Advantages of hiring and onboarding freelancers

Advantages of hiring and onboarding freelancers

Companies are realizing the numerous advantages of hiring freelancers over traditional employees, from cost savings to increased flexibility and access to specialized skills. Moreover, with the right onboarding process in place, businesses can ensure that freelancers integrate seamlessly into their organization and start delivering value from day one. In this article, we will explore the many benefits of hiring and onboarding freelancers and why it’s a strategy that can benefit businesses of all sizes.
The concept of freelance work has been gaining immense popularity in recent years, and it’s no surprise why. With the rise of technology and the internet, the barriers to entry for becoming a freelancer have been lowered, making it easier for skilled professionals to offer their services to businesses worldwide.
Freelance talent can help your agency save money and get more done, faster. Learn how to work effectively with freelancers—and avoid common pitfalls!
When workloads and finances are unstable, freelancers can be a reliable source of support. However, many agencies are uncomfortable hiring freelancers and prefer to hire full-time employees. When you’re first starting out freelancing, finding work can be tough. Freelancers, who tend to be self-employed, should treat the onboarding process as seriously as other businesses do. Some freelancers, especially those new to the field, will accept less-than-ideal conditions in order to get work.

The company, to understand the advantages of hiring freelancers, must have clear answers to the following questions:

  1. Why is it better to hire freelancers.
  2. Where to find freelancers for your business.
  3. Why people became freelancers.
  4. How to work with freelancers.
  5. What to do to keep long-term collaboration with freelance talent and how to onboard them.

So let’s start.

Why Hire Freelancers

The last few years have been hectic and there is a general uncertainty about the near future.

While it may be tempting to hire full-time employees when there is uncertainty in the marketplace, you should proceed cautiously. The result is that many agencies are struggling to meet deadlines because they don’t have enough talent (or talents with the right skills).

Hiring freelancers can help you fill in the gaps when regular employees are not available.

Freelancers offer agencies three important benefits.

  • Availability: With freelancers, you can hire and fire them at will. Freelancers don’t have to give you any notice period, nor do you have to spend weeks onboarding them (relating to onboarding – we shall speak later). You can work with them for a single project and part ways when the project wraps up.
  • Economic benefits: Hiring freelancers instead of full-time employees can save you money in various ways. Freelancers cost less than full-time employees because you don’t have to pay recruiters or spend money on training them. Freelancers also work remotely, which means you save on office rent and tool purchases. Freelancers can become productive from day one, with little overhead costs.
  • Professionalism: If you need particular expertise that you do not have in-house, it makes sense to hire an outside expert on a project basis than to hire a full-time employee whose expertise you might not need in the future.

Freelancers are now more attractive to companies than ever because of advances in remote work technology.

In 2020, work-from-home freelancers are the norm. Plus, you’re already used to working with a distributed team—so hiring someone who works remotely doesn’t seem so weird anymore.

Where to find freelancers for your business

The freelance platforms can be divided into three categories:

  • General platforms for most people
  • For those working in a specific niche, or industry, or having specific skills
  • Specific talents and skills

General platforms for most people
These platforms are suited to all skill sets and projects, regardless of their size or scope. Some of the leading companies in this category are UpWork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, Fiverr, FreeUp, FlexJobs, and Workamajobs.
With these types of platforms, you have access to a huge pool of talent.

Platforms for those working in a specific niche, or industry, or having specific skills
These platforms provide services that are tailored to specific skill sets or industries.
• Tech: TopTal,, Gigster,, AngelList
• Design: DesignHill, Dribble, Behance, 99Designs, DesignCrowd, WorkingNotWorking
• Marketing: Credo, Contently, ClearVoice, Torchlite

When targeting a specific niche, the best platforms to use are those tailored specifically for that audience. You may use them if:
• Focus your search by describing the skills you’re looking for.
• Willing to pay a premium for high-quality talent
Instead of accepting applications from any freelancer who wishes to join, these platforms usually work only with the best-qualified talent.
There are many websites where you can find a freelancer to perform the job for which you need expertise. These sites offer an easy way of finding, evaluating, and hiring experts online.

Why do people become freelancers

Although many freelancers do it for the money, other people choose to freelance because they want to be their own boss, gain skills that will translate into an improvement in their career options, and experience new challenges.

To work with freelancers successfully, it’s important to understand freelancers’ motivations (or concerns).
Example – Certainty (Confidence).

Certainty” means “the state of being completely confident or having no doubt about something” (

Freelance life is by definition unstable. Freelancer doesn’t have certainty that they will have work next month. And even if you do, there is no guarantee that you’ll be paid on time – or paid at all.
A survey of European freelancers found that their biggest concerns – getting paid and finding steady work – are related to a lack of certainty.

