Hiring freelancers could be necessary when running a business. Your staff may already become overwhelmed if you give them additional tasks. The freelance market is a haven for finding the best talent for filling up your manpower requirements. At present, there are 58 million freelancers worldwide and it is expected that they would comprise the majority of the US workforce by 2027.
Many businesses are now aware of the benefits of hiring freelancers. In fact, 48% of businesses hired freelancers in 2018, up from 43% in 2017. According to the same report, it is expected that work done by freelancers will more than double in the next 10 years. This underscores the importance of freelancers to businesses.
As a business owner, you would rather focus on business growth instead of handling tasks which you are better off delegating to an independent contractor. But outsourcing a freelancer isn’t easy. You are bound to make mistakes especially if you are doing it for the first time. Working with freelancers can be beneficial to your organization but only if you do it right. So here are 10 mistakes you need to avoid when hiring freelancers.
- Hiring The Cheapest Provider
- Not Conducting a Background Check
- Not Trusting Them With Their Jobs
- Hiring At The Wrong Time
- Committing Too Early
- You Don’t Have End Goals
- Skipping The Contract
- Not Paying On Time
- Unclear Expectations
- Charging Too Much or Too Little
1. Hiring The Cheapest Provider
Some people consider outsourcing because they want to cut costs. This might be understandable especially if you are just a startup and have a limited budget. But with a freelancer, it doesn’t make sense to hire the cheapest one on the market. You can’t always expect high-quality work from freelancers.
Hire the best freelancer that suits your budget. Do research for the industry-standard rate for the work you are looking for and then set a budget that works for you. Freelancers know their worth when assigned a task so be fair to them and give what is due to them. It is worth noting that freelancers do not always reflect the value and quality of their work.
If you manage to hire a freelancer that offers their services for an affordable price, it is likely that they will still increase their rates in the future. Be willing to pay extra in exchange for good work and you can look forward to getting a long term return on investment.
2. Not Conducting A Background Check
Doing a background check on a freelancer can help save you from future headaches or issues. Let us say you are hiring a programmer who ends up hacking your website and stealing your information. Not only will you have to deal with your clients who got defrauded but could also jeopardize your business.
You don’t have to do an FBI level background check. You can visit PublicRecordsReview, for instance. On the website, you can check whether the candidate has an existing arrest record. However, you need to get their consent as per the Fair Credit Reporting Act. With the service, you will be able to trace if the potential freelancer has committed fraud, identity theft, or other acts that could be detrimental to your business.
You may only be hiring a temporary freelancer but it doesn’t free you from any liabilities in case something untoward happens. You will still be accountable for their actions in the office. A background check will protect your company from any liabilities by properly vetting the freelancer.
3. Not Trusting Them With Their Jobs
When hiring a freelancer, you need to give them full autonomy to do their jobs. They know that feedback and adjustments to the deliverables are part of their job and they expect it. The training and onboarding will come from you as well as guidance on how your business works. As to how they will do their work and execution, you should leave them on their own.
By letting them do their jobs, you are letting them know that you trust them. By hiring a freelancer, it means you are trusting them to deliver high-quality work and meet deadlines. Trusting the freelancer means you value the upcoming relationship with them.
It is important to create mutual trust between you and the freelancer. These professionals will go the extra mile to ensure that they will do a great job. All that they need is for you to trust them with their jobs.
4. Hiring At The Wrong Time
This may sound counterintuitive but the worst time to hire a freelancer is when you need one. Let us say you have a pressing project that needs to be done as soon as possible. is the wrong time to hire one. Why is this so? You will be under too much pressure to get the freelancer on board right away and make them work on the project.
The old adage, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining” can be applicable to outsourcing a freelancer. You don’t have to wait for an urgent project to hire a freelancer because you will be pressured to find that someone right away. This will most likely lead to a wrong decision on your part. You are better off finding and hiring a few candidates before the need arises.
You can try them out first by having them do a test job. Giving them a trial task will help you make a good hiring decision depending on how the candidate did in the test job. The most important thing is you should be 100% clear and upfront about what you are really looking for in a candidate.
5. Committing Too Early
In the same way, you wouldn’t take a permanent hire’s CV at face value and skip the interview process, you wouldn’t do it with a freelancer. In most cases, you wouldn’t be available for a face-to-face interview so conduct a video call or work with an agency that can vouch for them. It may be exciting times ahead knowing that you may have found the perfect freelancer. However, you first need to check if they are too good to be true.
