Whether you need skills that your in-house team doesn’t have, want to give your clients something fresh or need an extra pair of hands to manage the workload, having a reliable freelance team can mean the difference between delivering great work quickly and missing important deadlines.
Here are 10 tips to help you manage your freelancers with as little stress as possible!
1. Identify a pool of freelancers ahead of time - don’t wait until a project gets the green-light to start your search. Be prepared by looking for creative freelancers who are a potential match for your organisation and clients ahead of time and keep their details to hand ready for when you need them.
2. Know their expectations - creative freelancers often enjoy the freedom to work whenever and however they wish. Make sure these preferences get addressed ahead of time. Decide whether you are going to need them for a specific timeframe or if the end is TBD. If they have another commitment on the horizon, you’ll want to know that.
3. Interview the freelancer, not just the agent - you might be working with more than one recruiter or creative agency but it’s vital to connect with the people who will actually be doing the work, not just the agent. If you’re hiring for a specific project, ask open-ended questions about how he or she would handle a similar assignment.
4. Create a solid reporting structure - your freelancers should know how to contact you and you should set clear reporting guidelines and expectations for how they should complete work. If you allow freelancers to work from home or outside the office, you’ll want to first talk about any potential issues that could come up.
5. Set a clear policy - create a company policy to ensure your freelancers understand expectations and boundaries. For example, if travel expenses aren’t in your budget, clarify that freelancers aren’t expected to travel for the company.
6. Set strong definitions for the scope of the project - brief freelancers on projects just as you would your in-house staff. It’s important to define the project clearly and explain the scope of work. Answer initial questions and discuss any loose ends before work begins.
7. Check in regularly - set specific times for check-ins and updates, but if something isn’t going the way you expected, reach out immediately. Nothing is more frustrating to creative employees than having to redo work because they were unclear about your expectations.
8. But let them breathe - most freelancers relish creative freedom, so try to give them as much space as they require. That doesn’t mean giving them total creative license. Strike a balance between the project requirements and the freedom for your creative freelancers to get work done.
9. Make them part of the team - your freelancers should always feel welcome and part of the team, even if their roles are temporary. That means making them feel like they’re more than just contractors. Invite them to meetings on their projects and make sure to introduce them to their coworkers like you would any new hire.
10. Be clear about the close of the project - once the job is over, make sure your freelancers know that they’re no longer needed or, if you think they’d make a great fit in on your team, make them an offer. Either way, make sure there’s absolutely no ambiguity.
Need some more hiring advice? We’ve created a ‘how to’ guide on all you could ever want to know when looking to source, build and maintain your creative team. From deciding which roles your team needs, to conducting the perfect interview, to keeping your team inspired - and everything in between. And if that’s not amazing enough, it’s also free! Download it here.