If you need to fill a position that doesn’t require physical presence, why limit yourself to a 30-mile radius when you can dip into a vast national and even international pool of talent and cherry-pick the very best individual for the job?
Research firm Edelman Intelligence surveyed 6,000 U.S. workers in 2017 and predicted that the majority of the U.S. workforce will freelance by 2027. An estimated 57.3 million individuals worldwide are freelancing, including 57% of millenials.
Many freelancers are for the unique experience, expertise, and value they could bring to a company relative to our agreed-upon compensation.
Finding & Vetting Talent
Finding talent is challenging, whether in-person or remotely. Where you decide to search depends on your requirements. There are platforms devoted to different skill sets. For a writer, you might try Scripted. For a journalist, Storyhunter. For a software engineer, Toptal and Upwork, with the latter being one of the largest freelance marketplaces featuring a wide variety of expertise, from architects to attorneys.
All of the above platforms implement a review system wherein previous employers leave freelancers feedback based on performance and professionalism. Freelancer profiles also generally feature a bio, skillset, and portfolio.And, of course, there’s always tapping into your local network and putting the word out.
Irrespective of the vetting tools a platform offers, use whatever processes you normally employ when screening talent—assign tests, interview, etc.
Onboarding & Compliance
Your remote talent should be classified as either freelance or employed. Failure to comply may entail unwanted liability for your business, not to mention mismanaged expectations. A freelancer may expect to enjoy the benefits and protections afforded to a full-time employee. Compliance and clear communication are key.
If not hiring through a platform, talentwave.com helps perform an analysis based on state and federal law as well as position-related risk level, providing a recommendation of how the freelancer should be hired to ensure compliance is met and risk is minimized. What’s more, if you are unable to employ freelancers legally, TalentWave can do so on your behalf.
Some freelance marketplace platforms incorporate their own payment solutions. Otheriwise, there are alternative options that help companies with online onboarding and payment, whether locally or internationally.
These alternatives also may allow freelancers to request payments and even enjoy interest-free advances against money earned ahead of pay cycles.
I recommend that each freelancer obtain basic commercial liability coverage. Bunker helps both freelancers in need of insurance and organizations requiring their freelancers to obtain insurance. Apart from issuing insurance, Bunker also helps determine the kind and scope of coverage necessary.
This is especially significant for individual freelancers or small organizations who require specific and cost-effective insurance as opposed to the high-priced commercial coverage specially tailored to large businesses.
Xero provides tools for managing freelancers, including bookkeeping and a dashboard with relevant information such as tracking of payments and invoices, etc.
Shortlist is a workforce management suite, allowing organizations to keep track of freelancers, manage projects, assign tasks, track performance, and approve work. In this way, everyone across the organization is on the same page with respect to freelancers’ input.
Income unpredictability is the top concern for freelancers. So, finding a payment solution to help alleviate this concern by providing cash advances on unpaid but approved invoices is important. This is a significant perk for freelancers as it allows them to manage their own income instead of suffering from long and/or unpredictable pay cycles.
The other concern freelancers face is how much of their income to put aside for taxes. Track.tax not only addresses this but also helps freelancers maximize their revenue by tracking tax deductions throughout the year.
Some of the best talent in the world is comprised of freelancers. Finding, onboarding, and managing them can be daunting for someone who’s never done so before. Getting started with a solid roadmap to find the best freelancers out there and make sure they have the tools they need to thrive, is essential so that they can deliver exceptional value to you.
Author Bio: Johnny Reinsch is CEO of Qwil, which focuses on providing individual contractors, freelancers, and small businesses with financial tools and solutions. Qwil offers an application that enables its users to manage and spend their earnings through their Qwil debit card. It also enables its users to earn and spend money before they are paid for their services. For more information about Qwil, visit www.Qwil.com.