Who is a Freelancer?
The term ‘freelancer’ refers to a self-employed professional who offers services to multiple clients simultaneously. Generally, freelancers work only for a short period and are paid hourly charges on a per-job basis. As such, freelancers are not officially employed by any firm but are subcontracted for business requirements. Per a report populated by Upwork in 2020, 64% of the professionals at the top in their respective industries are increasingly opting to work as freelancers due to the flexibility, work-life balance and other benefits emanating from working remotely.
So let’s plunge into the nuances of hiring a freelancer and how it could be beneficial for you. Freelancers are usually hired online. It is relatively common for freelancers to work with different clients simultaneously. However, some contractors may hire local freelancers over a written clause that restricts them from working with their rivals to maintain compliance.
Roadmap on how to hire freelancers
Firstly, hiring a freelancer opens the arena for you to work with an expert at a reduced cost. A professionally sound freelancer can hit the floor with minimal to no training and accomplish both short-term and long-term tasks efficiently. Now let’s discuss more about how to identify a suitable freelancer for your firm.
Firstly, the qualities that define a professional freelancer includes,
- Ability to comprehend the task assigned and produce accurate, high-quality work
- Someone who can meet maximum flexibility, quick turnarounds, and low overheads
- A professional who is equipped with the right knowledge to provide out-of-the-box solutions to accomplish the project objectives
- An eagle-eyed individual with the competency to communicate well besides receiving/implementing feedbacks efficiently
- A person who is proactive in terms of time-sensitive projects or unexpected delays in the stipulated time frame.
Tips for hiring freelancers
Here are some tips that could be followed while hiring freelancers!
Where to find freelancers?
Finding freelancers is relatively easier than recruiting full-time employees. However, if you want the best person to do your task then, identifying them among the lot could be a difficult task. Some of the recruiting strategies that could be followed to find the most promising freelancers are enlisted as follows,
- Ask for referrals: Reach out to professional connections within your organization or in the industry to ask if they could recommend any freelancers whom they have worked with in the past
- Freelancing platforms: Refer to online marketplaces like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr through which you can connect with various freelancers, review their portfolios along with the PayScale. Factual observations state that there has been a 50% rise in the freelancer signups in Upwork since the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Portfolio sites: Freelancers usually post their best works on the portfolio sites like Behance, GitHub, or Dribble to grab the attention of recruiters. Hence, these sites could be a good source to find freelancers who fit your requirements.
- Post online: Finally, you could also post your freelancer job online on sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor. As these are wider networks, there is a high possibility to find the best talent for your job role.
Writing a suitable job description:
A detailed description is essential to find qualified freelancers. Hence, the job summary addressed to a freelancer should define the expectations clearly. Here’s what a good job post should include,
- Project start and end dates
- Description of the role or project
- List of the responsibilities
- Skillset requirements
- Deliverables to be processed and corresponding deadlines
- Project budget and payment terms
Assessing the right candidate:
Although the decision to hire freelancers online is profitable, the process involved in hiring them could be quite tedious. To shortlist your entries, you could add a task within your job description and consider only the candidates who took the initial effort to complete the task and submit it along with their portfolios. On the other hand, if you are sourcing freelancers through a portal or platform, you can filter only the qualifying profiles and invite them for an interview.
The next crucial step would be to conduct an interview. Since, most freelancers work remotely, scheduling a video interview is the only slot wherein you get to interact directly with the professional. In addition to this, video interviews allow you to better understand a person’s abilities and attitude rather than just having a telephonic interview. The major points to cover during this interview are,
- Gain clarity over the bandwidth of the individual - Freelancers may work with multiple clients hence, there is a possibility to juggle between parallel assignments and thereby, miss out on a deadline.
- Their approach towards taking additional responsibilities and completing ad-hoc tasks
- Experience with working on similar clients or projects and familiarity with the industry.
Defining the PayScale:
The cost incurred on hiring a freelancer solely depends on the job profile and the technical expertise of the freelancer. For instance, a survey populated by Payoneer states that the fee earned by an average freelancer is estimated at $21/hour. This may vary based on the experience of the professional and the job summary.
Hiring managers should be aware of how the location of a freelancer could influence the pay. This is because the hourly pay quoted by the freelancers would be reflected in their local currency. We should also note that hourly wages would vary based on the experience of the freelancers. Thus, hiring managers need to research online about the industry trends in terms of paying freelancers and fix a reasonable PayScale!
Sign a freelancer contract:
A freelancer contract is nothing but an agreement between the freelancer and the hiring firm. It outlines the varied terms and conditions concerning the work assigned for the freelancer. This contract is essential to build a steady relationship between the company and the freelancer. The freelancer contract would include,
- Scope of Work
- Project Timeline
- Compensation details
- Termination clause
- Limitation to liability
- License and royalty terms
Furthermore, this contract clearly describes the interests of both the company and the freelancers to mitigate any dispute or indifferences that may arise with the course of time. The freelancer contract also serves as a legal guide to negotiating any settlement on the occurrence of such disputes. A non-compliant contract might result in potential penalties and fines on account of violating the local employment laws. Besides monetary loss, it may also cast a grey shadow on the reputation of the employer.
We can now move on to know more about how Multiplier can help you draft, sign, and manage the freelancer contracts efficiently. Multiplier is a SaaS-based company that contributes significantly towards managing global contractors or freelancers on a single platform. We work towards generating region-specific, compliant contracts thereby eliminating the risk of incomplete contracts.
How to manage freelancers?
