Managing Freelancers: 8 Ways to Better Manage Your Freelance Workforce
Managing freelancers can be twice as hard when compared to managing employees in an office. If you think about it, these are people you haven’t truly met yet, and you can’t even see what they’re doing all the time. What you know about them is only based on what is written on their resume.
So how do you manage people who are from other parts of the world? Below are eight ways you can effectively do this:
Recruit the right freelancers
This first step is very important. This doesn’t mean that you should only hire freelancers with impressive skills, but more important than that is to hire freelancers that you can rely on and are trustworthy.
One of the best ways to find trustworthy freelancers is to ask for recommendations from your team. But, if you want to expand your search, you can opt to go through freelancing platforms.
Post on job boards and once you’ve gotten applications, make sure you check their reviews, social media accounts, and experience and education. You can also ask for some work samples to assess if they’re who you’re looking for.
Set clear goals
Before even creating a team, make sure you have set clear goals. What are you planning to do with your business? Why do you need a team? What tasks are you looking for them to accomplish? What results are you looking for?
Once you know the answers to these questions, it’s the only time you can search for the right people. People that will resonate with your goal and value it as much as you do. It’s also easier to communicate what you expect of them and what results that you’re looking for.
In short, setting clear goals will help ensure that you and your team are all on the same page. This also helps in motivating them to always give their best so you can accomplish the goals.
Avoid communication mishaps
Communicating effectively is one of the biggest challenges when working remotely. This is why it’s very important to have a good communication system. There are four systems most business owners follow:
- Daily Check-Ins: So this is just usually a quick chat at the start, middle, or end of the day to see how your team is doing.
- Daily Email Summaries: Aside from checking in on your team, you can ask them to send you an email with a detailed report on what they’ve done for the day, how many hours they worked, etc.
- Weekly 1-on-1 Meetings: If you only have a small team, it’s also great if you can communicate with them deeply once a week.
- Weekly All-Hands Meetings: If you can’t do a 1-on-1 meeting, you can also plan whole group meetings.
Frequent communication helps ensure that you and your team are always on the same page. It also helps in monitoring progress and ensuring your team that you’re always there to help.
Track their work time
You can’t control what’s happening in a business daily. So there will be days where you’ll be too busy to check in with your team. So, let a time tracker do the monitoring for you.
Most business owners utilize time trackers to know exactly what freelancers do at a given time. You can monitor the tasks they did on the day and how many hours they dedicated to it.
Use the right tools and apps
Managing a remote team is not easy, but it’s great that you can use tools and apps to manage teams effectively. Some of the most used apps are:
- Trello for easy collaboration
- Slack for easy communication
- ResourceGuru if your team has a flexible schedules
- 15Five for an effective feedback system
- Dropbox to manage all files
- Toggle for tracking time
- Zoom for web conferencing
And a whole lot more!
What freelancer management system to use will highly depend on what you need. Just do a quick search in Google, and you’ll find a list of apps to use.
Refrain from micromanaging
Next, don’t be the manager that micromanages your team. If there’s one thing most freelancers don’t like is that feeling of being controlled.
Trust is very important in remote work, and if you continue to micromanage, you’re showing your team that you’re not satisfied with what they do. It lowers their morale, and might even lose their motivation to keep on doing their best.
So, if you think you’ve hired the right people, trust them. Train new hires, delegate tasks, and trust them with responsibility. You don’t need to go back and forth with them about the deliverable. They know what they’re doing.
Feedback will always help your team improve. Just make sure that you are providing constructive criticism.
Make sure you focus on the work done and don’t take anything personally. You can be straightforward, but don’t be too condescending. And if you have set some guidelines, stick to them and don’t change instructions right after you’ve seen the work.
Build a relationship with them
Lastly, build a relationship with your team. How? You only need four things:
- Proper Communication
- Providing Resources
- Showing Appreciation
This makes your freelancers happy and will continue to be motivated to do their best so you can reach your goals.
Managing freelancers is not easy, but it shouldn’t be as hard as you think, too. You just need to set your goals, find the right people, and have the right attitude to manage them well. Make use of project management tools and apps, and follow the eight tips above to manage your remote team better.