How do you attract top freelance talent to your business?
Hiring freelance talent provides you the ability to expand your range of skills, build new ideas and raise your production without the expense of agencies or additional headcount. Freelancers are highly skilled professionals who bring a unique set of skills to the table. Yet so many businesses neglect important aspects of the workplace that make you more attractive than your competitors when wooing freelancers to your door.
Understanding the motivations of a freelancer can really help you attract the best freelance talent.
Here are tips for catching the eye of the sought-after freelancer talent
Be open to remote work and workplace flexibility
Workplace flexibility matters a lot to freelancers. According to the 2019 State of Australian Freelancing research report, the number one reason freelancers choose self-employment is workplace flexibility. As the challenges of the pandemic recede, freelancers are eager for organisations to remain flexible and open to remote work.
Remote work has some significant advantages for clients, too. You’re opening up your potential freelance talent pool. Imagine selecting a specialist or amazing Multipotentialite from anywhere in Australia. Or removing barriers to recruiting women or people with disabilities by using remote and flexible work policies to increase representation and create a sought-after workplace culture.
You can save money by providing a great virtual working environment with a leaner setup and lower outgoings, and less square footage in a hot real estate market.
Enjoy lower recruitment costs and a streamlined onboarding process, too. Freelancers come work-ready and can slot into projects faster than standard orientation and induction processes allow for. You can hire for the length of a project or specific need, reducing the overall cost of operating your business or the project at hand by significant proportions.
Say goodbye to office politics, laborious people management, and extraneous meetings. Freelancers put the project first. They have no vested interest in internal machinations and are not interested in time spent managing personnel issues. It’s in the best interest for the project to succeed, so they receive a strong testimonial, a case study they can share, and more work.
A freelancer won’t be talking about the work when there is work to be done. In the freelancer’s world, efficiency is key. The more projects they complete, the more money they receive.
And the more open you are to remote work and flexible working styles, the more likely you are to find the freelancer that is right for you.
Recognise our true value
The assumption freelancers are fresh-faced university students with a newly minted degree is erroneous. Many freelancers were medium to top tier workers prior to adopting the freelance lifestyle. They are forward thinking, business managers with project management skills and strong vocational specialities whose skills continue to grow with each passing year. Top freelance talent studies year on year to stay ahead of the game. They are self-starters who often push their business and creative limits with ideas, side hustles and offerings that very few salaried workers would even consider.
And they need to be remunerated accordingly.
Freelancers know their worth. They are not choosing to freelance instead of driving an Uber or walking pets. They are creative and professional with experience that know how to run a tidy business shop!
To attract high-quality freelance talent, having an appropriate budget for the project and the hours is important. You benefit from the speed and the proficiency of a freelancer. All while drawing on our extensive knowledge and business experience.
A race to the bottom on price is usually a race to the bottom on quality, too. Bidding wars and judging a freelancer’s skill on price alone often causes more problems than it solves. A freelancer’s ability, reliability, attitude, adaptability and how well connected they are with their own marketing footprint have a lot more influence on the success of your project than the price paid for it.
Be realistic and transparent about your budget. Negotiate if you need to. Consider lowering the scope of your project or building it in stages to manage your budget and cashflow appropriately.
Respect efficient time usage
Freelancers derive satisfaction and accomplishment from the work. But they also know how to balance the time spent working well. They don’t want presenteeism, clock watching, unproductive meetings or someone monitoring their every move.
It’s not uncommon for parenting freelancers to forgo an afternoon of work to catch a school event or to stop work to pick up their kids only to catch up on weekends, in the evening or early the next morning. Freelancers managing mental health, physical health and/or chronic illness often find working when well and resting when not helps maintain an overall productive working lifestyle.
Freelancers are solving issues such as regional employment by creating their own jobs. Or establishing a continuous career path as they follow partners with geographically mobile careers such as the military. And they’re studying, travelling and aspiring to build bright futures through innovation, side hustles and start-ups.
Do you really need to watch a freelancer work to know it happens?
Freelancers want to focus on the work product and the result, not the hours that it takes to create it. That means shying away from presenteeism, extraneous meetings, and inefficient time usage.
Make sure you’re not accidentally creating an unappealing workplace by forcing freelancers to follow inefficient and time-bloated working habits.
Many freelancers have strong online profiles where you can get a sense of who they are, the work they do and the kinds of businesses they work with.
The social media, press and blogs are there for a reason! Seasoned freelancers are often sharing their ideas, processes, projects and case studies via these marketing channels as a way of attracting great clients.
Pop by and introduce yourself. Hit up the contact page on the website. Book that all important first Zoom meeting. Take your time to get to know freelancers before you need them and start building a rapport.
By looking at the marketing that is available to you, you can often bypass having to post jobs, fielding hundreds of responses, or work with expensive recruitment agencies.
And don’t leave your search for a freelancer to the last minute. Many sought-after freelancers are booked for weeks or months in advance. A little forward planning can go a long way to making sure you get the right talent for the job.
Instead, connect op on social media and newsletters before you need freelancers. Spend time in your planning processes figuring out where a freelancer could be used to their best advantage. And plan a timeline that is realistic over optimistic in both when you should engage a freelancer and how long you think the work will take.
Manage freelance talent the right way
Are you looking to attract top-notch freelance talent to your business? Look no further than the Freelance Jungle talent directory. And take advantage of this FREE 30 minute freelancer-ready assessment for your business.
If you want help to manage communication between you and freelancers effectively, download this freelance communication toolkit now!
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