I have been freelancing for many years and have learned many lessons, some the hard way! I always enjoy learning about other ‘full-timer’ experiences. This article perfectly highlights both sides of the coin, how brands and businesses think or feel and how how that affects the individual freelancer, in this case Gwen Moran @ Fast Company.
Read a snippet here but head over to the article for the full story!
For the past several years, there has been a steady stream of research indicating that companies are increasingly turning to freelance labor to fill talent gaps and create more flexible teams. Recent research from freelance website Upwork found reports that more than one in three Americans freelanced in 2018, and the freelance workforce grew 7% from 53 million to 56.7 million in five years. Full-time freelancers make up more than one-quarter (28%) of freelancers—up 11% since 2014.
And while hiring specific, on-demand talent may seem like a perfect solution to gaps in your workforce, learning how to manage freelancers and independent contractors well is essential to making the relationship the most fruitful it can be.
As someone who has worked for myself for most of my career and spent more than 15 years as a freelance writer and editorial project manager, I can tell you that some people have great freelancer management skills—and some are just awful. As someone who has hired and managed freelancers, I can say that there are some secrets to making the most of the relationship. My “ride or die” clients share these attributes and, in exchange, have independent workers who care about them and are committed to their success.
THEY’RE PICKY ABOUT WHO THEY HIRE
Most of my long-term clients are good at vetting the people who work for them. They get referrals from people they trust and work to build teams of trusted freelancers to whom they turn again and again rather than hiring and training new talent all the time. They want people who are skilled and reliable and who don’t need a lot of hand-holding.
For freelancers, finding a good “anchor client”—a customer who delivers repeat business over time, alleviating some of the hustle that goes along with working for oneself—is motivation for delivering excellent work and added value.
THEY DEVELOP TALENT
Talent management isn’t just for full-timers. Of course, your independent workers are just that—working on their own. But you can still get to know them and what motivates them. What are their goals? What types of work do they like to do and do best? One of the advantages of using independent contractors is that you can choose exactly the right person for the project you have.
At the same time, working with freelancers on stretch assignments and encouraging them to advance their skills is also a recipe for loyalty. The clients who show an interest in their independent workers as people and work on building strong, long-term relationships are the ones who can rely on their freelancers to help them out when they have an emergency.
Read the full article now.