Talent Management Practices Worth Knowing When Working with Freelancers

Working with Freelancers

Talent management is the way that organizations recruit and develop their workforce,  keeping what is arguably their most important asset,  the people, feeling happy and nourished. Talent management can include smart acquisition and onboarding strategies, training and development, and methods for improving retention. 

In this article, we will share some best practices for approaching talent management with freelancers, and how to leverage technology to take talent management to the next level. 

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Why is Talent Management So Important?

Keeping employees engaged and happy in their roles is an important part of running a business. A certain amount of healthy turnover is natural for any company, but onboarding new hires is costly and takes time, so ensuring the majority of your workforce is committed and loyal can help your business run smoothly. 

With great talent management processes in place, a company is also likely to become an in-demand place to work, as word gets around that they are an innovative and supportive workplace. 

Key Objectives for Talent Management

Each business will have their own goals that will go into creating their talent management strategy. Some examples of key objectives of talent management practices include: 

  • Encouraging a strong workplace culture: Workers want to feel that they are part of a larger whole. This can mean working towards a shared purpose, or creating values that all departments continually revisit and develop. 
  • Providing L&D opportunities: For today’s workers, job growth is more important than pay. It’s critical to think about how you can offer growth opportunities for freelancers as well as FTE, for example offering mentorship or regular constructive feedback. 
  • Job satisfaction: Are workers happy with their roles, and do they feel that they are using their strengths and being appreciated? When people feel well-placed and ‘seen’, they are more likely to stick around and retain loyalty for their job. 
  • Compensation and benefits: Creating packages that work for different kinds of workers is a key objective of many talent management programs. FTE may appreciate extra vacation days, while freelancers will appreciate a bonus or an increase in project rates. 

Best Practices for Talent Management

Especially in today’s diverse workforce, where companies are engaging with a wide range of staff, including full-time workers, freelancers, agencies and independent contractors or consultants, it’s important to have a talent management strategy that checks all the boxes. While traditional talent management focused on employees alone, the times have changed! 

Let’s look at four key areas, acquisition, development, performance management, and retention, and how talent management can improve your relationship with freelancers. 

Talent Acquisition

Start by defining what skills you’re looking for, and be sure that a freelancer is the right fit. If you have long-term, ongoing skills gaps – you might be looking for a full-time employee. 

Once you’ve determined that a freelancer is the right choice, it’s time to perform a job analysis to design the role you’re looking to fill. Think about what niche expertise may be required, the experience you would like the candidate to have, and how you’re going to effectively represent the employer brand when you put out your feelers. 

Now, consider where you will look for candidates, such as on job boards, freelancer marketplaces, or social media. How will you pre-screen and vet candidates, and what will your process be for recruitment? 

Top tip: Fiverr Enterprise provides access to top, vetted freelance talent, pre-evaluated to save you time when acquiring the right skills. We can work alongside your team to support you in sourcing the right people who are a great cultural fit for your project needs. 

Talent Development

While employees tend to stick around unless something goes wrong, freelancers have no such instinctive loyalty. Their working methods dictate that they move onto the next client, so if you want to become their preferred client or agency, you need to make it worth their while. 

Start with ease of onboarding, ensuring that you have everything set up to get them verified quickly, with any relevant system access. Time is money for your freelancers, and they want to get to work ASAP. 

Training and development can feel like it’s not part of the deal when it comes to independent contractors, but the truth is, even freelancers want to feel that they are learning and growing in their knowledge and their role. Invite freelancers to workshops and training sessions (let them know it’s optional!), and keep them up to date with your business strategy and market fit as it evolves. The more they know about the business, the better placed they are to support its growth, and the more they will feel part of the team. 

Offer them mentorship, feedback, and even formal training and development opportunities; suddenly you’ve built a relationship that lasts. 

Top tip: Fiverr Enterprise allows you to quickly onboard new freelance talent with automated workflows and approvals so that freelancers can hit the ground running when they start working with your business. Easily keep track of a talent pool of freelancers who have worked with your business, building deeper relationships with individuals, so you never have to start from scratch. 

Talent Retention

If you think keeping employees engaged is hard, freelancers can be even harder. Consider your employee engagement strategies, and how you’re going to translate these for freelance talent, when happy hours and a Nespresso machine in the office won’t cut it. 

Compensation and benefits are a big part of retention, but freelancers tend to set their own rates and terms. In that case, make sure that everything is set up so that they can be paid accurately and on time, as nothing sours a relationship faster than having to chase payments every month. 

Consider ways to call out all kinds of workers for their hard work, such as sending around a department-wide email naming people for their contributions to a well-executed project, or providing holiday bonuses or gifts to everyone, no matter whether they are on the employee payroll or not. 

Top tip: Fiverr Enterprise makes it easy to track the milestones and performance of all freelancers, seeing their productivity and projects at a glance. At the end of the month, we pay all of your freelancers according to their preferred methods, and you simply pay us – in one click. 

Leveraging Technology in Talent Management

Even a few years ago, managing a dynamic and diverse workforce made up of employees and freelancers would have been a complex juggle. Today, technology has made talent management so much easier, with tools to simplify recruitment, streamline onboarding, optimize talent development, and encourage retention. 

Fiverr Enterprise is a Freelancer Management System (FMS) that gives you complete control over the hiring, payment, management and compliance processes of your freelance workforce.