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Managing Business Growth: Hiring Freelancers

 

Congratulations!  Your business growth has expanded to the point where you need to hire freelancers to help with the workload.   But where do you find people who can execute daily tasks, that are up to your standards, and are dedicated and disciplined enough to work efficiently out of an office setting?  Before you panic, consider a few tips that can act as your guide to hiring freelancers. 

Hire Based on Experience

Assess your needs and decide which tasks you cannot accomplish alone anymore. Depending upon what your business requires, you'll want to target your search for a certain level of expertise.  For example, if you are hiring freelancers to set appointments from home, you'll want to look for someone with a pleasant phone voice and organization skills. However, if you are seeking a more skilled, educated freelancer, (perhaps someone with knowledge of the stock market trends for a financial newsletter), you would want to require the candidate to have a B.S. in economics or related fields (along with journalism or writing experience). 

Do Research for Competitive Pay

Here comes the awkward part--what to pay your freelancer.  When it comes to paying a contract or freelance employee, keep in mind that your compensation is purely monetary.  You won't be paying benefits or setting them up with a 401k, so do you research and find a competitive wage (in order to attract the best and the brightest). Obviously, a search on Google will produce plenty of industry comparisons and pay grade that you can take into consideration, along with your budget and overall needs.

Manage, Don't Micromanage, Freelancers

It's difficult for any manager to get used to hiring someone, and not being able to see them making progress in the office every day. Even though freelance work is typically from the comfort of your home, it is completely results based. Calling the freelancer, or emailing him all day long, will not only make you crazy, but may get annoying and send a good worker packing.

The best way to track and manage freelancers is through their produced work. If you see the results you want during the first few weeks or months, then you know you can trust the freelancer to get the job done on time and done correctly.

Ask for Input

After a few months on the job, ask your contract or freelance employee to evaluate her experience. Feedback is extremely powerful because it not only tells the employee that you care enough to make sure the experience is positive for them, but it also helps you to gain valuable insight into your business. In addition to asking about the freelancers' work experience, ask them if they've made any observations during their job that could improve business. If they are meeting with clients, ask about what customers are telling them about your product or service. You could even develop some key questions the freelancer could ask when they meet with clients, in order to gain additional business insight.

Overall, bringing contract or freelance employees on board can only strenghten the business by removing some of the work burden, and providing you with an extra pair of eyes and ears to help continue successful business growth. 

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Gina Ragusa is a freelance writer and mom from sunny (and sometimes not) South Florida. Her 15 year experience ranges from writing about banking to tattoo parlors. Read more about her adventures at http://blog.wahm.com/

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