The remote employee is not a property: or what are the mistakes of the customer
To dispel your incorrect assumptions about freelancing, further in this article we will analyze the most fatal mistakes when hiring such employees out of the office.
For the beginning let’s sweeten your interest with the information about 5 worldwide-known freelancers in the world who have made a rich contribution to the development of human history:
- Ray Kroc was in the list of “100 best people in the world.” He founded McDonald’s.
- Walter Elias Disney – a founder, photographer, and designer “Walt Disney“.
- Alfred Nobel – a genius in the field of physiology, biology, and electrochemistry.
- Ernest Hemingway – the representative of world literature classics.
- Charles Dickens – the great English novelist and writer.
Many entrepreneurs have little time for the freelancers because of the absence of experience in cooperation with such non-regular employees. Although freelancing has been around for several years, it is still considered a new niche of the activities: there are no clear rules and conditions, every freelancer offers his options for work.
Freelance in English is “freelance”. Previously it served as a definition of hired soldiers. Today there is a new concept from the freelancers themselves– office man, with flextime and independent work schedule. Here is a place of the first mistake of the entrepreneurs – they don’t have a right for the “sea” or the “ocean” of all the working minutes of the freelancer.
The inability to communicate with agents, freelancers
Working with freelance staff is similar to the work with own employees, but it has its differences.
Here are some basics of productive communication with freelancers for narrow-focused orders and international projects agents.
► “Death grip”
There is no need for full control
Usually, the freelance agent likes to work on the fee schedule. So, be prepared for the fact that the communication with them will be no more than once a day. Otherwise, full control can turn into the “death grip” for remote employees, who once decided to become a freelancer with the desire to be out of this office restrictions.
If a serious and important project, you can try to agree on closer cooperation with the agent, to determine the time of contact.
► A meaningless communication
Killing long calls
Freelancer is not a “corporate slave” and he is more focused on efficiency and results. All discussion should be based on the specific details and conclusions. Remember, “time is money”!
► Progress report
Report on the progress of work is an important element in the management of the project/order. This prevents unpleasant surprises shortly before the deadline. If the project is small, the report is not necessary. For large projects, it’s too risky to approve cooperation without control points and rules for results.
Dumping or result “for yesterday”
Haste makes waste.
Do you want cheaper?
But whether will you want something that you will get as a result? In the modern world of freelancing, dumping is very popular as an opportunity to minimize competition and win a successful order.
First, the eyes of the customer are happy – ultimately, the soul is not happy about the executed work of the contractor.
The reputation of your person or company is always in the first place: it should stay unharmed. This will happen if you will cut corners or turn a blind eye to defects and poor performance. Keep up with the remote employees with offers of “order for yesterday” is like trying to catch air: all cons, no pros.
As a result, you will come to distrust of the freelancer’s work and later completely refuse to hire freelance employees. In vain, because the best of them can really be a million miles away from you.
Total control – lack of creativity
Have you ever felt that you are overloaded and overstrained to the limit of exhaustion? Most likely you haven’t encountered the emotional burnout syndrome. It leads to the lack of motivation and creative block. It disturbs the work of the freelance agent.
Total control mistakes:
As a rule, free-agent at the same time manages also other projects and orders. That the result of the article/project/order/task turned to be maximally successful and unique, you have to use creativity and hint of creative thinking. Any overload can disable “the creative mechanism” which feeds on inspiration.
You have to understand, the freelancer is your full temporary partner with an identical business schedule and tasks.
The concept of “rude customer” caught on the lexicon of freelancers long ago. The lack of attachment to corporate standards does not exclude the option of business etiquette in communication. Such criteria as a bad mood or a bad day – these are the problems of each person individually.
In addition, the result of the work always can be overviewed and developed: motivation with the harsh criticism or raised voice will affect the stress state of the remote employee.
Always draw your own conclusions, if this expert is important to you, his level of professionalism meets your needs – take care of his nerves.
The result: clear requirements and conditions
Any business partnership is like a ship with a responsible team, where each member performs his duties and, as a rule, follows the predefined rules and conditions. The ship will simply go down if at the helm there is no an experienced captain and his dutiful team. So here, you’re a captain, and the freelance agent is a first mate (chief mate on a ship).
The customer is often faced with the problem of misunderstanding of the submitted material or project due to the absence of clear requirements.
For the customer, it is a successful result in a short time. Often, the client prefers more in time done project, rather than its content. Entrepreneurs and business sharks appreciate punctuality and timeliness: for them, the order delay is a big drawback for a specialist.
You should understand what result you want – a successful project/task/service or “successful finish” according to the deadline.
Agree that a staff member works from task to task and at the end of the month receives a salary. Freelancer receives the task, executes it and waits for deserved payment. If the work is handed in, then there is no any additional correcting. No one will work for free. It is therefore important to specify all this in the Terms of Reference, then there is no reason to come into conflict.
Terms of Reference (ToR) is a description of the procedure of execution of the order or project and desired result.
Success comes to those who believe in their exclusivity.
Shah Dharmesh, the founder of the SaaS company HubSpot.
As a client, you represent your individual or company. Competent and top-level specialist, in any case, will draw attention to some brief information about you. The better you will prepare the customer portfolio – the more offers you will receive from potential contractors: loyal and reliable customer immediately attracts attention.
The Internet is changing people and their priorities. The world of business relations has also changed, and some remained the same priorities. With habitual opinion “above all, the confidence” there is a new preference – “the virtual portfolio of the executor” with the reviews of previous customers. Perhaps today it is necessary to introduce another concept – a “virtual portfolio of the customer”.
In addition to the brief information, you can specify multiple points of ToR to determine the required skills and experience. So you can avoid the freelance beginners and lovers to take the projects beyond their strength, “what if I can do it”.
- A quick search of a loyal expert in the necessary field.
- Save time three times (excluding transportation, meeting and interview time).
- Guarantee of mutually beneficial cooperation and successful work.
Communication: the absence of constant communication
► Communication rules
If you are working with a certain freelancer for some time, you are more or less familiar with his communication skills and habits. However, if you are working with someone new, you can save a lot of time, if you develop some rules for communication.
➀ Discussion time
No one’s suggesting that the freelancer will be available 24 hours a day, but if you don’t define the time of getting in touch, you will face trouble.
➁ Time difference
For example, you’re in Europe, while the appropriate agent or freelancer is in the States. You are sure that for the business five-minute conference the morning is more suitable, but for a free candidate on the contrary – evening.
➂ Responses delay
In advance to decide on an acceptable delay in response to emails – for example, 12 hours, 24 hours, etc. Agree that it is unpleasant when you’re sitting by the phone/computer and expecting for the answer during a long time.
Simply put, “word spoken is past recalling”. It’s not easy to remember everything from the verbal conversation or long telephone conversations. For business people with a huge number of urgent tasks and meetings, it is a real disaster to keep all the details in one little head.
It is important to maintain a written correspondence, point by point: you can always go back to it and point to the non-compliance of the conditions or TOR (terms of reference) for the project/order.
Conclusion on cooperation with the freelancer and agent
The devil is not so black as he is painted.
The main thing is to follow the rules and agreements. Don’t be afraid to discuss all critical issues, force majeure. Try to establish a trust relationship with a remote contractor, so he really would execute work at a maximum level and take into account all your preferences and notes. Consider that you are investing in the resources of your temporary employee.
And, don’t forget to praise him for his excellent work in the end!