Post hiring freelancers and assigning them to the respective jobs is the process of managing a freelancer. While hiring freelancers, it is imperative to handhold and manage them efficiently to maintain a seamless relationship. We have curated some steps that you can follow to streamline your freelance workforce and make the most out of it for your company,
Instruct freelancers to track their time
The best way to manage workflow for your freelancers is to track the time they have incurred on the task as opposed to the completion status of the task. This will provide you with real-time updates on where your freelancers stand per their schedule. You will also be able to view the time estimation even before the freelancers complete their tasks. Some of the time tracking tools include Calendar, Toggl and Clockify.
Multiplier also extends an option to help you freelancers with filling their timesheet on a per-job or a per-week basis. This would nullify the effort you will be incurring on installing and managing the above-mentioned time tracking tools. The timesheet thus filled using the Multiplier portal could also be automatically converted into our payment portal to process the commercials for your freelancers.
Efficient project management
It is essential to amplify your project management skills as an employer when working with freelancers. Instead of just randomly assigning a task, create it and track the progress at frequent intervals. This could be performed by using several project management tools like ClickUp, Trello or Asana. Besides this, you can also maintain constant communication with the freelancers through touch-base calls or state update meetings.
Show your appreciation
If your work has turned out as expected or even better, ensure to drop in positive comments about the task. If otherwise, focus more on providing constructive feedback. This could be highly encouraging for the freelancers who generally would not build a connection with the firm they are working for. In addition to this, you can also leave positive comments on their social profiles such as LinkedIn or their freelancer portals. This would scale up their grading and bring them in the vicinity of other hiring managers from your industry.
Now that you have hired the ideal professionals and are managing them efficiently, it is time to build a credible relationship. This usually starts with processing the commercials and remaining compliant with the payment cycle. Hence, make sure that your freelancers are paid the right amount per contract and with no delay. Discuss further and select a suitable payment processor.
You could also use Multiplier to pay all your freelancers in one go without any delay. Our platform can help you with paying all your freelancers across the world in their local currency with just a click.
Managing all freelancers in one place
In addition, the process of managing the documentation and contracts for all the freelancers across the world could be tedious. As an effort to mitigate this issue, Multiplier enables you to view all the contractor information on a single dashboard
Benefits for freelancers:
To emerge as a trustworthy and reliable organization, you need to provide extra benefits to at least the freelancers who have been associated with your firm over the longer-term. Here again, Multiplier can help you with providing your freelancers or contractors with the same health insurance benefits as that of your full-time employees. This could be a great notion to retain your freelancers by building their credibility about your firm.
Benefits of hiring a freelancer?
Let’s roll the ball down to the basics of hiring during this Covid pandemic. Nearly, 45% of organizations have frozen their headcounts to conserve cash. There has also been a 37% drop in the global staffing revenue in 2020. This drop has been fueled sufficiently because 51% of the hiring managers have considered hiring freelancers instead of full-time employees. Moving onto the advantages of hiring freelancers,
- Flexibility and industry expertise - Freelancers are often available at exceptionally short notice. They can assist in solving a sudden surge in work, which your in-house team may not be capable of accomplishing. Additionally, freelancers are usually specialists in their respective fields and are adept at niche tasks.
- Risk reduction – There is reduced risk with hiring freelancers because freelancers are independent contractors and usually do not collect unemployment insurance. Hence, it is relatively easier to terminate them, if they are not performing their job up to the desired expectations.
- Cost-cutting on overheads - Freelancers are typically equipped with modern home offices and can work remotely cutting down on office space requirements. Additionally, supply costs are often lowered because freelancers typically own and utilize their own resources. They also reduce the breakdown allocated for training the new hires and other benefits which apply to an employee
- Reduced responsibilities and lesser supervision - Freelancers usually require a low level of supervision since they are individuals, representing or marketing themselves. Additionally, the payroll benefits for a freelancer are also reduced when compared to that of an employee.
- Global scaling – By hiring freelancers you acquire a worldwide reach besides exposing your firm to international business. Hiring freelancers for various countries basically means having connections across the globe thereby, building networks and credibility over your organization. This also widens your search radius and helps you to hire more international talents to work at your firm.
Multiplier stands as a unanimous platform that offers both Global infrastructure and Global employment. Thus, we enable the hiring managers to manage legal employment strategies across multiple countries besides assisting with managing compliance, payroll and other benefits for the freelancers. Visit us to know more details about our services!
Q. How do you pay foreign freelancers?
Managing multiple foreign freelancers and paying them in their currency can be a difficult task to manage. Multiplier simplifies this process for you. It allows your freelancers to raise invoices and expenses. And you can clear their payments in their preferred currency in just a few clicks.
Q. How do I find local freelancers?
The best way to find local freelancers is through online platforms. Some of the famous online platforms are freelancer.com, Upwork, Fiverr, etc.
You can also try other local online freelancing platforms, ask for referrals, check portfolios on sites like Dribble and Behance, or can post ads on sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, or other local job posting sites.
Q. When do companies hire freelancers?
There are many reasons behind hiring freelancers. Some of the top reasons companies hire freelancers include:
- Access to skilled talent
- Need of high-quality work at less time
- Company risk reduction
- No need to pay employee benefits
Q. Do foreign freelancers require you to submit IRS Form W-8?
Freelancers living in the US but not US citizens must fill out IRS form W-8. This form confirms a person's name, address, and other information. It helps businesses understand that they don’t need to withhold taxes from their earning.