According to a study conducted by Freelancers Union and Upwork, “the share of full-time freelancers increased from 17% in 2014 to 28% in 2019.” But that’s not all. 45% of freelancers are skilled professionals. And the more people go freelance, the higher is the probability that you will hire freelance workers. A decade ago, freelancers were in the minority of the workforce. But today their number is significantly growing and the trend will continue.
Some companies already hire only freelancers but this practice may not be a standard for all businesses. If you’re planning to hire freelancers, whether you’re the owner of a large company, small business or a start-up, you need to know how to collaborate with freelancers and check their productivity.
In our guide, you will find everything you need to know about freelance workers and how to work with them. 😎
» Freelancers or Employees – Why We Need to Choose
» Before You Choose a Freelancer
» Where to Look for Freelancers
» How Freelancers Get Paid?
» How to Measure Productivity of Freelancers
» How to Manage Work With Freelancers
Freelancers or Employees – Why We Need to Choose
Over the last two decades, the technological progress and dynamic flourish of the global economy have changed the way we work. Not only did the conventional boundaries disappear, but also the world has become an open space for all people, including the workforce. Now, that the global market is accessible people can easily emigrate for work but also work while traveling.
Even though the labor market offers endless possibilities for work and career development, many organizations decide to outsource. Since it is becoming more difficult to hire in-office employees, outsourcing has become highly popular in recent years. According to Statista, the global market size of the outsourcing industry has reached $45.6 billion in 2000 to $85.6 billion in 2018.
And it’s not surprising that the numbers keep growing. Both, technology and the global economy, opened the door for freelancing. The perception of this profession has changed considerably. People are more open to such workstyle and it is already a natural phenomenon. Additionally, many professionals want to work remotely due to the benefits
And so, many businesses find best-outsourced employees among freelancers.
For freelance workers, it means working on their terms in a versatile environment and for businesses who decide to hire independent contractors, it is often a chance to obtain highly-skilled talents. Especially for such organizations like start-ups, agencies, and for the IT sector, whose need for experts is enormous.
And you can depend on freelancers or hire in-office employees. But more and more companies decide to work with both. It provides more flexibility for all the employees, helps to save costs and money. And with the help of management software, supervising a mixed team is no longer problematic.
Before You Choose a Freelancer
When you’re choosing whether to work with freelancers or employees, you need to be sure that such a model of work corresponds to your business strategy. You should also specify what types of freelancers you need in your company.
Currently, among the most popular gigs you can find the following:
- app development
- digital marketing
- website design
- video making
- video editing
- content writing
- website development
- social media marketing
- logo design
- mobile application development
- website building
The list, of course, will slowly expand since working with freelancers or individual contractors is on the rise and is becoming a natural constituent of organizational structure for many companies.
And it is not surprising that freelancing becomes more and more popular. It offers many advantages not only for freelancers but also for businesses that hire them. The mutual benefit contributes to the growth of the organization which, in turn, brings profits.
Where to Look For Freelancers?
Usually, it’s not difficult to find freelancers or contract workers with high skills and experience. But you need to know where to look for freelancers. There are many platforms where people offer services.
Here are 5 of the best places where you can find the best freelancers or independent contractors:
- Freelancer – it’s one of the most popular platforms for freelancers which connects people from all over the world
- Upwork – it’s another popular platform where you can find freelancers for any gig, beginning from small household tasks to large, complex projects
- LinkedIn – although LinkedIn is more of a social media platform, it is a fantastic place to find professional freelancers across the entire globe. LinkedIn allows you to see the entire profile of the candidates and get a clear overview of their skills and experience
- Toptal – Toptal is an exclusive network of top freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers in the world. Top companies hire Toptal freelancers for their most important projects
- Outsourcely – here, as the name suggests, you can outsource freelancers based on their skills and easily filter applicants
📚 For more, make sure to check out this article: 40+ Resources To Help You Find the Ideal Remote Location Jobs!
👍 PRO TIP: To find the best freelancers, you need to know how to outsource individually. There are two things you need to do:
1) Formulate your offer in the right way: provide all the details, requirements, and benefits. It will work as a “filter” for the right people and you won’t have to waste time going through irrelevant proposals.
2) Be demanding when choosing the contractor. The internet is full of people who claim to be experts but have no knowledge, expertise, and provide low-quality services. Also, it’s better to pay more but find the best talent for your project.
How Freelancers Get Paid?
When you decide to work with freelancers or contract workers, you need to define how freelancers will get paid. The moment they start working for you, they become part of the payroll. You need to make sure they are getting paid for the work they do. Nothing less, nothing more.
