It’s a common practice to screen candidates for full- or part-time work, but many employers don’t realize that it is equally important to screen freelancers. Depending on the type of work, freelancers can have just as much influence on the company’s products and services as full-time workers do. Small businesses especially rely on freelancers to perform vital tasks, such as graphic design, programming, writing and more. For longer projects, freelancers may even stay in the office for extended periods. You can ensure a safer, more productive work environment by screening everyone who you employ.
If you’re considering hiring freelancers, take note of these tips:
1. Perform background checks on long-term freelancers
Imagine that a small carpentry shop wants to develop a company website. Until this point, the business has been relying on traditional media and word of mouth. With recent growth, they’re looking to expand into the digital marketplace. No one on the staff has web development skills, so the manager decides to outsource the task to a talented freelancer. They’ve arranged for the freelancer to work from the carpentry shop two days a week, while working remotely on the other days. In situations like this one, when the freelancer will be onsite for several weeks, the business can lower its risk by performing background and health checks. Doing so will help ensure that the work environment stays safe.
#videomarketing 5 Things to Have in Place Before Hiring Freelancers – t.co/3U3zRIphjF #entrepreneur #star… pic.twitter.com/BKgr07Q9As
— Mobile video 4u (@mobile_video4u) November 11, 2016
2. Always ask for samples
A good freelancer will have a solid portfolio of work to show to potential clients. If you’re in the market for temporary outside talent, Entrepreneur Magazine recommended requesting sample work before making a hiring decision. If you’re hiring a graphic designer, ask to see work that is similar to what you’re looking for. If you’re hiring a developer, check out some of the other projects they’ve worked on. And don’t always assume that general skills are transferable. Always ask about specifics, such as coding languages, writing styles and program familiarity.
3. Define communication standards
Having an open line of communication is key when working with remote freelancers. You won’t be able to stop by and check on them, so you should establish how often and in what manner you want to communicate with them. While some managers are content to communicate only through email and phone calls, others might be more comfortable with a face-to-face conversation via video-chat software. When discussing the terms of the contract, make it clear how often you’d like to check in with the freelancers. Keeping lines of communication open will make completing the project easier for everyone involved.
Freelancers can make it easier for small businesses to compete in the marketplace because they can perform specialized tasks that aren’t a part of the business’ daily workflow. Although they differ from full-time employees in several key ways, they should still be subject to the same high level of compliance standards.