In the United States alone, a record 4.5 million people quit their jobs in March, and the proportion of unemployed people in job openings fell to record lows.
Although the “great resignation” will eventually make its way, the change of attitude caused by the Covid-19 epidemic is likely to be permanent. One of these is the freedom to act whenever and for what man desires.
Upwork reports that 59 million Americans – or 36% of the total workforce – became freelancers in 2020, an increase of two million people compared to 2019.
Contract assistance can be an interesting option for resource-based businesses, but the verification and onboarding process can be quite different for freelancers and full-timers.
PeopleCaddie and Upwork are platforms that specialize in marrying contractors to employers if needed. I asked PeopleCaddie CTO Tim Rowley and Upwork Vice President Talent Solutions Margaret Lilani what advice they have for companies entering the freelance talent pool. Here are 10 tips.
Take everyone on board
It is unlikely that everyone in your organization will be in favor of hiring a contractor, so expect some resistance and prepare your case.
“Dig and say there is a skill or productivity gap and we need to fill it with the best possible people,” Lilani said. “Set expectations from Get-Go.”
Ambiguity or animosity at work will torpedo your efforts.
Write a clear job description
You might think “walking on water” is a baseline for reading some job postings.
Candidates need to know exactly what is expected of them and how to measure success – the more specific the description, the better.
Summarize colleagues thoroughly
The normal reaction of people to new faces appearing in the office for a few hours every week is doubtful. Whose job is being taken away?
“Resolve any issues quickly and set expectations so that everyone knows what is expected of them before a new person joins,” Lilani said.
Screens for specific skills
One of the reasons for hiring a contractor in the first place is to realize the immediate production benefits.
“The person has to be strong fit, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time training,” Rowley said. “Make sure you’re screening for the specific skills you want.”
Respect the skills of the contractor
“It’s not just unemployed people who are looking for paychecks. In many cases, they are experts in their field, “said Lilani.” Many have long career backgrounds and they have chosen to be independent. Think of them as mentors who bring value to your organization. “
Deliver on promised work pressure
If you ask a contractor to expect 10 hours of work per week, you will be able to deliver.
Failure to do so is “a huge blow to the contractor,” Rowley said, and one of the main reasons the engagement ends prematurely.
Long engagements are better than short ones
Work safety is one of the top causes of concern among contractors.
That’s why “the duration of the deal is incredibly important,” Rowley said. “A shorter assignment would be less appealing to strong contractors than a long one. Peter out of interest for about three months. “
Clear milestones and measurements
“If you don’t set expectations that both parties can agree from the start, things will break down quickly,” Lilani said. Success metrics should be measurable, clear and consistent.
Make a bench
It is tiring to come back to the well every time you need temporary help. Contractors value long-term relationships as much as employers do.
“Keep a virtual talent bench, so when you get a pinch, you can go to your trusted team, be it once a week or once a year,” Lilani said. “It’s believing in advance.” Rowley added, “Keep 10 candidates if you need two.”
Consider special for remote work
Contractors should use the same platform for collaboration, video conferencing and document-sharing.
When arranging that technology, pay special attention to accessibility and cyber security, especially if there is a possibility that the person may also work for competitors.
A personal note about using hours as a performance metric: This is a habit I always hate because it punishes productive people, but, in many cases, there is no better alternative.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for them, though.
A good approach is to pay based on results, hit a milestone, provide PowerPoint, or bring a project on time and within budget.
Even if you have to pay every hour, consider giving bonuses for work above and beyond expectations. Then, everyone will be happy about it.
Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.