Freelancers…are they a secret weapon?

When you have a short-term project or task that needs undertaking, but do not have the talent within to accomplish the assignment, nor the ability to hire a permanent employee, consider hiring a freelancer. Typically experts in their field, they can complete jobs quickly and successfully.

Generally presenting as independent contractors or established businesses, freelancers market their services through digital realms or networking, often relying on word-of-mouth to promote their talents. Others are found through professional hiring sites, some established for freelancers alone. You may want to start with your own networks or perhaps take a few quick minutes to flick through your rolodex…remember the videographer you met a couple of months ago at a work seminar?

There is always risk involved regardless of the type of job role you are looking to fill and it is no different when seeking out a specialist freelancer. Requesting a portfolio of works they’ve completed will give you an insight into the quality of their work and their abilities. Testimonials will allow you to undertake a reference check, but make it your business to understand their background and establish in advance each other’s responsibilities, budgets, reporting procedures and timelines for completion. It is essential that communications between parties remain clear. Often a freelancer will work remote to yourself and your office, perhaps internationally, so it is imperative that no ambiguity exists so far as objectives are concerned. If you do find yourself hiring overseas talent you need to consider a couple more matters; What is the time zone difference?; and who in my office will be their trusted point of contact?

Freelancing is big business across the globe. It should be no surprise. Many employees in many industries would prefer to work for themselves, and for reasons that may surprise you. A UK study revealed that freelancers top reasons for choosing this type of working lifestyle was the freedom to choose their work and the creative experience and opportunities it gives them. The financial reward of independently contracting their services was valued much lower. Some even trade the top dollars in search of greater working independence and avoidance of office politics.

When dealing with a freelance professional, remember that both of you are making an investment, a freelancer their time and you your money. It is an important recruitment decision that some argue equates to the hiring of a key executive. Each brings plenty of skill and experience to the table to fill a critical skills gap or mission. Both are looking to achieve important gains to your business. And while selecting the right freelancer for you does require some investment of your time, it will be time well spent if you are to achieve your overall objectives. Secret weapon? Maybe!

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SJ Personnel offer recruitment and HR services to businesses and candidates throughout Geelong, Surf Coast, The Bellarine and western Victoria region

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