Employment of freelancers may be seen as type of delegation. In many situations delegating tasks to freelancers is necessary, therefore it must be done effectively. Still for some companies managing freelancers seems to be complicated, or at least difficult. Unprofessional employment of freelancers may bring many negative results for the company such as: not fully used potential of human resources. How then a company should manage a team of freelancers to make their work and the whole cooperation effective?

How to manage freelancers? – table of contents:

  1. Understanding of freelance world
  2. Mindful communication
  3. Goal setting
  4. Goals tracking and measurement
  5. Summary

Understanding of freelance world

In the article “How to use the potential of freelancers?” we have already discussed the ways of using all the abilities and skills of freelancers. Today we would like to provide a short guide both for companies, who employ freelances and for companies, who don’t employ them at all. Hopefully, those several tips enlisted below in the text, will show those companies, how to handle the cooperation with freelancers.

To manage well the team of freelancers the employer has to understand the reality of their work. In comparison with full-time workers, who work in close proximity with their immediate supervisor, freelancers work usually from home. It is much easier to delegate tasks in the office, the manager may approach one of the employees directly and just pass the request.

This, strict, rigorous style of delegating, with bosses expecting that their commands will be obeyed right away, cannot be used for cooperation with freelancers. Independent workers value more flexible approach in task and time management. Instead of direct delegation of tasks it is probably much better to present the outline of the project, for the freelancers to offer the best way of dealing with particular tasks. This provides them with adequate level of task discretion and at the same time satisfies the requirements of the company.

For many entrepreneurs, especially those accustomed to tight control over the assignments and delegated tasks, new way of dealing with employees may be difficult. Still, giving up part of the control influences the productivity of freelancers, who now can perform their chosen duties with sense of independence.

Mindful communication

Relation between independence and performance of freelancers is obvious. They accomplish their tasks, but cannot be controlled in the same strict manner as full-time workers.

But lack of control may harmful both for the company and for the freelance employee. Managers, who cannot fully regulate the workflow make risky, uncertain decisions regarding succeeding phases of their projects.

From the perspective of the freelance employee, lack of contact and inadequate feedback result in isolation from the company and loss of interest in its strategic goals. This may lower the overall productivity of the freelance employees. Conscious, attentive communication, should prevent such situations from happening. Fortunately, team managers of freelance workers have access to specialized tools and applications.

From the perspective of the freelance employee, lack of contact and inadequate feedback result in isolation from the company and loss of interest in its strategic goals. This may lower the overall productivity of the freelance employees. Conscious, attentive communication, should prevent such situations from happening. Fortunately, team managers of freelance workers have access to specialized tools and applications.

How to manage freelancers

Freelance management systems possess functionalities, which facilitate steady communication between the company and independent employees. For example, excellent tool from the Firmbee application, helps to search for independent candidates, as well as task delegation and supervision. The Firmbee tool allows to make extended databases and to issue invoices directly in the system.

Goal setting

Having specialized tools in place, the manager should concentrate on setting business goals of the company. The freelancers should strive to achieve those goals as well. Clear, specific goals is beneficial for the whole process of realization – it increases the motivation and affects the intensity of employees efforts.

Setting goals is so important that it should be done even before the recruitment of the new freelance worker process. Newly employed freelancers should know their responsibilities as early as possible, this creates fair structures for future assessment and progress measurement.

Goals tracking and measurement

Your goals may never be achieved if they are not measurable. Quantifying goals is the basis of company management and is crucial, when work of independent employees is involved.

Enterprises recruiting freelance individuals should openly inform what kind of measuring tools are going to be used for work monitoring. Transparency of processes in the company seems to be the best option, since it builds the atmosphere of trust and shows the integrity of the business setting. Independent workers use online schedules and time sheets with contentedness, especially if those were created in cooperation with the freelancer, and not imposed from above.

Summary

Freelance workers value flexibility of approach and independence, but in most cases the management of freelance teams is similar to management of full-time workers. The overall approach to the freelance workers should be more attentive especially in relation to task delegation. With sense of independence guaranteed freelance workers should take greater responsibility for their tasks and feel more appreciated.

Mindful, attentive communication in the organization allows the freelancers and their supervisors build fully professional relationship, which is the key to achieving all business goals.

With the tips listed in this article, the management of freelance teams should become simple and more efficient. Moderate, well-balanced approach to the freelance work style should benefit both the independent workers and the company.

Read also: How to implement freelance management system

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.