Before appointing any freelance expert it’s extremely important to make sure they understand the company vision and ethos.
Incorporating freelance experts into any workforce can throw up unforeseen challenges that require innovative solutions. Ensuring the freelancer is well versed in the company vision, values and procedures is not only important for integrating them into the organisation, but crucial to business success.
With the onset of online freelancing platforms – like Alifery – flooding the market with highly-skilled workers, policymakers are becoming increasingly aware of how freelance experts are reshaping the labour market and redefining the gig economy.
There are a number of challenges organisations must take into account when including freelancers as part of their business models. As we have previously mentioned, businesses face two main challenges when managing a freelance workforce: management challenges and visibility challenges.
Management challenges emerge as a result of hiring managers not having full control over their freelance workforce. It’s therefore crucial to ensure that communication and collaboration is paramount. Engage with the freelancer so that they integrate with the team and can demonstrate their skills.
Visibility challenges arise when a business is unable to engage a freelancer directly. As soon as a freelancer is hired, the worker bypasses the company’s HR processes which could result in an unchecked risk. It’s therefore fundamentally important to keep an eye on costs, ensure compliance is on point, security procedures are adhered to and hiring managers have full visibility over the freelancer at all times.
Let’s take a closer look at how to ensure freelance experts are well versed in company vision, values and procedures.
- Organising and integration
According to Anne Loehr, organisational culture is crucial in creating a workplace where employees can work together as a team and contribute to furthering the company’s values and vision.
Before appointing any freelance expert it’s extremely important to make sure they understand the company vision and ethos. Be clear on their skillsets and exactly what they can offer, and what they can bring to the company. Being confident as to exactly how well they will integrate into an organisation is mainly the responsibility of the hiring manager, but can also fall onto the business itself. It’s important to ensure that the organisation has a clear company vision and direction with achievable goals, so that the freelancer knows what route to take.
Integrating a good freelancer into any business can prove problematic. Freelance experts tend to manage their own schedule, which can prove an issue for team integration. They may also not mesh well with the team, or struggle with different project types. A tried and tested method is to give the freelancer a trial before commencing engagement to ensure they’re on the same page, and understand the company direction.
According to WE Forum, 56.7 million Americans freelanced in 2018 and the number is a growing trend right around the globe, in the United Kingdom, Australia and beyond. With these numbers in mind, it’s extremely important that freelance workers integrate well, complementing an existing workforce by helping to build a stronger and better business.
Using an online freelancing platform – like Alifery – can be a great way of ensuring that the worker you engage becomes fully versed in the company vision, values and procedures. These online platforms spend their time ensuring that the freelance expert suits your company needs, and that they are vetted, well versed and suited to your organisation.
- Embrace freelancers but be cautious
A freelancer workforce is very much an on-demand commodity, so they’re not necessarily engaged with the business at all times. It can be debatable as to whether a freelancer is classed as an employee, seeing as they often work with other clients and only partake in short-term engagement. Risks can be elevated when freelancers are put on long rolling contracts undertaking roles that are usually covered by full-time staff members. The freelance workforce can often fall under the HR radar, bypassing checks and systems put in place to mitigate risk to the organisation.
HR departments are key to maintaining not only the organisation’s values and procedures, but also security protocols. Freelancers must be heavily vetted and checked before they join the business, before they are given access to sensitive information, computer systems and intimate internal practices. Online freelancing platforms – like Alifery – vet their talent beforehand to ensure a business receives a quality worker that’s trusted and in tune with their vision.
- Cost management
Payroll costs are often underestimated when taking on a freelance expert. Yes, they can command a higher hourly or daily rate, but the overall savings are much higher when compared to key workers. There are huge benefits to taking advantage of the freelance workforce – limiting payroll, global reach, quality of workers, access and risk reduction.
However, as the expert economy expands it’s important to keep additional costs down. Not only do freelancers earn their hourly rates, but can also earn overtime, spend on the company credit card and claim expenses. Without complete visibility over freelance costs, departments can overspend and cause long-term damage to the business.
In today’s changing workforce, it’s important for companies to facilitate integration between internal and external workers, as well as ensuring administrative and reporting processes are kept in line. Rework states that when a team is split between the office and elsewhere, culture can easily begin to take its own form, whether you like it or not.
As we’ve touched on previously, Accenture states that businesses must be agile to succeed in this changing world. Shaping a unique and market leading workforce is a company’s greatest asset, so taking advantage of a rich expert economy to build a successful team is now the number one priority of hiring managers worldwide.
Accenture outlines three important rules to abide by when building an agile workforce:
- Remain competitive. Companies should build a workforce shaped by insights.
- Expand the concept of a workforce. Hiring managers must recognise that the ability to source talent in new ways is key to competitive agility.
- Prepare existing workers for the digital future, continuously reskilling them to create a sustainable workforce.
The best way to ensure that you bring in the greatest talent, at the right price is by entrusting your freelance hires to an online platform which specialises in finding experts tailored to business needs.
One of the leading online platforms for finding experts in the legal, finance and consultancy sectors is Australian-based freelancing website Alifery. The Alifery ecosystem provides access to skilled and vetted talent, tailors work to meet business needs and reduces overheads.
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