Once you’ve found the right person for the job, you may feel the hard part is over. But the next step is the most crucial, you must establish and develop a mutually beneficial relationship. You’ve both entered into a very important partnership. Your business will move forward through what your freelancer produces, and their career and CV/ portfolio will receive a vital boost.
The Right Start
To get things off to a good start, it’s important to confirm all the terms regarding your employment agreement. Be clear about the rate of pay, how it will be paid and when. Some freelancers might ask for a percentage to be paid as a deposit. These terms would have been negotiated during the recruitment process but it’s always a good idea to double-check parameters to ensure there are no nasty surprises and disagreements at a later date. Disputes that go viral can be damaging to your reputation and business.
During the period you employ your freelancer, ensure the lines of communication are well structured and reliable. If you have employed a freelancer to work from a remote location, it’s vital you have good internet and other communication mediums to maintain a link and manage the project from afar. Arrange to have virtual chats at a pre-agreed time and frequency where both parties can give updates on the project as well as raise concerns arising from the project.
If part of your employment agreement is for your freelancer to send you portions of their work for regular assessment and monitoring, give constructive feedback as soon as you can. By delaying your response, your freelancer may continue down the wrong track oblivious to the fact you want to go in another direction. This can have a major impact on budget and deadline.
Top tips for establishing an ongoing relationship with your freelancer
√ Pay on time
√ Leave great feedback and write a glowing testimonial
√ Be courteous and understanding
√ Where necessary offer some flexibility (this will go two ways!)
√ Pay a reasonable rate to your freelancer
√ Give plenty of notice of any new jobs you may have for them in future
Useful resources for employers of remote freelancers
Once you’ve found the right freelancer, the next step is to find the resources you need to make the most of the relationship. After all, there’s a lot riding on this partnership and tools such as these will benefit both parties.
One of the most pressing needs at this point is to establish reliable lines of communication between yourself and your freelance employee, where both parties can easily stay in touch. Given that you have good internet access, Skype is one of the most affordable and easiest options, perfect for a quick catch up when required.
For something a little more in-depth, virtual meeting software offers many more features and can save you thousands on travel costs. Most virtual meeting software features include Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP) for live chat, video streaming and shared screens, desktops and application sharing. The software also allows you to introduce surveys, polls, slideshows, text chat, and even whiteboards to the meeting, bringing a sense of convention to the gathering no matter where the participants are located. Crucially, newer forms of the software also allow for the meeting to be recorded for future reference: a helpful tool in any situation.
For an accurate record of the time spent on tasks, time tracker software is a wise investment. Think of it as a computerised version of the paper timesheet with a little more to it. For example, time tracker software records what activities have been carried out on a computer, and for how long. Freelancers can use this software to provide a record of their work and to generate timesheets and invoices.
Not surprisingly, most of the resources available to you as an employer are internet-based. Just another example of how all encompassing the internet is in the freelance industry. It marked a new beginning for freelancers and is central to the development and future growth of the freelance market, and Ecommerce in general. And it could well be the medium that ‘introduces’ you to your most valuable employees.
Image Credit lumaxart
Written by Dana Flannery