As competition for talent amidst the great resignation ramps up, smart companies are realizing that mainly sourcing their talent in the form of full-time employees unnecessarily limits their talent pools. And freelancers are an excellent way to open up your talent pool and look at hiring in more strategic ways. But managing freelancers comes with different challenges than working with FTEs, and recognizing that helps you build better processes around managing freelancers so that you can see better results from working with them.
The right tools can make working with freelancers a lot simpler and reduce many of the struggles that can come with managing them. Implementing some of these will work wonders in terms of making life easier for both you and your freelancers. And they’ll improve the results you see from your freelancer projects as well.
Knowledge sharing tools
Knowledge sharing can be a big problem with freelancers. And the more complex your business is, the more of a problem it can be. It’s important that freelancers have easy access to any information they need to do their job since they often aren’t familiar with the details around how your company works. There are also times when freelancers come into your business and help solve problems and challenges for you. But if you don’t have good knowledge sharing processes in place, then those freelancers take that knowledge with them when they finish their contracts and the knowledge is lost.
Tools like Guru or Bloomfire help you organize and store knowledge around every aspect of your business. This makes it easy for freelancers to get up to speed on everything they need to know for their project and record anything they learn or solve for the business. That way knowledge is never lost and your teams don’t waste any time solving problems that have already been solved.
Feedback tools like OfficeVibe or 15Five are extremely underutilized and valuable tools for companies working with freelancers. Your freelancers have valuable feedback for you on how your business and processes could be improved. There might also be pain that they’re feeling that could be easily addressed and resolved. Without insight into this, your future freelancers might all feel similar pains that could have been avoidable.
On the flip side, sometimes you have freelancers on projects that take much longer or freelancers that you want to keep bringing on for projects in the future. The mentality for people managing freelancers can generally be to give them revisions — change this, update that — but to not waste time on general feedback other than that because they won’t be in your business long enough for it to be worth it.
This mentality couldn’t be more wrong. Most freelancers want to do great work that you’re pleased with and they can be proud of. They know this means they’re more likely to get projects from you in the future or get referrals from you to other companies that need freelancers. That’s why feedback can be so useful when working with your freelancers, by helping them know where they can improve to make you happier with their work.
Team collaborative storage
This one might feel a little obvious, but when it comes to freelancers tools like Google Drive and Dropbox are an absolute must. Because they’re typically working with other clients and not always as available as your FTEs, having them store everything they’re working on somewhere you have access to ensures that anytime you need something you’re able to quickly find it without having to reach out to them and ask. This removes wasted time going back and forth with them, minimizes headaches for you, and makes it easier for you to find or reference any projects that you’re searching for.
A freelancer management system
The two biggest holistic pains companies feel from working with freelancers are the admin work that comes along with them and all the back and forth it creates between your different departments that use or manage them. For finance, HR, compliance, and operations teams, a large amount of time is wasted going back and forth aligning on information around sourcing, hiring, contracts, payments, and more.
But implementing an FMS (Freelancer Management System) automates a lot of the admin work and gives your different teams one central system to work in. That means no more unnecessary back and forth between different departments on who has been paid or which contracts are still active: just simple and easy freelance management and more time to focus on strategic tasks.
Project management tools
Tools like Asana or Basecamp are crucial to freelancer success. Because freelancers are often setting their own hours, it makes life easier for everyone involved if you don’t need to constantly check how projects are going or ask for updates.
When your freelancers are tracking their projects in tools like this and updating the status as they go, it’s always easy for you to see how things are going without needing to bother them, and it cuts down on back and forth time for both of you. Everyone’s happier.
Although tools like Hypercontext tend to be thought of as more for FTEs, a lot of the benefits can be seen when using them with your freelancers as well, depending on the nature of that freelancer’s project and your relationship with them.
If you need to have a lot of meetings with your freelancers to align on goals and objectives or status updates, Hypercontext will make them all run more smoothly. It helps you structure meetings more efficiently, have one shared set of notes for each meeting’s participants, and assign next steps. Performance tools ensure that everyone is clear on what will happen next and who will deliver what.
Getting an overview of your current tech stack and leveling up
If there are categories listed here that you don’t currently have, it’s probably pretty obvious what you need based on your current pains. Most of these tools are easy to implement, so you’ll be able to see pretty immediate improvements in your freelancer processes.
If a freelance management tool could help you work more smoothly with your freelancers, request a demo today to learn about how Worksome can reduce the unwanted admin work and simplify processes around contracts, payments, billing, hiring, and more.