And there are 2 ways in which you can pay freelancers:
- Per hour – simply by determining the hourly rate for their work including potential overtime rate
- Fixed-rate – or you can pay them for the entire project, for example, make part of the payment in the halfway of the project, and another half when the project is finished
If you think your freelancer has done an outstanding job, you can reward them with bonuses. Financial or in another form, such as tickets to an important business event, free training or course to help them develop their skills or anything else that would benefit them and you. Remember, when your employee is financially satisfied, he or she produces better results.
But there is another crucial aspect of paying freelancers – productivity. Of course, it’s fine when they have a rate for their services because you can expect or even accurately estimate how much you will have to pay them. But you need to be sure you are paying them for their job, not for unproductive or non-billable time.
How to Measure the Productivity of Freelancers?
There is no other way than to use time tracking software. How to do that? Let’s examine it by taking a look at TimeCamp – automatic time tracking software.
TimeCamp has features that can be of great help when working with freelancers. Your employees can work in the office or be part of the remote team, the best part is that it does not matter! TimeCamp can unite your team by improving communication and collaboration. It provides transparency for the whole team thanks to reports and you can share the important data with your clients. Not only does your team always stay on top of the work but also your stakeholders can be sure that you’re accountable.
TimeCamp is a time tracking software but also a great system for project management. In it, you can gather all the essential information about your entire company. And that’s because of all the features:
- One-click time tracking with the desktop app – so your freelancers can focus on their work while TimeCamp automatically tracks their work in the real-time
- Comprehensive and detailed reports (time, people, budgeting, and more)- provide you with all the information about how long your freelancers work and on what project, and what is the state of the budget
- Accurate timesheets with approvals – to make sure all numbers add up. Timesheets are automatically generated or can be filled in manually
- Monitoring employee activities by categories, including app and website tracking, allows you to see what and how your freelancers spend time while working
- Attendance tracking and management to keep track of vacations, leaves, absences, and more
- Monitoring productive and unproductive activities – helps to improve productivity and eliminate not-work related activities
- Budget monitoring with alerts and notifications to so you won’t exceed the financial limit
- GPS – NEW feature coming soon! to track remote employees location
- Integrations with the most popular software for project management, accounting, CRM, productivity, and more make work across different tools seamless and painless
The automation of the software helps to optimize work. Not only for freelancers but for the entire team. There is no need for extra paperwork and tedious activities. And you don’t have to worry that you don’t know what’s happening when remote employees are not in the office.
Everything is visible in TimeCamp. And you can use it as you wish, adjust to your business model and the way your team operates. Measuring productivity with freelancers has never been easier!
How to Manage Work With Freelancers
Having the right skills and inborn aptitude is one thing. But using the right tools is equally important. In fact, without the tools, it’s impossible to work with freelancers or contract workers. You need them as a means to communicate, collaborate and monitor employees’ work.
In today’s world, where technology is an inseparable part of the business world, you need it to store all the data and information about your employees and their work. You also need it to operate your business successfully.
Here you will find 5 tools that will help you manage work with freelancers. Make sure to use them for effective communication and collaboration. They will also help you establish the right workflow and will make it easier to track the progress of work.
Trello is a visual board for managing and planning tasks. Even though it has a simple design, it offers many useful features. You can create various boards for different teams, adjust cards’ settings, repeat them for recurring tasks, comment on tasks, and use many other fancy options. Trello has a wide list of power-ups that help to enhance work and collaboration.
Asana is one of the most popular tools for project management. It’s a cloud-based software that allows you to plan and adjust the workflow of your team including freelancers. Your team can easily organize and structure their work and then follow and monitor it. In Asana you can visualize the project to make sure things are going the right way, eliminate risks and negative outcomes before they even happen.
When you hire and collaborate with freelancers, often you need to share files and significant documents. And the best way to do it safely and quickly is by using Dropbox Paper. You and your team can view and edit documents in real-time to improve collaboration.
Slack is undeniably the most popular communication and collaboration software for teams. If freelancers are part of your team, it’s a good idea to implement Slack. This app helps to quickly communicate and collaborate. You can chat individually or in a group, share any type of files, and integrate the tool with other apps. Slack allows you and your freelancers to interact flexibly.
Zapier may not be an app in itself but it is a fantastic software that allows you to connect apps you use every day for better work. It offers integrations with over 1500 of the most popular apps. Zapier is a simple but powerful app. Especially when working with freelancers, since they often have favorite apps they use daily. And there is no better way to help them work than to connect their apps with yours through Zapier.
The demand for freelancers has never been bigger. With the expansion of freelance workstyle, the need for such employees will keep growing. And companies should be ready for a shift in the style of employees’ work.
Remember that fruitful cooperation between a company and a freelancer is based on mutual trust and respect. Without it, it’s impossible to create the right atmosphere for work.
Are you collaborating with freelancers? Or maybe are freelancer yourself? Let us know what are your thoughts, we’d love to hear from you!