You can give freelancers a stable income and security:

• Immediately paying all invoices.
• Hiring freelancers for at least a set number of hours every month.
• If you plan on changing any of your project’s details, contact the freelancer as soon as possible to let him or her know.

Freelancers are aware that the freedom to fire them is often a perk of hiring freelancers. If you want to be sure of keeping the people who are important in your life, give them some sense that they can count on you. Offer a guaranteed minimum number of hours per month. This will help you ensure that your freelancer has enough work to stay busy while also giving him or her some flexibility in case other opportunities come up.

How to Work With Freelancers

Freelancers can offer you benefits that employees don’t:

  • flexibility,
  • low overhead costs, and
  • the ability to be hired only when necessary.

However, unlike full-time staff members (who are loyal to your company), freelancers tend not to be as available or dependable.
If you want to build a strong relationship with your contractors, give them what they need—flexibility and timely payments. But don’t forget that flexibility gives way to compromise: both sides must be willing to meet in the middle by giving up something of their own.
When an agency doesn’t work with freelancers often, it might worry that these relationships are complicated and difficult. The company might believe that freelance talent is inferior to full-time employees or otherwise inflexible in terms of existing structures.

Concerns of the Companies.

Before you can build strong freelance relationships, we need to speak about the concerns of the employers. It’s important to overcome any fears, uncertainties, and doubts that may stand in your way of success:

The freelancer will not work well with the team” – This concern is common among employers—they worry that freelancers will not fit into the team well. Few freelancers are comfortable working full-time and integrating themselves into an office environment. Use freelancers to do those jobs that only require individual skills and are unlikely to have a direct impact on the whole project.
If you want to keep the freelancer engaged and working productively over a long period, add them to your team’s communication channels—at least where it makes sense.
The freelancer will take longer than expected to be productive” – It’s unrealistic to expect that a new freelancer will be as productive from the beginning as those who have been working with the team for some time. Give freelancers time to ramp up and adjust. Flexibility in the workflow is key: a freelancer will likely have his or her own ideas about how things should be done, so adapt accordingly instead of imposing your way on them.​

What to do to keep long-term collaboration with freelance talent and how to onboard them

Now let’s speak about the “Onboarding” of freelancers. Above we said that it is not necessary to do this for freelancers. But if you want to have really a long-term collaboration with freelancers and get from them work /services of good quality, you have to be ready to onboard them.

 “Onboarding is the process of integrating new employees into their organizations. This includes educating them about the company and its culture.
In our situation, we are speaking not about employees but as well about freelancers if you want to hire them for long-term collaboration.
To solve this problem, you could have learned how to onboard freelancers. Most freelancers who have a positive onboarding experience stay with their employer for three years or longer.
Onboarding is a process that helps new employees feel welcome and become productive quickly. The steps to create an effective onboarding process can be long, but they’re worth it!

Steps to have a structured onboarding process

​To ensure your freelancers have the best experience possible, it’s important to have a structured onboarding process. A structured onboarding process is more likely to set your freelancers up for success than an unstructured one.

​In order to create structure, you must manage a program that achieves the following objectives.

  • Communication: Your first interaction with a new employee can make or break the partnership. To create a good impression, complete your pre-onboarding checklist (in the next section), check in regularly, and prove you’re trustworthy
  • Introducing your freelancers: Next, you should introduce your freelancers to the rest of your staff so they can become familiar with each other. Introduce them to the products and procedures that will be relevant in their work for you.
  • Engaging freelancers: Onboarding freelancers requires a shift in thinking from seeing themselves as lone operators to members of an organization. This transition typically occurs during the training phase of onboarding, when new freelancers begin to understand how their work contributes—or doesn’t contribute—to the larger whole.
  • Workplace engagement: An engaged freelancer can understand the culture of a company by learning about its business processes and key skills needed to succeed.
  • Independent work: Freelancers should check that the work they’re performing meets a short-term or long-term goal. Clients, on the other hand, can validate their freelancer’s skills by gauging if they can successfully perform tasks independently.

In the following sections, we will examine each of these goals in more detail and show you how to apply them.​

Recommendations relating to the documents.

If you don’t complete the following tasks on day one, your freelancer will be stuck doing work that they could have been doing while you were completing their onboarding process.
Freelancers often get paid per word or project, meaning they’re losing money (and possibly their free time) if you make them do early onboarding tasks after assigning work. Respect their time and talents by showing that you respect the fact they already know how to do what’s asked of them—you’re not making extra copies on this one!

