|Does this sound familiar? Your business is growing but you’re not yet ready to hire more staff members. Or, maybe your business encounters certain needs on a limited basis only. Things like bookkeeping, marketing, IT and office assistance are all common requirements of small businesses but few have the luxury of hiring these as full-time permanent staff. Not to fear, the answer lies in hiring a freelancer or contractor.If your small business is growing and in need of some extra hands on deck, consider opening the doors to freelancers or contractors. Often times you can find extremely talented individuals to work with without the need to commit to a salary, health benefits or other cost prohibitive factors of full-time staff. To ensure you hire the cream of the freelancing crop, consider the following pointers:|
When networks have been tapped, turn to the Web for recruitment. Some small businesses have found success in posting opportunities on Craigslist, while others turn to websites that specialize in matching employers to freelancers or contractors, such as elance.com or Guru.com. Once you find candidates that fit the bill in terms of experience, conduct interviews and background checks just like you would a full-time employee.
Another legal aspect that should be covered before moving forward involves drafting a contract—one that clearly defines the scope of work, the agreed rate of pay and who owns the work upon project completion, among other things. Make it easy and include sticky flags where they need to sign. Be sure to have a lawyer and possibly your accountant review the document.
Clearly define the project scope and expectations
Another example of expectations that should be managed and addressed prior to employment refers to the differences between freelance employment and full-time employment.
“Workers who are free to choose their own hours, work without direct supervision and solicit other work are typically considered contractors,” says Mara Levin, an employment law partner at Manhattan-based Herrick Feinstein. “An employee, in contrast, must generally work set hours and be supervised directly by you or someone at your firm.”
Be respectful of a freelancer’s time, flexible with work hours and clear in direction in order to prevent miscommunication or misinterpretation.
Pofeldt, By Elaine. “How to Hire Freelancers with Finesse.” Crain’s New York Business. 27 July 2010. Web. 27 Oct. 2010.
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