A Business Owner’s Guide to Working With Freelancers Anywhere in the World

Category: strategy; entrepreneurship; small business

Author: Carolyn Hart

There are more than a billion freelancers all over the world, accounting for about 31.4 percent of the global workforce. Statistics show there are about 59 million freelance workers in the United States, 22 million in Europe, 15 million in India, 2.7 million in Canada, 2.2 million in the United Kingdom, and 1.5 million in the Philippines. Why hire locally when you can widen your talent pool and work with freelancers all over the world?

Many freelancers work in industries such as marketing, writing, bookkeeping, web development, and graphic design, but it’s also possible to find freelancers working in information technology (IT), customer service, administrative assistance, data entry, and project management. Currently, some of the most in-demand freelance jobs include SEO managers, mobile app developers, online course creators, and social media content creators.

That said, a broadened talent pool isn’t the only benefit of working with freelancers. You can also save money on payroll, build your team more quickly, and reach customers and clients in other parts of the world more easily.

To learn how to find, hire, manage, and communicate with freelancers from near or far, check out this guide.

Where to Find Freelancers and How to Hire Them

If you’re interested in building a team of freelancers, several websites and freelance job boards can help you to find the right candidates. As a few options, you could search for freelancers on LinkedIn or Google — or you could post jobs to Indeed, Upwork, Toptal, Guru, and Fiverr.

Before getting started, make sure you know what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to pay each freelancer. You’ll then want to write a job posting that explains your needs, expectations, and budget or pay range.

Once you’ve found a few freelancers that fit your job specifications, you’ll want to get in touch with them to determine whether they fit your budget and expectations. If they do, you could use a video conferencing app to conduct a virtual interview. Virtual interviews are not always necessary, however. In other cases, you can simply assess the candidate’s past work, have him or her complete a test or sample project, or chat with the candidate via messenger.

Tips for Managing and Communicating With Freelance Teams

After hiring your freelancer(s), it’s important to set a few ground rules. How will you and your freelancers communicate, especially if you live in different parts of the world? How will your freelancers track their time and projects? How will you pay your workers? Here are a few tools to effectively manage and communicate with your freelancers:

Payroll tools

Sage Business Cloud, Intuit Payroll, KashFlow Payroll, and Xero Payroll can all be used to pay your freelancers, regardless of where they live. You can also use a free paycheck calculator to make your payroll calculations in a pinch.

Time and project management tools

Time trackers like Clockify, Hubstaff, and TMetric can be used to track freelancer time, while project management tools can help with tracking projects, tasks, notes, and files.

Communication tools

Video conferencing apps are great for virtual meetings with freelancers, but they aren’t the only type of communication tool. Remote teams can also utilize messaging apps, file sharing apps, and document editing tools.

File conversion tools

To ensure that you and your team can send and receive quality images without issues, you’ll also want to use file compression and conversion tools. File compression tools reduce the size of files, while conversion tools can be used to change file formats.

When you convert your file from a JPG to a PDF, this makes it easy to send large photos without reducing the quality of an image — and some conversion tools can even be used to convert multiple JPGs into a single PDF. This is especially useful when sending design ideas to marketing freelancers and web or graphic designs. With more than a billion freelancers around the world, you can easily find the freelance help you need when starting, running, or growing a business. And thanks to the many communication, project management, and file conversion tools and apps available to small business owners and entrepreneurs, working with and managing your freelance workers is even easier!

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