Need to integrate new freelancers?
Hiring remote freelancers can be a great way to effectively (and quickly) grow your business. Entrepreneurs and business owners of all kinds are utilizing virtual freelancers to free up more of their time while increasing profits and growing their companies. In fact, many successful business owners (myself included) credit their skilled online freelancers to their ability to live their dream life while running their dream business.
If you have recently hired a remote worker for your own business, you may be wondering what the next step should be. You’ve likely spent a good deal of time figuring out the perfect task description and responsibilities, researching online hiring platforms and conducting interviews to find the best available remote worker. Now that you’ve found a virtual worker, you need to integrate him or her. Here are some of the best tips for on boarding new freelancers and setting yourself and the new worker up for success.
The Initial Meeting
Soon after the hire is complete, you will want to meet with the new remote worker. Set up this meeting as soon as practical after the hiring process is complete. You can schedule it for the same day or the same week. It will benefit both you and the new worker to have this meeting prior to the commencement of work. This on boarding meeting is a critical step to integrate new freelancers. This meeting will have several purposes.
- Welcome the new worker – It is important that the new worker feels welcome right away. He or she is likely excited and full of motivation and energy. You will want to capitalize on this momentum by kicking things off with a welcoming meeting.
- Reinforce expectations – While you probably already laid out all of your expectations and ground rules, the initial meeting with the new worker serves as an opportunity for you to reiterate and reinforce the worker’s responsibilities, communication expectations and schedule. The clearer you are with your expectations from the beginning, the less headache and misunderstandings will arise in the future.
- Share your goals and the mission of your company – An important (but often overlooked) piece of the steps to integrate new freelancers is the sharing of your goals and what you aim to accomplish (and why) in your business. If freelancers share your goals and your mission, they will work harder because they share your passion. So, let the new hire know what your ultimate goals are and why you started your business in the first place. Get him or her excited about the mission of your business and the role he or she will play in making your vision a reality.
- Share the first step – The initial meeting is also useful for letting the new worker know what to do first. Even for an experienced worker, a brand new hire may wonder what to do when he or she first starts out. Starting a new role is always a bit intimidating, even for experienced freelancers. Use this meeting as an opportunity to show the new worker the first step whether that be onboarding or a first assignment. Also let the new worker know when you will be back in touch to check in on them and how they can contact you with any issues or questions.
The initial meeting doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. The purpose of the meeting is to create a sense of camaraderie and set the both of you up for a longterm, prosperous relationship. If you hope to successfully integrate new freelancers, do not forget this critical first step. Set up the meeting as soon as you can once you have completed the hiring process.
Whether the new remote worker has fifty years of experience or is first starting out, he or she will require some level of onboarding. That onboarding will look different depending on the experience level, skill set and task specifics, but it is an important step to integrate new freelancers. The new worker will need to be set up in the software they will be expected to use, the communication style you prefer and be given a turnover of past work. They may need other onboarding if they are lacking skills required to perform the task. Hopefully, the gaps were identified during the hiring process and onboarding can quickly bring the new worker up to speed.
Just as onboarding is important to in-office hires, it is equally (if not more) important for remote freelancers. Because you aren’t able to communicate face to face, onboarding online freelancers looks a little different, but it is essential.
Take advantage of technology when onboarding to integrate new freelancers. In today’s advanced and technological world, you are able to capture your screen and upload videos and presentations for remote freelancers to view and access as required. You can even get resourceful and build onboarding packages and on boarding programs that you can use over and over as the number of freelancers you hire grows. You can chat online or set up onboarding conference calls. The options are truly endless. However you choose to set up remote freelancers, always remember to check for understanding following the onboarding. If the remote worker is still unclear, continue providing onboarding until he or she is confident in his or her ability to perform the task at hand.
Remember too that while onboarding is essential to integrate new freelancers after being first hired, it is an on-going process. You will need to continuously assess and set up freelance hires based on new developments or feedback.
Create a Collaborative Feel
A remote worker is just as much part of your company as anyone else, so always include them as often as possible. In order to integrate new freelancers flawlessly, connect with them on a personal level and encourage camaraderie. This has been proven to increase both productivity and work satisfaction. When you hire an integrate new hires, create a cooperative vibe from the start. Introduce a new worker to everyone through email and video if possible. Encourage everyone to communicate and build personal relationships with each other. Conduct periodic meetings where all remote freelancers can get together. If that isn’t possible to do in person, create a virtual event where freelancers can kick back, relax and get to know one another.
Integrate New Freelancers for Success
When it is time to integrate new freelancers, there are steps that have been proven to make the process smooth and successful. If you follow these simple steps, the new worker will be up and running in no time. He or she will be happier and more likely to stay with you and your company for the long haul because he or she feels comfortable and confident in the new role. I have used these exact steps in my own business each and every time I integrate new freelancers and have personally seen their effectiveness.
If you fail to integrate new hries properly, they will quickly lose motivation, be uncertain of how to perform their tasks effectively, and potentially start looking for work outside your company. All of this means that your bottom line will be affected. Your investment will never result in the value you had planned. Take the time to properly invest in a new worker. Build a relationship, provide the proper onboarding and integrate new freelancers like a pro!
Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship. She writes a blog, Engineered Motherhood, for working mothers who need help balancing career growth and time management.