As part of our work with organisations, we almost always start with a brief audit of how the team is currently working with freelancers. We've built a series of questions designed to highlight any gaps in the organisation's ability to find, onboard, support and evaluate the value that freelancers bring to projects.
Each question helps us understand where there are opportunities to make working with freelancers deliver more impact, and we've found that even not having the answer to some of the questions is insightful into understanding where the challenges might lie.
Generally, we've found that many organisations haven't stopped to review how they work with freelancers recently - and much of their approach has been built over time, leading to inefficiencies and headaches which all too often lead to "oh no, we need a person tomorrow, who do we know?" type conversations.
This often means there are hidden inefficiencies which increase the cost of working with freelancers, and even reach the point of businesses saying "working with freelancers doesn't work for us". Shining a light on where you can design an effective approach to collaboration helps you maximise the ROI of collaboration with partners.
Reviewing your freelancer engagement effectiveness
Here are five questions you can ask yourself, to see if there are opportunities to increase the effectiveness of working with your freelancers.
1/ What is the average duration between the brief arriving and a freelancer starting work?
By understanding how rapidly you need to respond, you'll be able to make a decision on whether you need to be more proactive in building a solid network of freelancers.
2/ Do you have an identified individual who is accountable for freelance process development?
If not, it's likely you'll need to codify how you work with freelancers, so that anyone bringing them in is clear on what they need to do to collaborate effectively together.
3/ What's your current freelance retention rate?
Understanding the cost of onboarding new freelancers each time, and whether you're building strong relationships with a trusted network gives you an idea of how effective your community of collaborators is.
4/ Is your freelance hiring approach in line with your company-wide diversity and inclusion policies?
Whilst most organisations don't include their freelancers in any sort of measurement and reporting, teams who bring in people from a wider range of backgrounds see greater results.
5/ Are you providing or signposting to support for your freelancers?
Ensuring that your people feel well supported delivers a higher quality of work on the job, but so many organisations are not sure how to deliver support whilst navigating challenges like IR35.
An audit gives you a brilliant starting point to build from, makes improvements tangible, and helps you to see positive improvements in the ROI of working with freelancers.
If you're interested in working with The Independency Co. to run an audit of your current ways of working with freelancers, or just starting to think about how you can build a community of freelancers to collaborate with - drop us a note.