If you have a small to medium-sized business, you are probably already benefiting from the use of Freelancers in your everyday operations.
Freelancers bring with them the latest industry knowledge and methods, and they will more often than not be experts in their field. On top of this, you will only need to pay when work is required, and you don’t need to worry about the additional overheads such as national insurance and training costs.
The benefit of using Freelancers is clear.
However, as with any business relationship, there remains the potential for things to go wrong.
Here we’ve rounded up four common mistakes businesses make when hiring Freelancers, so that you can avoid making the same mistakes yourself.
Choosing the wrong candidate
Choosing the wrong candidate for a permanent position can be an expensive and time-wasting catastrophe.
The same can be said for freelancers, as for all intents and purposes, they are acting as employees of your business.
When choosing a freelancer you may not have the time to exhaustively scout and interview potential candidates, but some degree of thoroughness should be exercised to ensure that the freelancer you choose will be able to fulfill your requirements to a high standard and within the set timeframe.
Expecting candidates to show off their portfolio is a given nowadays. But additionally, you should task shortlisted candidates with a mini-project. This allows you both an opportunity to see whether the relationship will work long-term.
Unclear or unspecific instructions
Whether you’ve hired a freelancer to market your latest product or audit your finances, you will want the job completed as quickly as possible. Clear and specific instructions are vital to achieve this, as they will eliminate the significant delays which any clarifications or queries can cause – especially when freelancers are working remotely.
A thorough brief will also ensure that the final result is completed to your exact requirements, removing the need for time-consuming and frustrating amendments at a later date.
Slow communication and feedback
Freelancers may sometimes require clarifications or feedback during the working process, particularly for creative projects like graphic or web design.
A Freelancer will always do their utmost to complete any work to your exact specifications, as their future work relies on positive reviews from clients. However, they may not be able to accomplish this if you are slow or unreliable at providing answers or feedback.
Despite their expertise, you should still keep in mind that no-one is perfect. They might still make mistakes, or simply do things differently. Any issues should be ironed out quickly with regular communication.
Aside from their expertise, many businesses will look to freelancers as a convenient temporary solution to a short-term staffing issue. Such situations can create tight deadlines. In fact, even long-term and ongoing projects need to be completed in a timely fashion.
A sudden tight deadline can produce panic or inferior work from your permanent workforce, and the same goes for Freelancers.
Many Freelancers will be all too happy to work to a tight deadline, but they must be given prior notice. A failure to do so can lead to a mutually dissatisfactory working relationship, and a standard of work which does neither your business nor the Freelancer justice.
Has your business used Freelancers in the past? How successful was your working relationship, and did you make any of the above mistakes?