Whether you need to hire people for one-time projects or an ongoing workload, it’s now easier than ever to find qualified workers from across the globe. There are freelancers to help your company with almost any task or project you come across—from designing your website to writing your blogs, scheduling your meetings, and managing your finances.
As much as the right distributed team can benefit your company, building a cohesive team can be challenging. That’s why we’ve provided these practical tips for finding, hiring, and managing your freelancers!
First, Take Care of the Basics
Before you start hiring freelancers (or full-time members) to work with you, there are a couple of tasks you’ll need to take care of first. For one, you’ll need to make sure your business is legally set up to support working with a staff. Two entities worth considering are LLCs and S corps. An LLC Florida designation offers business owners protection of their personal assets along with tax benefits and an easy paperwork process for getting started. Starting an S corp in Florida allows you to claim deductions on your company’s losses and save on your self-employment taxes.
You also need to have a system in place for paying your freelancers. This can be via an accounting system like Quickbooks, but many small business owners just use PayPal. The service has low fees and is available almost everywhere in the world, making it an easy option for both parties.
Finding the Right People
There is no shortage of platforms that make it easy to find qualified freelancers that can benefit your company. It comes down to your specific needs and figuring out which platform makes the process faster and more effective than the others.
Many business owners use Fiverr because it allows you to compare the portfolios, experience, client reviews, rates, and other qualities of many different candidates. Create a profile and get started with your search!
Navigating the Hiring Process
When using a job platform, you can either directly message individuals about a job opening or post it on the platform. The good news is that you don’t need to be overly specific when posting a job; a brief overview and the essential skills required should suffice. Allow the job post to sit for a few days so that various freelancers can apply.
Consider placing a job-related question somewhere in the middle of the post. This is an excellent way to tell if a freelancer knows anything about what the job entails, and if an applicant does not respond to the question, it indicates they were not paying attention to detail.
Once you have all of the applications you are considering in front of you, try to narrow it down to a shortlist of potential freelancers. After you have three or four applications left, message each one with follow-up questions, and don’t hold back on the number of questions you ask. You can also ask for work samples to see past projects they have worked on.
Many business owners and managers who hire through a job platform ask applicants to take a test or work on a trial project to see how well they work together. Make sure you pay applicants for all the time and energy they put into the work product through this process. And you can negotiate rates and job details later on with the freelancer you choose.
Managing Your Team
Working with a remote team requires effective project management. These days, there are plenty of productivity tools that can benefit small businesses, so do your research and don’t hesitate to make the upfront investment. The right project management software, time-tracking tool, and calendar app can go a long way in helping your remote team boost efficiency.
Some projects may require only one freelancer at a time, while others will require several. When working with a single freelancer, you will likely only need to communicate through your project management platform throughout the project. However, when working with various freelancers or one freelancer on many tasks, you may consider collaborating through other channels like text, email, or a team chat app. That way, you can separate the projects from your correspondence with the freelancer.
Also, look for free apps that can help you assist your freelancers whenever possible. For example, if you want to create posts for your social media manager to upload for you, use an app that allows you to quickly resize an image for Instagram. This can let you create a batch of content on your own without having to pay someone to do it for you.
Lastly, don’t micromanage your freelancers. If you have hired a freelancer, it means that they are highly skilled and capable at what they do, if not specialized in the projects you are working on. Set clear deadlines and remain available for communication if there are any issues. You can always ask for edits and revisions, and if you are constantly unhappy with the results, you can move on to find another freelancer.
Working with freelancers can free your business up to thrive. Consider the tips above for finding freelancers, going through the hiring process, and keeping your remote team well-managed. In no time, you will be enjoying the specialized skills of workers from around the world while saving time and money in the process.
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