Hiring freelancers? Good for you! Doing so will save money and provide talented professionals the flexibility they prefer in their work days.
What’s more, onboarding your external workforce needn’t be any different than onboarding your regular employees, especially if you use the Aysling Vendor Management, which can help you onboard and manage your team members no matter what type of earnings form (W-2 or 1099-MISC) you send them in January.
Onboarding your freelance workforce just as you do your employees benefits you in many ways, but most particularly in helping you keep them on your team for the long haul. How? Just as with regular employees, it costs you time as well as money to find and hire freelancers. Freelancers can pick and choose with whom they work, especially if they have highly sought-after skills, and if you don’t treat them well, they can easily take those highly sought-after skills to a client that does.
How do you keep employees for the long term? Treat them well right from the start. How do you keep an external workforce? Treat them just as well as you treat your employees, and that starts with your onboarding process.
Best Freelance Management Onboarding Practices
Provide a background/history/goals of your company to your freelancers.
You undoubtedly did this to your employees – and they more than likely take it for granted and understand it well because they live it day to day – and it’s wise to do so for your contractors. Revamp existing HR content for your freelancers and ask them to take a look. (Earn double “best freelancer onboarding practice” points: pay them for the time they take to read and study the materials.)
Set clear communication guidelines.
Some companies prefer email. Others like to have Zoom chats. Some freelancers like to touch base/talk with a project manager once a day; others prefer to do so only when someone has questions (and some wish it didn’t need to happen at all….).
It’s your project, your company and your way of doing things. Freelancers understand this. Still, if your freelancer balks at video chats (they ran five miles this morning and want no one to see them because they haven’t take a shower yet), what’s the harm in non-camera Skype chats?
Regardless, let the freelancers know from the get-go how you plan to communicate.
Side note on communication: Many freelancers may have skills they haven’t mentioned to you because they think you won’t need them: a coder is great at describing how software works, for example, and can write it down so that “anyone” can understand it. Aysling allows your freelancers to input their own information into the system and – if you build it such – they can either add or check off the different skills they possess, allowing you to search through your external team when you need a particular skill.)
Ask them to input their banking information into a management system so that you can pay them at the same time as your employees.
Paying your external workforce every two weeks (or weekly or every month depending on your pay day schedule) can go a long, long, long way to keeping them long-term.
And if you can place their payment directly into the banking account of their choosing? OMG, you’re their new client BFF!!
If your current payables system doesn’t allow this, don’t worry: Aysling’s VMS does. Our payment management module allows your freelancers to invoice you…and for you to pay them immediately (if you like) or on a schedule. You’re also able to pay them directly into their checking or savings account.
Make sure to ask them to place this information into to Aysling the day you contract with them.
The Aysling VMS doesn’t end there, of course. You and your employee and freelance team members will be able to make all assignments, invoicing, communications, notes, uploading of deliverables, etc. within Aysling.