Freelancer Onboarding Checklist
Running a business is no laughing matter. If you are an entrepreneur, chances are you juggle many tasks at once. From sustaining growth to navigating your business through tough times,
You’re racing against the clock everyday to ensure that work gets done on-time.
In such situations, onboarding a freelancer is the best way to go. Here’s how you can make the onboarding process easier.
Step 1: Define your goals clearly
Outline the scope of work. What is the specific task that you are looking to achieve? What sort of skills do you need to finish the job? How much are you willing to pay for the project? How soon do you need to finish the project?
You need to specify every aspect of the project so the freelancer knows exactly what he/she needs to do. It also helps them finish the task faster.
Step 2: Provide necessary resources
For fast turnaround, you need to provide proper tools and resources. Ask the freelancer if they need access to extra tools or information that will make their job easier. This will reduce processing time and increase efficiency. Help the freelancer connect with in-house personnel. Provide them timely help to finish the task.
Step 3: Examine the references
You don’t need to call up a freelancer’s references for minor tasks. But if you are planning to outsource a sizable amount of work or if you are offering a large payment, carry out a background check by contacting the references. Always onboard a reliable freelancer who has a good track record of finishing projects on time.
Step 4: Have a tax verification process in place
Before initiating work, collect his/her details and Tax Identification Number (TIN). Freelancers often use their social security number as their TIN. But some might provide an Employer Identification Number (EIN) too. Verify the details are correct using e-service tools available on the IRS website.
You need to declare the freelancer’s TIN number and cross-check his/her details while filing form 1099-NEC.
Step 5: Collect all necessary paperworks
It is not only the tax form that you need to collect. Make a list of all the paperworks and documents that you need them to sign - NDA for example. Explain the contents of the paperwork and have them return the documents once signed.
Step 6: Introduce freelancer to the team
If you want to effectively exchange ideas and add values, host a meeting between your teammates and the freelancer. A strategic exchange helps create room for new ideas, fill knowledge gaps and allows you to zero in on the desired outcome. A face to face chat will also impart a feeling that a sensible process is in place to ensure smooth workflow.
Step 7: Offer proper training
For the freelancer to add value to your organization, you need to provide proper training. A good training session will help the freelancer stay productive and teach them how to do their job efficiently. If you have a specific work process in place, you need to familiarize the freelancer on how to follow and adapt to it. Train them on how to implement tools and technologies effectively to complete the task at hand.
Step 8: Set rules for communication
For a fast, easy, and collaborative exchange, have a communication channel in place. Ensure that all the exchanges take place through this channel. Use the same channel which you use for office communication.
Unlike in-house employees, freelancers may not be familiar with your company’s values and processes. Including them in office communications will help them understand the company culture and pick up on brand messaging faster.
Step 9: Provide comprehensive information
Freelancers work with many clients at a time. So it is ideal to send them all the information in one go. When you send way too many emails, some details could be overlooked. Sometimes, sending information in parts could lead to confusion too.
Collect all the details and arrange them neatly in a document. IF you are sending multiple files over email, name the files appropriately. The details should be provided in a consumable fashion so that the freelancer can assimilate it without being overwhelmed.
Step 10: Signed contract
Ensure that the freelancer signs a contract. Keep a physical copy of the signed document and provide a copy of the contract to the freelancer as well. You need to ensure that the contract is signed before starting the work. Apart from providing a contract, ensure that the freelancer abides by the terms and conditions included in the contract.
Although working with freelancers may not be as easy as working with an in-house employee, the above steps will definitely steer you in the right direction. At the end of the day, you need to create a nurturing system that will allow for mutual growth. A respectful and result-oriented mindset is definitely the right way to go.