In the past few years, the labor market has undergone many important changes. The shortage of talent, unfilled vacancies, inflation, and the impact of the pandemic have led to the acceptance of the freelance workforce to help companies get the job done easier and faster.

However, just hiring a freelancer to come work for you isn’t enough to help you achieve your business goals. In fact, you will greatly benefit from a freelancer onboarding system which will help your external contributors to effectively integrate within your company and drive your business forward.

But, in order to reap all the benefits freelancing offers, you need to provide your new talent with an excellent onboarding experience. According to statistics, workers with a good onboarding experience are 18 times more committed to their employer as it gives them a sense of belonging and impacts their loyalty.

To get you started, here are five tips to help you design a seamless freelancer onboarding.

Create a clear brief in advance

Before you officially start hiring freelancers, you need to create a solid, clear, and well-thought-out brief that includes important information about your business objectives, target audience, time frame, deadlines, and relevant milestones. 

In most cases, company managers carve out a one or two-hour working session, either in person or in the form of a video conference, where they collaboratively discuss and sketch out ideas for a project with their freelancer. Doing so ensures everybody is on the same page and will work together as a team to achieve mutual business goals. 

Invest in a freelance management software

As your company starts hiring more freelancers, you may find that managing a freelance workforce can be challenging. There are so many things to consider, from onboarding to making payments, which is why investing in freelance management software can be of great help.

In general, with professional contractor management software you will be able to manage your new talent more effectively, simplify the workflow and streamline your projects, all from one central location. The all-in-one platform will take care of everything, leaving you more time to focus on completing the work and ensuring a good freelancer onboarding experience. 

Set rules for communication

Establishing good communication with your freelancers from the get-go is very important. One way of doing so is by setting some rules for communication your external contributors need to abide by for the time being.

Start by stating your availability, meaning agreeing on hours when you both will be available, either online or on the phone. For more important projects, it is best that you communicate in writing via email or instant messaging apps to avoid misunderstanding.

Also, don’t forget to tell your freelancers which online communication tools, apps, and platforms you use to communicate with each other, share files and engage in virtual meetings.

Equip your freelancers with the right tools

Another important part of a good onboarding experience is providing your freelancers with the right equipment. This is especially important if the newcomer is going to work on-site and you need to set up a fully functional workplace to help them do their work efficiently. 

If you grant your freelancers any equipment to take home, it is essential that you get their signatures for these items to ensure that off-boarding is as seamless as onboarding. Also, don’t forget to give your new workers access to relevant software, such as passwords, usernames, and links, which will also help them get their jobs done properly.

Give and solicit feedback

When you start working with freelancers, the first days and weeks of the onboarding experience are very important. That’s why it is essential that you give and ask for feedback from your new workers so you can improve your onboarding process. 

It may be helpful to create a short survey with general questions which will give you better insight into the entire onboarding experience of your freelancers. It is advised that feedback occurs more frequently in the beginning, preferably on a weekly basis, so you can identify all strengths and weaknesses and offer further training and improvement.

Final thoughts

Well-structured freelancer onboarding experience is crucial for a smooth and productive start for new employees. As a company manager, you are required to provide your external contributors with the right resources to help them create better work and ultimately make your job easier.

If you need help, be sure to follow the tips from our post and learn how to design a seamless freelancer onboarding.