Manpower and human resources are essential to any enterprise, but it does not mean that you need to build your business with a big workforce of regular employees from the get go. It is so much easier for start-ups to thrive these days because of the availability of a large pool of freelance professionals that are just waiting to be tapped. These individuals can provide you with the work output that you need at a more economical cost and flexible terms of engagement.
However, the downside is that out of the many freelancers out there, you have to be able to discern which ones would provide you the best value for your money. You need to be careful in engaging freelancers just as you would carefully choose employees who are talented, competent, efficient, trustworthy, and reliable. Here are a few tips that might be helpful in guiding you on how to find the right freelancer:
Know where to start searching. These days, the best marketplace for freelancers is online. Gone are the days of searching printed classified ads or relying solely on referrals. Thanks to the internet, engaging the help of freelancers has become faster and more efficient than ever. There are websites and various search platforms that provide millions of profiles and portfolios of freelancers that you can choose from.
There are also outsourcing services companies that provide value-added services such as trends and insights into various industries in order to help guide your business development. They can also provide curated profiles and actual recommendations on freelance professionals for particular jobs, and even valuable information for large-scale outsourcing of operations and processes. Depending on the size, nature, and requirements of your business, there would be a suitable online resource for you.
Plan your requirements. It is important that you are definite about what you need help with in terms of freelance talent and resources. As a businessowner, your requirements may already be clear in your mind, but remember that other people are not involved or necessarily knowledgeable in all aspects of your operations. Many clients fall into the trap of engaging freelancers in a rush, thinking that it is a magic pill that will instantly meet their needs.
The key is in developing a clear brief when posting a call for freelance professionals or when working with an outsourcing firm. A brief of your requirement is essential in making sure all parties are on the same page in terms of what is needed and what is expected from both parties. Never assume that things are understood or taken for granted, even if it involves standard industry concepts, ideas, or jargon. Always take time to explain the project to a potential freelancer and be patient in answering any questions or clarifications.
Evaluate candidates well. As with the job application process involving employees, engaging free agents takes the same meticulous attention and evaluation of skills, talents, capabilities, and even attitude or work ethics. Take time to study portfolios and ask for additional samples of relevant work whenever necessary. Referrals from peers or other companies in the same industry would also help you make the best decision on the right freelance candidates to go with.
Websites and online freelance platforms usually also feature rankings or ratings of the freelancers in their network. This can help narrow your search quickly and effectively. These kinds of systems also help keep the level of professionalism and competence in the freelance market high.
Be clear and communicate. Once that you feel you have found the perfect candidate for the requirement, set off on the right foot by being clear with terms of engagement, remuneration, timetables, and the like. Provide a good amount of trust and leeway in negotiations. After all, freelancers are aware that their business depends on satisfactory output, and you can trust that they are pretty familiar with how it works in the marketplace that they got into.
Keep an open line of communication and be very dynamic in terms of providing feedback and checking on work. Most importantly, though, never hesitate to cut any losses if you feel the engagement is not mutually beneficial. Being able to make prudent business decisions quickly is an advantage of dealing with freelancers.
Freelancers and Your Business
On the other hand, finding the right freelancer for the job is gold, so to speak. Be sure to value this relationship by focusing on positive feedback and always proposing mutually beneficial arrangements. There are many benefits that freelancers provide entrepreneurs and businessowners, and you only need to learn how to make the most of what they have to offer.
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