By 2020, over 40% of our workforce will be freelancers – that’s according to a recent study by Intuit.
How can you get the best out of outsourcing? And what are the pitfalls to avoid? John Boitnott, writing for Inc.com, lists four things you should never do when using freelancers:
1) Never compromise. With a rapidly growing pool of freelancers, you might be tempted to hire cheaper but less-talented agents. However, getting poor-quality work back is a waste of everyone’s time, money and effort. It’s worth bearing in mind that better-quality freelancers are able to charge higher prices because they are in such demand. Always make sure the freelancers you do hire are great communicators. That way you can be sure of getting the results you want.
Managing freelancers as employees is the major litigation trap to watch out for.
2) Never try to manage freelancers like normal employees. Freelancers tend to work wherever and whenever they choose, so they can’t be managed in the same way as your own employees. Make yourself clear from the start by setting consistent deadlines and establishing the parameters of your business relationship with legal documents before any work begins.
3) Never forget to put systems in place. There are plenty of different project- management systems on the market that will make working with freelancers a whole lot easier. Make sure the platform you choose allows you to set tasks and deadlines and share notes and documents so that you can clearly communicate all necessary information. Using project-management software like this should give both you and your freelancers some clarity, helping to ensure you’re on the same page from the start.
4) Never leave yourself open to litigation. If you are going to avoid any legal problems further down the line, you need to be organised. Managing freelancers as employees is the major litigation trap to watch out for. Professional employer organisations (PEOs) can help you manage that risk. Some PEOs will even assign you your own HR advisor to flag up any forays into dangerous territory.