In our rapidly evolving digital age, to remain relevant, the ability to adapt to constant change is essential. Without a doubt, the most effective means of fostering a workforce that is as versatile as it is dynamic is by embracing the power of the expert economy.
Size or sector aside, utilising freelance experts for your projects or initiatives will not only serve to fill in organizational skills gaps but more often than not, help to drive a level of innovation that propels your business to prosperous new heights. And, the use of freelance experts is on the rise.
Studies suggest that freelancers will make up the majority of the workforce by 2027, with a projected annual growth rate of 3.5%.
Freelancers are knowledgeable, productive, flexible and offer the means of developing a fluid, agile workforce that’s adaptable to disruption.
That said, how do you squeeze the most value from your freelance relationships?
To ensure a seamless freelancer success rate, you should offer the right balance of induction, and in-house, training to newly acquired outsourced experts. But, when it comes to training and on-boarding, how little is too little or how much is too much?
Here we explore the importance of freelancer training and induction, in addition to the approaches you can take to get your efforts just right.
Values and culture
Naturally, you will hire freelance experts based on their high levels of competency and niche skillset. Based on this notion, you won’t need to train freelancers to do their job but instead, you will need to provide training and induction to ensure they work in line with your company’s culture and values.
Big or small, a happy, engaged employee or partner will perform 20% more effectively on average. This level of success stems from a cultivating a positive company culture.
When you team up with a new freelance expert, investing time in induction will ensure they are well-informed of your company values, the way in which you work and your approach to internal communication. Also, this will offer new freelancers the opportunity to meet the people they will be working with to deliver a particular strategy, initiative or project.
If your freelance expert is fully invested in what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, they will work cohesively and in a way that complements your company culture – generating more value while meeting, or even exceeding, expectations as a result.
Aligning your goals
When hiring a freelance expert to work on a specific goal or project, providing internal training on your various platforms, tools, applications and remote working processes will form the foundations of a successful working relationship.
Providing your outsourced talent with sufficient training on more practical internal platforms and processes will reduce the risk of ‘teething problems’ or technical issues, allowing you to focus on strategic planning to ensure any project is tackled in line with your specific aims and goals.
In addition to providing practical training, giving your freelance experts ample time to meet with internal collaborators – both digitally and face-to-face – will foster a level of synergy that will result in genuine success.
Approaching freelancer induction and training
It’s clear that training and induction are vital when nurturing successful freelance relationships. To help steer your success, here are practical freelancer training and induction tips for your reading pleasure:
- Digital induction packs: To fully engage freelancers that are new to your organization, digital welcome packs or a dedicated online hub containing a curated list of FAQs, internal case studies, training videos, important contact information and insights into your company culture will make an excellent resource to use as reference from start to finish.
- Freelance training programs: Upskilling key people across departments within your company to become dedicated freelancer training representatives will ensure that your new outsourced recruits receive the right level of practical training based on your tools, applications, platforms and internal processes.
- Meetings and social occasions: To immerse your freelance experts in your company culture, you should set up periodic meetings based on key project milestones. Moreover, inviting your freelancers to social occasions such as company gatherings or lunches will help them integrate with your business and those working within it.
- Tailor and listen: Throughout your relationships with freelance experts, you should always listen to their needs and requirements, asking questions that will allow you to tailor your training and induction efforts to their work preferences, as well as the size or the project or length of the contract. Those that are likely to be on-board for a week will need less training and inducting than freelancers working on a long-term project – so take the time to tweak your activities accordingly.
The gig economy is empowerment. This new business paradigm empowers individuals to better shape their own destiny and leverage their existing assets to their benefit. – John McAfee
There’s no denying it: offering a comprehensive level of induction and training is important when working with freelance experts.
Concerning the level of training and induction you offer, there is no clear-cut answer. But, by providing the right training assets, focusing on your internal processes and company values, and working closely with the individual, you will ensure maximum success on a sustainable basis.
For more on the state of freelancing, read about the key drivers behind the gig economy.
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