Continuing our series on new ventures we have discussed: How to determine the costs of professional services, then we have developed a step-by-step cost worksheet and we have also developed a cash flow worksheet.
Now I would like to share my experiences when it comes to hiring people, more specifically hiring freelancers.
When we start a business, if things go well, sooner or later we are going to need help.
Depending on the workflow, sometimes that need is not permanent; so many times it is convenient to hire someone specifically for a specific project.
I like to think that I have adopted the Hollywood working model. When the production of a film gets underway, despite the glamor, what is actually set in motion is a complex work system: a group of talented people working together during the short period of time that the project lasts.
Then, each one goes their own way to get back together in the next movie.
If you are interested in the subject, I recommend reading: This is how a film director manages quality, by Eileen Morley and Andrew Silver, which is part of the volume: Creativity and Innovation in the Harvard Business Review collection (Deusto publishing house).
The basic precautions for hiring freelancers
If possible, hire someone you already know and trust. Do you know someone who might be qualified to do the job? When we know the degree of skill and responsibility of the other person, it is much easier for everything to go smoothly.
This will save you from hiring someone who promises you heaven and then handing you a worthless job.
For several years I dedicated myself to training graphic designers and photographers in the use of digital retouching software. At that time, I had a database of the people who had consulted me about it and of those who had received training.
On that base, I created a field where I wrote down not only the skills of each person but also their attitude toward work. Every time he needed help with a project, he used that base to find the right person, so many students became collaborators.
Expectations: the first thing we have to talk about. Before agreeing on the fees, the best thing you can do is explain your expectations in detail, because the budget depends on those details.
.Final and partial delivery date
.Work hours (if the person will work in your office)
.Whether or not the person will be able to use the work in their own portfolio
.If you will have to work in the office or at home and come to the office on pre-established dates.
.Who owns the intellectual property rights to the work?
.The periodicity of the work progress reports and the backup copies of the same.
.What happens in case of non-compliance with deadlines?
Money: the second topic to talk about. Although we find it hateful, we must talk about money, especially if the person who is going to help us is a friend.
Once the work has been explained in detail, we can request a budget or tell you directly how much money we have allocated for that work.
It is not convenient, nor fair for either party, to let a project go and then talk about money. It is possible that the work suffers and even that a friendship is lost.
Once they reached an agreement on the budget, leave the payment method well-stipulated. Will payments be made on a work progress basis or on a predetermined date?
If you don’t know her/him, get some references. We are not always going to meet the person we need for that particular job. But it is possible that we have a colleague to ask for referrals. Whether you’re asking a colleague or posting an ad, talk to the people your candidate previously worked for.
Some of the questions to ask, especially when looking for a freelancer, are:
.Does the person in question have a good attitude about work?
.How is the quality of your work?
.Do you have initiative and solve problems without asking all the time?
Give yourself time to search. Even in times of labor shortages, people who do their jobs well and are responsible are often busy. That is why it is very useful to have a database of possible candidates and to always be alert and open to new possibilities.
Also, depending on the job, the Internet opens up the possibilities enormously by allowing us to hire a person who is in another part of the world.
Look for someone in your area of reference. This contradicts what I said above about the internet, but it really depends on the job at hand. If you’ve never worked with that person and the job demands a lot of explanations, it’s no business spending all day with your phone in your hand.
Sometimes a face-to-face conversation is the most effective. That’s why I repeat, it all depends on the demands of that particular job and the previous experience that both people have of working together.
Have a “plan B”. If this is your first time working with that person, try to agree to do a trial (2-3 days would be ideal). If you’re not happy with the job, it’s better to know now.
In addition, it has the advantage of checking the skills of the person, many declare that they are specialists but.
Finding good staff is not an easy task and finding good freelancers is even worse. But if you’re just growing or aren’t comfortable with the idea of permanent staff, having independent people to turn to will allow you to tackle more ambitious projects.
Remember that when you’re looking for help with a project, you’re looking for someone to help you get through an overload of work, not someone to add a problem. There are a lot of people who claim to have abilities that they don’t show later.