For agencies of all kinds, having an agile workforce is critical. At any point, an existing client or an exciting prospect may pick up the phone looking to add resources or have a project taken off their hands – and it’s up to you to be able to provide the right talent. Here’s why a Freelance Management System (FMS) makes an agency’s life so much easier from day one.
Agencies <3 Freelancers, But What are Their Challenges?
First, let’s think about why so many agencies turn to freelancers rather than full or part-time employees. The thing is, freelancers fit the agency model perfectly, as they are flexible, cost effective, and often add niche expertise to your toolbelt.
Despite all these benefits, many agencies today are struggling with efficiently and effectively managing their freelancers. They want to speed up time to value when onboarding new freelance talent, and gain a thorough view of which freelancers they have onboard, and what projects they are currently working on. Many operations managers have lost oversight over progress, profitability and payments, and spend far too many hours communicating back and forth via email or messaging apps with multiple freelancers.
The Solution: A Freelance Management System That Streamlines Working with Independent Contractors from End-to-End
Fiverr Enterprise’s Freelancer Management System was built to address the challenges of agencies who work with multiple freelancers. Let’s look at five ways agencies can optimize working with freelancers from the moment of deployment.
1. Fast and Compliant Onboarding
Imagine a client asks you for a niche developer to join their team for the next three months. “Sure!” you say confidently, while frantically googling the word Clojure and cycling through your current team in your head. You don’t want to turn down the work, but you don’t have anyone with that area of expertise on staff. “When would you like them to begin?” you ask, biting your lip when you hear them say, ASAP.
The clock starts running. Even if you can quickly find the right freelancer on the numerous freelance marketplaces, or via word of mouth – you know it could take weeks to get them onboarded compliantly and ready to work. You’ll need all the relevant documentation and signatures from the freelancer, approvals from legal teams, and the right permissions from IT so that they can access relevant systems. This freelancer might expect a deposit or an advanced payment, and the finance team never moves quickly. In some cases, even once a freelancer gets to work, you can realize that onboarding isn’t over, as processes can be missed which only come to light when pay day rolls around, or even at the end of the tax year. Suddenly, onboarding takes months, or can feel endless.
You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. You don’t want to lose the work, but you can’t risk skipping steps or you could be found non-compliant, or cause legal issues further down the line.
A freelance management system (FMS) offers exactly what you’re looking for, full freelancer compliant onboarding within 24 hours. Send a link to the freelancer, and they can self-onboard in minutes, uploading the relevant documents and eSigning any forms. Anything legal, finance, HR, or IT needs, it’s all completed through automated workflows, which means they can get to work as soon as the client is ready to give the green light.
2. Talent Pool Management
“What was the name of that freelancer who worked on that website project last year? Do you think they are available?”
This is no way to work with freelancers. Without insight into all of your freelancers, including their skills and availability, you can’t form long-lasting relationships, and you’re left scrambling for a new freelancer every time you start a new project. Even when you know who you want to work with, you could plan out a project, only to find out they are busy with one of your colleagues, or with another client altogether.
Fiverr Enterprise’s FMS provides an internal freelance talent pool, a single dashboard where you can manage your freelancers, their milestones, and their availability. See at a glance what your preferred freelancers are up to, who they are working with, and what their availability is like for the next big thing. Look at all of your open and upcoming projects, and mix and match your freelancers for the right jobs, ensuring you get that perfect fit.
3. Boosting Freelancer Retention and Loyalty
Working with freelancers is not the same as hiring full-time employees. It’s much harder to make freelancers feel like a loyal member of the team, and they will always have other clients on the go who may steal their time or attention. That’s why it’s in your best interests to become their #1 client, the one they brag to their friends about, and the one that they go the extra mile to make happy in return.
A FMS approaches this goal from multiple directions:
- Quick onboarding: Great for you, but great for the independent contractor, too. Freelancers want to get started quickly so that they can optimize their time and start getting paid.
- Visibility: Give freelancers a free place that they can use to track milestones, whether that’s house, projects, or sub-tasks. No more heading in and out of email chains trying to find the right information.
- Easy payments: There’s no doubt that being paid accurately and on time is one of a freelancer’s greatest pain points. Fiverr Enterprise allows freelancers to choose the method and the currency, and provides on-time payments, every time.
4. Improving Budget Visibility
Ever wished you had more of a macro and a micro perspective of the way your freelance talent is working? Certain tools might let you track hours or deliverables, such as project management software or accounting platforms, but what about the wider picture – tracking budget and financials?
A freelancer management system is built for you to track, plan and forecast your spend, both on a granular per-freelancer, per-project or per-client level, and also across departments, quarters, or the whole business. You can take this information and transform it into accurate monthly reports for Finance, or you can pull up the data at the next executive meeting to prove ROI in how your team is working. Use this visibility to reconcile forecasts with actual profit or compare use cases to see which has the greatest output.
When you can validate that the budget is aligned with business priorities, and that you’re working to improve profitability – that’s how operations teams can get a seat at the table. Slicing and dicing the data to show departments, team leads, projects, or clients can open conversations on strategy and direction, such as which departments are showing value, and which clients are not a good fit.
5. Simplifying Payments
If pay day is pain day, we feel you! Manual processes for payments are a huge hassle, and often include communicating payment schedules to freelancers, following up with finance, and asking independent contractors to make sacrifices with how they are paid, in which currency, and on what schedule. If they won’t align with your processes, you might be paying dozens of freelancers, each with a different payment method, multiple times a month, or even after each and every milestone. What was your actual job, again?
Fiverr Enterprise takes the weight off, by removing the task from your to-do list altogether. You have a single vendor, (that’s us!) who you pay one invoice. You choose the amount, and the frequency of payment. With that money, we pay every single one of your freelancers, according to their own terms, and send you a clear report on what’s been done.
Ready to Hear More About Fiverr Enterprise?
From speedy onboarding to better visibility over payments, budget, and milestones, plus a smart route to becoming your freelancers’ preferred client – Fiverr Enterprise checks all the boxes for today’s agencies. All that, and we’re easy on the eyes too!
Let us show you how intuitive it is to deploy Fiverr Enterprise with a 30-min demo.