Necessary steps to start from:

Develop a standardized contract that all freelancers and clients can use as needed.

The contracts that you use for freelancers should include:

Standard work-for-hire agreements: For short-term, one-off projects and  For ongoing, retainer-based work

  •  Contract clauses that can be tailored to fit your needs.:
    • Non-disclosure agreement
    • Non-compete/conflict of interests (if applicable)
    • Other special provisions

 Here are some major components of a good freelancer work contract:

• Names of all parties
• Agreed work scope and deliverables (Contract start and end dates; Description of project or services to be provided)
• Pre-agreed deadlines or timelines
• Freelancer pricing structure/rates ( Agree on the preferred payment method; Decide who covers the processing fees;
Develop a convenient payment schedule)
• Payment terms and conditions (i.e., how much, when and how)
• Kill, cancelation, or late fees
• Rights to intellectual property created as part of the project (Copyright, patents)
• Liabilities and indemnities of each party

Any tax forms that are required in your or the freelancer’s jurisdiction.
Remember: It’s important to find out how much the payment method will cost you before committing. Some banks charge high fees for wire transfers, so make sure that’s not going to be a problem if you need to send money internationally.

Freelancers are responsible for filing their own taxes, according to the general rule. Some governments impose value-added tax (VAT) and/or sales taxes on freelancers. Make sure you consult a local accountant if these apply to your business or project so that you can pay the right amount of tax.

​Keep all of your created legal templates in one place, and sign documents quickly by getting an account with an e-signature service.

Steps how to onboard freelancers

For freelance workers, brand messaging is just as important as it is for employees. Freelancers don’t have all the inside knowledge about a business that its full-time staff does, so they need to be kept up-to-date on core details within their areas of expertise.
Before you begin working with a freelancer, explain what your company sells, whom it wants to reach, and how the project will help achieve business goals. Be transparent so that everyone is on the same page from the start of the project.
Offering to take on extra tasks for your employees—including writing blog posts and updating insurance policies—will not only increase productivity but also provide a boost in morale.
Here are the steps you should take to deliver a successful onboarding experience:

• Create a company email address and phone number, as well as login names and passwords for the software.
• Give them a list of everything they need to accomplish during the first week on the job.
• Information about upcoming events and milestones celebrated by the company.
• Include some of your company’s products in a welcome kit that you send to new employees. This is an excellent way to boost morale and increase staff loyalty.
• Ask your co-workers to welcome the new employee with an email or video message.
• Before new employees start their first day on the job, make a point of speaking with them to address any concerns they might have.
• Schedule introductory meetings between the client and his or her future colleagues (if applicable).

If you have adequately prepared your freelancers, they should feel confident working in your company from day one.

What are the advantages of clearly communicating business objectives?
If a freelancer is only going to be working with you for a short period, it may not be necessary to communicate your business objectives. However, doing so can still prove worthwhile.

Here are the benefits of making your goals clear:

• Because it’s clear to everyone how much value can be generated for the organization through each project, everyone understands what kind of performance is needed from every individual.
• Projects run more smoothly when the people involved have access to a shared vision at all times.
• Freelancers are more motivated because they see that their efforts contribute to the plan’s success.
• The responsibility is spread across your company because the success of each department depends on the others’ performance.

Being transparent, accountable, and honest is essential to building a good relationship with freelancers. Provide them with the information they need—their questions answered, their concerns addressed —and watch your projects improve immediately.

Have you also provided a style guide and samples of your previous work?

If you’re a small business, it may be the case that you don’t have any of these things yet. If so, let your freelancer know up front—it’s okay to start from scratch and figure out what best fits your company as she goes along
In time, a freelancer may learn enough about your brand to create their own style or pitch guide—and even compile a portfolio of past work you can display for other potential hires.

Communication channels, other technologies and tools

To speak to your freelancers, use the tools they already have. Some examples include Slack for team communication and Asana for project management—tools that make it easy to get in touch with remote workers.
To have the best working relationships, it’s important to communicate clearly with clients. The next section covers some of the best ways for freelancers and clients to communicate effectively.

What makes a communication channel successful?

A great communication channel benefits both the client and the freelancer, but it should respect the time preferences of its intended audience.
When working with a freelancer, it’s important to keep communication lines open. Since freelancers can’t just walk into the office whenever they want, make sure everything is documented and available in writing. They should also be given time to get back to you if they live in another country or are on a different schedule than your team.

