There are 14 million gig workers in the United States — around 8.5% of the American workforce — including freelancers, contractors, consultants, and temp workers. This labor market has transformed the business landscape in the last few years, allowing employers to improve flexibility and reduce their tax burden and overhead costs. But how can you hire and manage freelance talent in your organization? Here are some tips for getting the most from the gig economy.
It’s never been easier to find gig workers for your company. Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and FlexJobs provide access to professionals in almost every niche, helping you source the best talent from anywhere in the world.
Say you need a graphic designer for a couple of months. Freelancer platforms let you view the skillsets and resumes of gig workers with relevant experience, helping you find the right person in as little as a few minutes. Alternatively, you can post a job ad and have professionals reach out to you.
It’s important to note that most freelancer platforms charge a fee, which can eat into your budget. For example, a website might bill you to list a job description or ask you to upgrade a subscription to access the most talented professionals for your use case.
Typically, you include information about a role in a job description when recruiting employees. However, you should create ads that describe the scope of individual projects for gig workers. Doing so helps professionals realize what you expect of them when working for your company for a limited time. For example, list project deliverables, quality standards, and other information that ensure a seamless recruiting process.
Always make the nature of your professional relationship with a gig worker clear. Reiterate in job ads that you are not looking for an employee and won’t be responsible for withholding taxes or providing benefits like healthcare insurance.
Gig workers might perform work under false pretenses because freelancer platforms don’t always verify their identities. For example, someone might steal the identity of a professional to get a job and make money. That’s why you must verify the credentials of anyone you plan to work with.
Ask to see a gig worker’s portfolio and previous work before you talk about the scope of your project. You’ll not only want to make sure the person is who they say they are but also check they have the right skill set for your role. You might want to interview a freelancer over the phone or via video call before going any further.
Finding a freelancer can be tough, so you might want to use the same person again for future projects if satisfied with their work. Building relationships with gig workers over time can be advantageous for both you and these professionals. A freelancer can continue to make money with subsequent jobs, while you can negotiate more favorable rates for your company.
You can develop positive relationships with gig workers by recognizing their work and tipping if they exceed expectations. Also, make sure you pay anyone you work with on time. A huge 74% of freelancers say they don’t receive prompt payments.
For more successful relationships with freelancers, communicate your projects as clearly as you can. Also, make sure project briefs are detailed and provide all the resources a gig worker needs to do their job properly. That way, the professional will understand what you expect of them, preventing project delays and poor-quality deliverables.
Communication should be continuous throughout the project lifecycle. Check-in regularly with your gig workers to see if they need any help or guidance, and tell them immediately if you need to change or cancel a job.
The strategies above can help you successfully integrate gig workers into your recruiting workflows. By finding and building relationships with the right professionals, you can access diverse skills, reduce costs, and improve flexibility in your business.
MRINetwork is a thought leader and expert in talent strategy and recruitment, helping you find the best people for your brand. Follow MRINetwork to discover more about the gig economy, freelancers, and other topics relevant to your business.