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Next-Gen Workforce: How To Manage Freelancers

February 10, 2020

The use of Freelancing is increasing and quickly becoming a dominant resourcing strategy for companies. Businesses of all sizes prefer hiring freelancers especially when sourcing skills that are scarce in supply.  

It is estimated that 40% of the traditional workforce is expected to be freelancing by the end of 2020. With the help of the freelance labour market, organizations can shape and re-shape their workforce quickly to adjust to changing needs of the market.  

According to the latest reports from Upwork and the Freelancers Union, there are currently more than 57 million freelance workers. With this, hiring managers believe that work done by flexible talent will rise by 168% within the upcoming decade. 

However, managing your freelancers can be challenging despite the many advantages they can offer your business. Unlike employees, freelancers often work for various clients at the same time and this becomes crucial for you to ensure that they are on the same page in terms of deadlines and deliverables.  

Managing freelancers doesn’t have to be a daunting experience once you build the right practices. At Swivelt, we work with freelancers all the time. We understand the importance of managing freelance workers or off-site employees to make sure the business objectives are achieved. Here are a few recommendations on how to easily manage freelancers:  

Set Expectations & Effective Communication

Communicate essential information effectively. Set clear timelines, and ensure your freelancer understands your needs and requirements.  

Outline the rules of your business and provide a very clear written brief. Be willing to spend extra time with your freelancer to help them better understand why things need to be a certain way and how it connects to the bigger picture.   

Be clear about your expectations and help them understand what works and doesn’t work for your business.  

Provide Feedback 

Just because they aren’t your employees, doesn’t mean you should skip out on providing effective feedback.  This is a good opportunity for your business to determine if your freelancers are a good fit based on their performance.  

Let your freelancers know how you feel about their work. Discuss what they did right and wrong to improve the quality of their performance. Do not hesitate to be upfront if they are underperforming and be sure to thank them if they did a good job.

Use Technology to Build Relationship

There are many intelligent software solutions available that can help you. Invest in the right software. Most importantly, be sure to provide your freelancers with the right tools to improve collaboration, support, and communication around the globe. It makes your freelancers feel like they are part of the team in the virtual realm.  

Consider specialized solutions for your business that effectively serves each part of your workflow with great collaboration tools. Performance management tools like iStrives help businesses manage remote freelancers and team members easily. Managers can communicate, add their comments and feedback, assign tasks and deadlines with the tools available on iStrives. This increases your freelancers’ sense of involvement and enables them to look at the broader context. In other words, take advantage of performance management tools to treat your freelancers like they are a member of your staff.  

Work-from-Anywhere Model 

Managing a virtual workforce can easily get overwhelming. For this reason, the work-from-anywhere model gives you the ability to hire the best talents from across the world efficiently with the best results. Surveys conducted by FlexJobs and Owl Lab show that 79% of people said they would be more loyal to their employers due to the flexibility that the work-from-anywhere model offers.  

To achieve this, you will need to invest in the right technology or freelance management software to make it easy to manage freelancers and independent professionals. At Swivelt, we use our system to help manage the freelance workforce more efficiently for centralized onboarding, improve visibility on freelancers, better budget management, delegating projects, providing feedback, and reviewing successive drafts. This doesn’t only increase work productivity but also positively impacts the financial outcomes. 

Although managing freelance workers can be uncharted territory for some business leaders, the rewards of successful freelance management will be beneficial to your company. Want to learn more about how Swivelt manages the freelancer workforce? Contact us.  



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