If you're a manager, you'll need to manage and organize a variety of people with different personalities and work habits – and, with freelancers, you'll need to manage people you probably haven't met face-to-face and people from a distance.
Freelancers are an invaluable resource (and a big boost to your business), but they can also be tricky to manage. Fortunately, there are five steps you can take to streamline freelance management and make the most of your company's freelance force.
How to Manage Freelancers
Managing freelancers is simply a matter of learning how to delegate. As with any line of business, freelance work is all about relationships. The better the relationship between you and your freelancer, the better the job they'll do for you. That's why it's so important that you manage them properly to ensure those relationships can flourish.
So, how do you manage projects with outside resources while still maintaining control? A great way to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget is by leveraging the power of a creative resource management
solution. This software keeps track of everyone's assignments and schedules for easy reference by all involved parties.
Why You Need a Freelancer
Freelancers generally work from home, so they don't have to cover certain overhead expenses, which allows them to provide you with lower price estimates. They are completely focused on delivering the best possible results for your project in a timely and efficient manner – because they understand that meeting your expectations is also in their best interests.
They only attend meetings that are absolutely necessary and avoid office politics at all costs. Because they are often given a task and then left to work on it by themselves, they're used to organizing and parsing their own work. They understand how to secure all the resources they require on their own, as well as manage their time and tasks in such a way that they complete everything before the deadline.
Tips for Choosing the Right Freelancers
Once you've posted a job on a freelance website, you'll need to ensure that they not only have the qualifications needed to complete the job but that they're also dependable enough to see through your requirements and expectations. So, before making your decision, you must first go through the following steps:
- Check their social media accounts. Social media is a great way for you to check your freelancer's legitimacy. You should also look at their LinkedIn profile. This professional social media platform will show you the freelancer's job history, education, skills and more.
- Check their reviews. In case you're looking for freelancers on freelance platforms, you'll most likely be able to read reviews from people who have previously worked with that freelancer. If the freelancer has received positive feedback from the majority of previous clients, feel free to contact them for more information.
- Check their experience and education. Look at their portfolio, and don't be afraid to ask for references from previous clients. While the best freelancers may not have formal education in their field, they often have certifications or professional licenses related to their work.
Define Project Details
Freelancers who understand the full scope of the project will have a clear picture of what needs to be done. Clearly defined project requirements will result in cost savings, improved communication between you and the freelancer, and a greater likelihood that the project will succeed with the first draft.
Always ensure that the freelancer is aware of the initial project expectations as well as any subsequent changes in expectations. Also, discuss the potential deadline with the freelancer in light of other expectations and requirements, and create deadline estimates to present to the client.
Utilize Effective Communication Tools
To ensure the efficiency of your management system, you must use an effective communication tool to handle all project-related communication and help you polish all project details.
Because most freelancers work remotely, you won't be able to go over to their cubicle to have a face-to-face consultation whenever you need it, as you would with regular employees.
For instance, Trello is a great tool to share task lists and other information with remote workers. You can create multiple project boards and share the information with your team. It's also an excellent way to manage the process of working together — assign tasks, track progress, and make notes or comments as needed.
Finally, streamlining the way you manage freelancers may require effort and planning, but it will ensure you get a valuable and skilled addition to your regular team, one with whom you will be able to collaborate in order to achieve high project quality effectively.
When you hire the right people, it will be much easier to manage them. To ensure that your freelancer performs the job in the best possible way, provide them with clear project expectations, and track whether and when they meet those expectations.