With evolving supply chain issues and changes to the world due to COVID-19, businesses are looking for every advantage. Working with a potential employee before going through the hiring process is one way to ensure a more successful match.
There are over a billion freelancers working worldwide, with close to 60 million operating in the United States alone. Outsourcing has been used for decades to deliver specific skills across agencies, government contracting, and manufacturing. Businesses that adopt outsourcing as a way to fulfill their personnel needs will benefit from new skills and fresh ideas smart freelancers will bring to the table.
Comprehension derives results when outsourcing
As a company scales, the more essential great communication becomes . . . but it also becomes more difficult.
Everyone involved must understand their role, the role of others; and how work is developed. When teams share their knowledge and focus on collaborative efforts, it will benefit the company and its clients by improving ideas and creating well-defined relationships between team members. Freelancers hired to provide specific skills are like any other employee, they require the full team to trust the knowledge they bring to the table and their ability to deliver the work as a subject matter expert.
Freelancers should understand their role and the work that they are being asked to do. Clearly conveying expectations in order to provide them with the opportunity to deliver their best work.
Outsourcing shouldn’t feel like hard work, even if it is
Outsourcing takes as much work as bringing on a new employee. Creating an environment for collaboration and a successful relationship with those who join the team requires hard work with preparation and planning no matter the person’s status related to the rest of the team. Here are some dos and don’ts we’ve learned along the way to turn outsourcing into an advantage to our company and for our clients.
The Dos of Outsourcing
Build Company-Freelancer Relationships
First, an obvious reminder: Freelancers should be viewed as an extension of a team, not an outside party. Bringing the right person onboard to work with a team requires the same considerations as recruiting a new employee. Always follow the same processes as hiring a new employee when considering adding a freelancer to find the right fit.
Set Realistic Expectations
Before starting a relationship with any freelancer, prepare the work and understand the goals you need them to achieve to support client success. Understand the business reasons behind your decision to outsource the work, provide clear goals, share any needed tools and access, and detail the project so the person hired can do their best work. Plan a kick off meeting to discuss the ins and outs of the project to start everything off on the right foot.
Keep Desirable Tasks In-House
There are some things that simply shouldn’t be outsourced. Use outsourcing as a tool to free up time for the core team to deliver their best work on core products. In-house work should include any high-value work product that is core to the business.
Be Selective In Choosing an Outsourcing Partner
Not all freelancers are created equal. Some are more skilled than others and a business should understand what skill level and experience is being offered. In discussing expectations, ensure common understanding of a freelancer’s experience, expertise and reliability.
The Don’ts of Outsourcing
Don’t Use Outsourcing as a Short-Term Solution
Our earlier advice in hiring a freelancer emphasized including them as a part of your team, not an outsider. This helps build cohesiveness and collaboration. Outsourcing will work best when there is a commitment between all parties involved. A freelancer will be more successful delivering desired work products when they have an understanding of the business, brand, audience, and how they can help achieve any goals as a long term solution not a quick hit.
Don’t Outsource a Skill You Don’t Need
If you can manage a project in-house, do. If you have the skills on your team, then outsourcing shouldn’t be the answer to resource shortage, hiring should. Outsourcing requires resources to manage the work effectively with the same support that employees require. Use the resources you have and add more as needed.
Don’t Provide Rigid Timelines
While every once in a while there are hard and fast deadlines for client work, with clear communication, there should rarely be emergencies for a team and/or freelancers. Be flexible and provide as much lead time as possible for doing the work.
Don’t Limit Your Business to a Single Outsourcing Partner
There are many great workers and firms to consider for outsourcing. Locating a partner to grow a long term relationship requires trust. Start early and use outsource networking to make connections in different product areas that potentially require coverage in the future. Explore multiple partner services to find kick off networking efforts and making those connections. Establishing this network early on will avoid the pitfalls of relying on one person, service, or firm.
Lone Rock Point’s Brand Values Deliver 21st Century Client Relationships
At Lone Rock Point, we believe in identifying your business’s unique goals, then using data and discovery to develop and optimize unique, custom, innovative strategies to achieve those goals. No generic recommendations, and nothing you don’t need.
We View Ourselves as an Extension of Your Team
Outsourcing is best when there is a seamless switch between our work and yours. We work hard to understand your business, audience and expectations. In offering outsourced services, we act as an extension of your team.
We Provide Esoteric Knowledge and Creative Solutions
Our expertise in outsourcing means we have faced and solved many problems. Whether you need a trusted method or an innovative solution, we can help. Contact us today.