September is the best month to start ambitious projects and test innovative work methods. Perhaps you have decided to collaborate with freelancers — and we could not be happier for you. At comet, we will always be willing to help you with these topics. We have already indicated you the mistakes to avoid when working with freelancers.

Now is the time to give you some precious advice about how to prepare for collaborating with them. This article aims at giving you the best practices at each step of the process. From screening to creating a virtuous work relationship, we will focus on the essential components of a successful collaboration, with both an operational and cultural perspective.

1. FIND YOUR PURPOSE, SET UP GOALS

Working with freelancers is a source of precious competitive advantages for corporations. First, contracting an independent is much cheaper than hiring a full-time employee, on top of enabling companies to find quickly the right expert to answer their needs. Moreover, brilliant freelancers are agility and innovation vectors within a team. They are endowed with high adaptability and are often willing to share their best practices. There is a word to describe this creative approach: collective intelligence.

Flexibility also plays a huge part in working with freelancers. Collaborating with freelancers enables you to scale your teams at will, by quickly contracting new collaborators to answer a punctual need or testing new ideas. The popularity of remote work among tech freelancers strengthen the idea of the necessity of gaining flexibility for companies. This new trend on the talent market enables corporations to access a larger pool of talents by removing geographic barriers. Also, remote work is still more facilitated for companies, thanks to the emergence of collaborative tools such as Slack or Trello.

By the way, we highly recommend you to start working with remote freelancers: read more in this article.

Among all these advantages, choose the ones that are the most adapted to your current situation by evaluating precisely your needs and environment. Then, define your technical requirements, identify the freelancer’s persona you are looking for and set up goals and deadlines. Congrats, you are ready to start searching for the rare gem.

Rather than searching a freelancer via costly IT consulting firms, talent marketplaces have proven to be more affordable, yet time-consuming. Crowdsourcing on platforms such as LinkedIn can pay off if you have a solid network.

Once your platform of predilection chosen, the next step is the selection. Beyond technical expertise, do not underestimate your candidates’ mindset. Bear in mind that your priority is to find a freelancer that will fit your corporate culture and ambition. Therefore, the best freelancer on paper may not be the most adapted teammate you are looking for.

Tip: test your future collaborator on a concrete case during the interview. Past experiences and adaptability are much more important than hard skills. Also, we advise you to check your candidate’s professional references to help you make your final decision.

With comet, we have developed a genuine approach to connecting tech and data freelancers with ambitious projects. Give us a (free) try: on our platform, you only pay when you contract the freelancer of your dream.

3. PREPARE YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT, FOCUS ON ONBOARDING

Found the perfect match? Congrats! But this is only the beginning. You should now focus on his onboarding. The objectives of the mission must be crystal clear for every stakeholder. When your freelancer eventually joins the company, do not miss the opportunity to tell him about the corporate values and culture from day one (or even before his arrival). Also, get your co-workers ready to integrate him in the team and spread the corporate culture.

Workload and deadlines come next. Make sure that you have precisely defined the major steps of your project and identified the potential pain points. Anticipating risks and obstacles is a no-brainer, along with choosing the best tools for optimal collaboration and communication. When working with a remote freelancer, these prerequisites are even more essential.

4. FIND THE GOOD BALANCE, BUILD A SOLID RELATIONSHIP

Being successful in selecting and onboarding your freelancer is a pretty good start. Now you have to ensure to create a virtuous work relationship. It implies transparency regarding work conditions, payments, and direct feedback. It is also necessary to find the right balance between autonomy and management. The key word here is listening.

Eventually, we strongly advise you and your teammates to consider your freelancer as a full member of your company. Making him feel happy at work will be the key to his fulfillment, motivation, and productivity. After all, nothing prevents him from joining your company as a full-time employee if he is very committed to his mission and environment.

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