Don’t make the mistake of hiring the freelancer without testing their suitability for the role you are hiring for. You can test the waters by offering the candidate a small test job to get a feel of their work. Through the test project, you will be able to gauge their personality. You don’t want to pick someone who’s great on paper but doesn’t suit your company.
It is also important to have a pool of freelancers who will be ready to be onboarded and jump into the project once you need them. Plan in advance which tasks you will need to outsource eventually and place a few potential candidates so that your project can start as soon as possible.
6. You Don’t Have End Goals
Nothing can be more frustrating to a freelancer than having an indecisive client or customer who does not have a clear vision. You can count on their expertise in their given field but they can’t read your mind. While your vision isn’t that clear yet, at least you must give the freelancer an idea of what you want from them.
By having a clear goal, it will allow you and the freelancer to focus on the goal to be achieved. It will allow them to understand the goal and plan their move for getting there. If you don’t know what you want, neither will the freelancer. Once you have determined your goal, set a timeline. Check-in with the freelancer from time to time to monitor your progress. It’s okay to revise your goals as you learn about your needs and the market.
Write a business plan to put your goals in black and white. It will help you and the freelancer ensure that you are headed in the right direction. It will also help remind you to take your business seriously.
7. Skipping The Contract
While a gentleman agreements can and do work, putting the deal in black and white is the better option. Don’t make the mistake of viewing your freelance hiring as a loose and casual agreement. Not having a contract could have repercussions in the long run.
Contracts are designed to help you and the freelancer define expectations and ensure that there will be no surprises along the way. In addition, it can help protect you from legal disputes in the future. The contract should include any non-disclosure or non-compete agreement.
Also, contracts are essential for retaining ownership of all assets that will be included in the project should there be a need to make revisions in case the freelancer is no longer connected with you. Furthermore, contracts can help honest people stay honest.
8. Not Paying On Time
Nothing can be more frustrating to a freelancer than not being able to receive their payment on time. You need to understand that deadlines will not be met all the time. Surely, you wouldn’t miss your car payment, mortgage or utility bills so you should treat your freelancer with the same courtesy. After all, they pay the same bills as yours.
If your freelancer is doing a good job, it would be unfair to them if you wouldn’t pay them on time. If they are not giving you trouble with their deliverables, then don’t let them have trouble collecting their check as well. You expect them to deliver quality work on time so do your part of the bargain.
Whatever the freelancer is doing, it may be their source of livelihood and withholding their payments may not be the right thing to do. If you don’t have time to review their work yet, at least send them a partial payment and keep them informed about what’s going on.
9. Unclear Expectations
As if not having an end goal is bad already, unclear expectations can be just as bad. You need to be transparent to the freelancer about what you expect, the scope of work, the end result, available resources, and others. In addition, you also need to be clear about what would happen if you need revisions from them. Also, don’t expect them to follow your every whim if you were unclear with your instructions.
Before hiring a freelancer, you should already know what you want them to accomplish for you. Some companies hire freelancers only to realize halfway into the project that they hired the wrong freelancer for the job. Unclear expectations can result in issues on both sides of the fence. It could become frustrating for freelancers to perform functions they are not capable of and your company losing precious time because they don’t know the direction they are headed.
No matter how capable the freelancer is, it will be impossible for them to meet or exceed your expectations if you are unclear about what you want the end result to be like. Having clear expectations can save you a lot of time as well as lots of back and forth between you and the freelancer.
10. Charging Too Much or Too Little
Setting rates for freelancer services can be complicated. Charge too high and you could wind up realizing that you are overextended and financially drained. On the other hand, if you offer less than the going rate, the freelancer might reject the offer outright. If they do accept, they might not do their best work.
When deciding how much to charge your freelancer, do research on the rates. Consider their experience, skills, location, and others. Incorporate freelancer expenses into the price. Decide on how you want to pay them. Hourly or project-based? Determine the market and industry rate.
Next, check with your team if the rate you plan to offer to the freelancer is within the budget. Negotiate with the contractor. If the rate is too high for you and too low for them, set a price that is amenable to both of you. Once you have agreed on the rate, make sure to put everything in black and white.
Finding the right freelancer goes beyond searching through tons of resumes and conducting interviews. Avoiding these mistakes can help you find the right contractor.
Why Outsource Your Staffing Needs To airisX?
Recruiting new employees for your team is a notoriously time-consuming process. Hiring an external outsourcing provider like airisX allows you to remove yourself from the tediousness of having to go through hundreds of resumes and bad interviews to find the right candidate that meets the criteria of the employee you are looking for, allowing you to focus on what matters in the recruiting process – doing the final interview for the right candidate, and making the final hiring decision.