Making Your Business Easier For Contractors, Freelancers Or Outsourced Help
Not all of the labor you employ and utilize will be in-house. Often, outsourcing this work can be healthy, especially for minor tasks you may not be equipped to work on yourself. For example, if hoping to rebrand your company, then working with a marketing agency or even a freelance graphic designer to craft your logo and visual material can be helpful.
However, creative work such as graphic design, content writing, and public speaking are hardly the only job categories you may hire someone for. You may embed contracted work in the general development of your company’s productivity. For example, hiring outsourced, freelance truckers to assist your logistical plan may be worthwhile to you, or working with influencers serving as ambassadors of your product can help you gain leverage in certain communities, effectively marketing by proxy.
As such, it’s a good idea to make your company easier to deal with for contractors, freelancers or outsourced professionals and agencies alike. This way, the working relationship is streamlined, secure, and reliable, allowing you to leverage this as much as possible. With the online marketplace offering more convenience than ever, this is a smart move to make.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to get there.
Easy Payout Structures
It’s important to implement easy payout structures within your business. This might be a quick means of turning around invoices so contractors are paid per project completed, or even a system that allows them to withdraw compensation based on work approved.
Easy payout structures can help you integrate invoices formatting exactly how you like them, as opposed to taking many different letterheads from many different subcontractors at one time. Your accountants will prefer that, of course. Moreover, you won’t have to implement tax contributions for contracted staff, they will be responsible for their own payouts and earnings.
Moreover, easy payout structures benefit you as much as contractors, but of course, having a reputation for being easy to work with, paying quickly, and cultivating no-nonsense, well-communicated compensation schemes will attract professionals looking for a mature relationship on both sides. Remember that easy payouts aren’t necessarily about paying invoices, but also functional measures, such as using fuel cards for fleets to assist subcontracted drivers as they deliver your goods.
Defined Onboarding Documents & Guides
While some contractors or freelancers may be hired on a project-by-project necessity, some may be hired for repeated or seasonal work. In this case, guides to certain tasks, frequently asked question sections or compliance requirements could be listed clearly in a guide for onboarding professionals.
This way, communications are uniform and clear, allowing for limited mistakes, and also helping you gauge who is actually interfacing with your essential material to bein with. Writing these briefs can be essential for case-by-case work too, of course, and so it’s important you structure those.
In this guide, you can include everything about the terms of subcontracted work, such as responsibilities, level of document access provided, which team they’ll be working with, and their main point of contact. It will also lay out the concept of the project being worked on, where they fit in, any extraneous duties, and how long or when exactly they’ll need to work.
This is as much for you as it is for them, as having this documented justification for contributed work from outside professionals helps you clear such decisions with your higher-ups.
Consistent Points Of Contact & Great Communication
Subcontractors should be able to speak to the managers of your company clearly and efficiently, no matter if that’s because they require clarification about an instruction you’ve given them, if they feel they cannot deliver on a project, or should the tools you’ve provided them seem insufficient – such as outdated software that needs to be updated for them to work.
Explaining the situation to a few different professionals time and time again can be tough, and leads to wasted time. As such, it’s good to have one or two consistent points of communication that reply to any and all queries from your outsourced help. Of course, this is more than just being a customer support agent, it’s about developing relationships, giving feedback on work, heightening accountability on both sides of the aisle, and ultimately working with the subcontractor to get the best out of them.
Providing direct communication channels, like Email, Microsoft Team Chat, Google Chat, and more can make a big difference. Being open to remote calls and meeting contractors face-to-face is also necessary. You can stipulate all of these in your hiring terms.
Develop Robust, Stringent Contracts
Of course, anyone working for you, subcontracted or not, should do so under contract. This way you bind both parties to the terms of conditions of that temporary employment, allowing both parties to feel confident and secure.
Here you’ll lay out the exact deadlines and work submission processes, other stipulations such as limitations of use regarding company equipment and systems, and the importance of confidentiality. It will also stipulate their exact role, compensation offered, and services rendered.
Developing a foundational contract with adjustable variables, such as sections to fill in depending on the professional retained, can ensure you save time in the onboarding process while neglecting none of the details or legal protections you’re entitled to.
It’s important to look into the freelance hiring guidelines of your country or state to make sure nothing in the contract runs counter to actual employment law, which may render the contract itself void.
Ensuring Compliance Measures
Depending on your industry, certain compliance measures must be met, and these apply to subcontracted professionals too. For instance, data privacy policies exist to protect everyone involved with your company, and as such, your freelanced professional may need to abide by those terms, especially if they’re working with your IT systems in any substantive capacity.
Of course, overtime rules, minimum wage laws, and workplace safety standards will apply to you as well. After all, not all subcontracted work is done flexibly and online. You may ask your hired professional to sign an NDA to protect company secrets on top of that, a compliance measure you set out as part of your own business planning and infuse into the contract.
For the uninitiated, allowing contract workers to interface with your firm, especially comprehensively, can seem like a risk. However, protecting yourself with compliance measures, reviewed with real accountability, makes a big difference.
Careful Vetting & Proof Of Capability
It’s important to be careful about who you hire for contracted work, because of course, outside of contracts unfulfilled and any legal recourse you have through that, you cannot discipline a subcontractor through internal measures like demotion, firing, or reputational damage – at least not permanently.
For this reason, it’s important to make sure careful vetting is implemented in your procedure. Identity verification to ensure they have the right to work in your country, knowing their registered business address, and even asking them to prove their worth with portfolios or a test project can help.
If you employ contractors consistently, odds are you’ll be burned by one of them after some time. That said, you can drastically reduce that possibility by implementing appropriate methods like those laid out above. Hire often enough and long enough, and those responsible for securing contracted talent will develop a good eye for consistency and reliability.
Returning To Strong Outsourced Relationships
Of course, developing strong relationships with subcontracted professionals is a pleasant outcome, because trust works both ways, the standard of work provided remains consistent, and you’ll always have someone to rely on.
That said, relationships are’t built in a vacuum. It’s important to stay responsible in how you treat your subcontracted staff, such as by following all the advice given above, and even helping them better understand and meet your requirements.
As mentioned above, paying quickly and for the full amount, being highly communicative, and when the relationship is settled, even being flexible on your part can add residual strength to that professional bond. As with staff you train and develop as part of your firm, outsourced personnel can become more useful to you over time, as they become used to your processes and understand the wider picture of how their work contributes to the organization.
It’s not uncommon for subcontracted individuals to gain a semi-regular placement within your offices should they prove reliable enough, or even become a shoo-in for potential roles you’re hiring for. While this isn’t the stated or primary goal of developing these relationships, it can be a nice bonus.
Leverage Technological Convenience At Every Level
A dashboard contract workers or freelancers can contribute documents or files to, guest VPN access to encrypt their connection to your modules, an easy payment structure (like payouts to PayPal) and more can make a big difference in keeping people around and making the user experience more comfortable on both sides.
While you may expect your freelancers to work well within their own bounds (such as providing their own IT equipment to perform most of their duties), whatever you can provide them in terms of software or integrative processes will help you format that working relationship more concretely.
With this advice, you’re sure to make your business easier for contractors, freelancers or outsourced help to work with, and as such, you’ll benefit in kind.