Over 8 out of 10 project failures are the result of poor communication or lack of collaboration. And all too often, freelancers are most often the group of people left out of the key conversations. Since they typically don’t spend as much time in the office, they are not as involved in the key planning and communication on projects.
Here are a few tactics that can help with managing freelancers and successfully integrating them with your team:
1. Include your team in the process
Speak with your team well before making the decision to hire a freelancer. Describe why you’re looking for resources outside the organization, get their thoughts on how to best meet these needs, and ensure that a freelancer is the best option for your team. Inadvertently missing opportunities for existing members of your team to “step up” or broaden their skills can lead to tension or resentment of any new “helpers” down the road.
2. Clearly define roles
Once you’ve decided to hire freelancers, be sure there’s a shared understanding of:
- The scope of work and responsibilities
- Expected project duration
- Where they’ll be located
- How and when they need to be available
- Who will manage the resource day-to-day
3. Dispel fears
Leverage the team during the screening process to ensure the freelancer will “fit” and collaborate well with your existing team and processes and that they have the skills to deliver on your needs. This is a two-way street. Encourage the freelancer to ask questions and reassure themselves that there is a great fit.
4. Set expectations up front
Be certain that you have clearly outlined and documented:
- Responsibilities and key milestones
- When and how much will they be paid. How they should invoice you, etc.
- The processes your team uses to get results
- How to reach relevant staff members
- How and when to escalate concerns or issues
- Expectations for updates and communication with you and the team
5. Welcome them to the team
- Formally introduce them to the organization
- Onboard them to relevant systems and processes: working processes and tools, calendars, accounts for computer, email, telephone etc.
- If they’ll be working on-site, orient them to the physical office: office supplies, break areas, dress code, parking, lunch options
- Assign a “buddy” to answer questions
We appreciate the value of great collaboration. Redbooth helps your team collaborate to get things done and make managing freelancers easier. Great software and processes are important parts of a high-performing team; but bringing on the right talent is critical.