedicated employees can be a challenging feat for small businesses.

As a solution, businesses are beginning to engage freelancers for short- and long-term virtual assignments, filling roles on a fractional basis. Why? Virtual work environments are proven, and the great resignation is bringing droves of quality talent to the gig economy. But employing freelancers and contract talent is not the same as full-time employees.

In this article, we’ll dive into insights on finding and employing freelancers from expert Elizabeth Eiss, Founder and CEO of the talent curation and freelance recruiting platform ResultsResourcing. ResultsResourcing has track record of successfully matching companies with quality contract talent to meet their needs.

How to find high-quality virtual freelancers

According to Eiss, the first step to finding and employing freelancers is to clearly define your work needs. Once you’ve gotten specific on the skillsets you need, you can begin the journey to find the right talent for the position.

When it comes to hiring for full-time positions, you likely evaluate candidates based on a number of considerations. For example, do their skills and experience align with the role? Are they a cultural fit? Do their compensation requirements fit your budget? Similarly, you’ll want to have set qualifications in place for evaluating freelance resources to ensure they’re a fit for your company and needs.

There are two options available to you when searching for freelance talent: do it yourself or outsource to a reliable, cost-effective recruiting service.

Do it yourself Recruiting

This feels straightforward but a do-it-yourself approach to recruiting can be risky and time-consuming for small business owners. Even with recruiting expertise and experience, finding, vetting, and interviewing freelancers can take your focus away from core business tasks and cause you to spend more time and money working IN the business instead of ON it.  

Outsourced Recruiting

The most efficient approach is to partner with a trustworthy recruitment service to do the sourcing and vetting for you. For example, ResultsResourcing assigns a recruiter to each new contracting position. That recruiter works closely with the client to fully understand their needs and craft a job profile. Once the job is posted and the applicants roll in, the recruiter sifts through all applicants to determine the 8-10 most qualified candidates and then personally interviews each of those top qualifiers to narrow the possibilities down to the top three candidates. Finally, the client meets with and selects the freelancer who best fits their organization.

Outsourced recruiting solutions help you mitigate risk and mistakes by eliminating some of the guesswork. They’ll help you find freelancers with the right qualifications and ensure that you get the right fit for the right money.

At ResultsResourcing, we take it one step further with our Recruiter Package 30-day success guarantee that allows our customers to choose another freelancer from their talent pool if the original freelancer is unable to perform the core work contracted for. Clients can be confident they’re getting the right person.

How to onboard virtual freelancers

Once you find the right freelancer, you want them to get to work as soon as possible – but it has to be done the right way.

A competent, qualified freelancer should be able to jump in and get to work. This is because appropriately skilled freelancers are adept at quickly acclimating to new projects.

However, no matter how good a freelancer is in their chosen field, they won’t intuitively grasp the inner workings of your company. For that, they need guidance from you and your team.

It can be very beneficial to create an onboarding document. This document should contain (or link to) everything a new freelancer needs to be successful in your company, relevant to the role they will play. Examples include contact information, organization chart, communication process, technology systems or your brand guide, writing guide, feedback process, etc.

When you work with a recruiting partner, the process often begins with clearly defining your needs. This can help you create a more seamless onboarding process by making it easier to set expectations and deliver clear communication which is essential to creating a successful partnership with your virtual freelancer.  

Best practices and other considerations when employing freelancers

  • Freelancers have the flexibility to provide specialized skills on both a short-term and long-term basis, but it’s always a good idea to have a starting idea of what you need, how long you need the help, and what constitutes success.
  • Knowing what skills you need is essential but it’s also important to outline your project. What type of schedule or timing do you expect? What’s the budget? Are you looking for a more seasoned candidate to fulfill the role? Going into your search with these answers ready will help streamline the process.
  • Make sure that the contractor understands the metrics used to judge their work and the deadlines they need to meet.
  • Get upfront agreement on the work schedule and deliverables to ensure the freelancer can meet your goals within the commitments they have to all clients in their portfolio.
  • It’s important to stay in touch with contractors and focus on expected results and delivery schedules.
  • Thank them for their hard work periodically. A little positive recognition can go a long way toward creating a lasting work relationship with a valuable freelancer.

Want to find out if employing freelancers is right for your business? Book a complimentary conversation with ResultsResourcing founder and gig economy expert, Elizabeth Eiss to get more information.

ResultsResourcing blog

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