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Most business leaders know that freelancers and other contingent workers can provide significant flexibility and advantages. To start, these advantages can help you innovate at higher levels, stretch resources, and compete globally. The benefits are so notable that many companies make this workforce part of their growth strategy.
But as in most things, success depends on the foundation it’s built upon. The same applies to how your company uses contingent workers. Whether you’re just starting to use freelancers or you’re planning to increase use, these tips can help you optimize your freelancer strategy for greater project—and business—results.
"What to do before hiring your next freelancer"
1. Brainstorm the use of cases
There are numerous ways contingent workers can help companies grow. Freelancers can help you expand market reach, develop new revenue streams in less time, respond quickly to customer trends, and so much more. Before you engage outside talent, gather your team to brainstorm all possible use cases.
Really stretch your ideas beyond typical projects. As one leading university did when they wanted to build an eLearning platform in three months, within budget, and with only a single staff member. They achieved this seemingly impossible task by hiring freelancers to complete the entire project, and by bringing on highly experienced talent at the right time, which helped stretch their budget. Some of the talent included project managers, developers, an expert to manage the code acceptance, and a usability expert who transformed the design in a fraction of the time normally required.
2. Get classification help
Before starting a contingent worker, you must classify them properly. Many companies use third-party classification services to help process a flow of freelancers and other contingent workers quickly and accurately. Be sure to choose one that’s reliable, thorough, and classifies in locations where your freelancer may reside.
3. Automate processes
Sourcing, vetting, contracting, and paying a flow of contingent workers takes a lot of time. The extra work can quickly overwhelm HR and procurement, which is why many companies turn to contractor management solutions. More robust solutions provide a talent source and automate contracting and payment processes to help your staff save more time.
4. Adopt an agile work style
Many companies primarily engage freelancers and independent contractors—but this takes a different work style. It’s important to note these types of contingent workers function as their own businesses. This means you never control when, where, or how your project specs are met. You simply tell them what you need done (e.g., front-end developer to SEO your site from the bottom up), then step aside and wait for them to deliver on an agreed upon timeline.
Make sure your hiring managers understand how to work with freelancers. Doing so will not only help your company avoid misclassification risk, it can also help your team adjust deadlines and expectations to ensure smoother projects.
If workforce trends prove correct, your company will likely hire more freelancers in the near future. It’s an efficient way to get more work done as turnaround times tighten and in-demand talent remain difficult to find. By keeping these four tips in mind, you can derive larger benefits from using a flexible workforce and remain protected as your freelance use scales.
Levoexpert connects the world’s leading companies, startups, and small business with independent experts and boutique consulting firms to meet on-demand business needs.
Incorporated in Shanghai 2015, Levoexpert has become a fast growing marketplace with large base of clientele ranging from fortune 500 companies and large corporations seeking global talents and Indepedents exeprts to work on critical projects.
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