Freelancers Can Help Your Company Grow
Maybe your business is experiencing some new growth that you anticipate is only the beginning or you have just landed a substantial contract or order that exceeds your organization’s current capabilities or perhaps you have recently lost one of the key players in your company. Whatever the reason, you need help and you need it now!
You can’t really afford the time or expense of bringing in a full-time person and you aren’t even sure if you need a permanent employee. The only thing you are certain of is that you are quickly running out of options. Fortunately, there is another option: you can outsource work to freelancers. But how do you find quality freelancers and what do you need to know about working with them?
The following 8 tips will help you find the talent you need and avoid some of the problems that can cost you big in the end.
Tip #1: Search Online
In today’s tech savvy world, the first place to begin your search for freelance talent is the internet. There are many useful sites to assist you with your search. Some of the most popular and reputable freelance websites include Elance, Odesk, Guru, and Freelancer.com. There are others, but these have a reputation for offering a user-friendly platform and providing tools to assist in the event of a dispute. You can quickly and easily post project descriptions in specific categories and receive submissions from countless talented individuals so you can find the one who best meets your needs.
Another great online place to find freelancers is through social media. Networks like Linkedin and Twitter are a goldmine of talented freelancers. With the click of a button you could have hundreds of potential freelancers. Then narrow your search to include specific keywords and you are all set.
Tip #2: Ask Around
Possibly the best resource you have is the other professionals you have worked with in the past. If someone you know was pleased with the services of a specific developer or writer, there is a good chance they are worth reaching out to. You may even get a better price than you would have on your own.
Now that you know where to find potential freelancers, here are some tips to help you navigate the process.
Tip #3: Communication Is Key
Make sure you are clear about the project’s scope and schedule. It is critical to avoid as much confusion as possible. So, set specific deadlines for each part of the job, provide distinct guidelines and assure the freelancer that they should contact you promptly if they are unsure about what you require.
Tip #4: Employees are Employees
Treat a freelancer as you would any other employee. Before entering into a contract, review sample work and portfolios and consult the freelancer’s references and prior clients. If you do decide they are the best candidate for your project, demand that they provide ongoing access to their work so you can see how things are progressing, as well as catching and correcting issues early.
Tip #5: Negotiate Ownership
This can get sticky; be sure to negotiate ownership of the work upfront. Create a legal document that states you and/or your firm maintains the rights and ownership of completed work. If it is documented there can be no question later, in the event of a disagreement.
Tip #6: You Are Not Alone
Chances are that most of your permanent employees do not work elsewhere. However, a freelancer is different. Keep in mind that you may not be the only client they are working with. One of the drawbacks of working with a freelancer is that you cannot guarantee their dedication to your project. Juggling more than one client at a time doesn’t mean they will perform poorly for you, but it does mean that another client’s deadline may make your freelancer less accessible to you.
Tip #7: You Get What You Pay For
Price alone should not be the determining factor in your decision to hire a freelancer, because the lowest price may not equal the best results. If the perfect candidate is slightly out of your price range, ask if they would consider lowering their price in exchange for the prospect of future work.
Tip #8: Protect Yourself
There have been cases in which freelancers decided to go rogue and take larger clients from those who employed them in the first place. To prevent such a catastrophe, have all freelancers sign a non-competition agreement. Such an agreement will forbid them from seeking a similar assignment from your client for a set time period.