Here are some communication channels that freelancers can use:
Pre-recorded videos, emails, and text messages are all viable options for communicating with customers.
Video chat or conference calls can work if you hold frequent meetings with your team members, and everyone is located nearby. But otherwise, these forms of communication are too time-consuming to use regularly.
If you want to know the secret to how to onboard freelancers successfully every time, pre-recorded video training is key. Pre-recorded videos can streamline the process by removing time and location barriers—you don’t need a remote team member’s physical presence anymore! Plus, they deliver consistent information about what your agency needs from each new recruit.

Should all messages be visible to anyone?

The best way to handle this depends on the purpose of the message thread itself. If it’s for project-wide communication or if it contains company information, then collaborative channels are preferable.
In fact, it’s in your best interest to centralize your online collaboration and communication as much as possible—especially now that so many people use email for work. It ensures you don’t have the sole responsibility of passing along messages across the company.
Even though you should encourage freelancers to use project-specific communication channels, you should also let them have a private channel for non-project discussions. If you’re in these channels, it may discourage your team from interacting with them. Give your freelancers space by setting up a private channel just for them.

What other technologies and tools should you use in combination with the ones mentioned above?

To ensure that your freelancers are set up for success, remind them about the tools they will need to use to complete the job. This will not only keep you from wasting time haggling over software and hardware but also help you avoid confusion down the line.
The tools freelancers need will vary depending on the type of work they do and your specific project, but you may want to train them in these basic programs before they get started:
• Check out FreshBooks or Quickbooks for accounting software.
• Check out actiTime or Clockify, two-time tracking software solutions.
• The project-management software Hectic and are both good options.
• Look into customer relationship management software such as Zoho, for example.
• WordPress is an example of a website-building software.
• Money-handling software (PayPal or Stripe)
• A SaaS (software-as-a-service) marketing automation tool called Marketo

Important: never share your password with a freelancer, even if you’ve worked together for a while. Create new accounts for different freelancers so that each person has their own login information.

Some do’s and don’ts when it comes to communication

If the project is clear and your expectations are realistic, you’ll get better work from freelancers. This will avoid upsetting existing clients or having them find out about failures in communication.
In order to successfully bring on freelance talent, you need to be able to communicate with them effectively. If you want freelancers on your team, it’s important that they feel comfortable working with the way in which you speak.

Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to communication:

• How will you keep in touch with your freelance worker?
• How often do you want to be notified about updates on your project?
• Should freelancers inform their clients if they are going to be out of the office for an extended period?
• Will your freelancers be joining existing teams or starting new ones? If so, how will you introduce them to their teammates and the rest of the company?
• How can you overcome any challenges that may arise due to cultural or geographic differences?
• What should the freelancer do if they have a problem?
• Should freelancers always address their coworkers as professional contacts or should they talk to them like equals?
• What is the availability of freelancers? Are they available 24/7 or are there certain hours when I can’t reach them by phone or email?

If you don’t establish clear communication guidelines and protocols right away, it can be difficult for your freelancers to adjust later.

How to help your freelancers feel included in the company

You can’t stop the onboarding process once new freelancers become immersed in your startup or are able to work independently. In fact, that’s when you need to step up efforts to keep them engaged and committed—so they stay with your company for the long term.
Here’s how you can help your freelancers feel included in the company:

• Be open to feedback: Giving constructive feedback can help strengthen the relationship between a client and freelancer, reinforce positive habits, and motivate people to do their best work possible—and it’s something that we’re all constantly learning from.
• Organize fun team-building activities for your employees: To encourage collaboration and strengthen teamwork, consider organizing games and challenges. Pairing off freelancers for coffee or meeting may also help build rapport among team members.
• Set up a regular schedule for checking in with your team: Check-in schedules help clients get a feel for their freelancer’s wants and needs, but this trend shouldn’t stop once the client is comfortable. If you have ongoing contact with your freelancers, they’ll be better able to understand what you need from them in the future.
• Build a culture of recognition and reward: Give your freelancers recognition—in the form of praise, gifts, and bonuses—and they will feel appreciated for their hard work and more motivated to do more. A personalized gift, such as a custom plaque or award, can make them feel special and valued.

By creating a candidate experience survey, you can learn what aspects of your onboarding process need improvement and make sure that your freelancers have everything they need to be successful from day one.


The ability to hire freelancers who work and live anywhere is a huge benefit to your business. This will allow you to hire the best person for the job, regardless of their physical location. Freelancers run a business. Their time equals their income.
Agency owners and managers alike will be happy to know that it’s possible to consistently execute each step outlined above. In fact, following these steps will put you at an advantage over other agencies— your clients will return again and again for ongoing help in their projects and the growth of your business will accelerate accordingly. The eagerness of each new client is a powerful motivator; this is one reason why we love working with new clients.​

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