5 Tips For Managing Freelancers And Independent Contractors

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Treating those who work for you well is essential, but managing a freelancer differs from managing full-time employees due to varying rules and expectations. You may wonder how you can effectively motivate them, how you can maintain their interest in the work when they don’t receive perks, or whether it’s beneficial to provide performance reviews to let them know where they stand. Here are a few tips for managing freelancers and independent contractors.

Define Expectations Early

Every freelancer and contractor has experienced difficult clients. When the project was completed, those clients were often unhappy because the results didn’t match their expectations.

Avoid being that client by setting clear expectations from the start. Meet with your freelancers using your chosen method to discuss your needs. Communicate clearly about your desired outcome. Instead of instructing them on every step, encourage them to ask questions.

Ask what information they need from you to ensure the project’s success. Remember, you hired them for their expertise. Rather than trying to control processes you might not fully understand, be open to their guidance. Ensure everyone aligns with your expectations.

Set Mutually Agreed Business Hours

Unless they work from your office during business hours, your freelancers and contractors could be anywhere worldwide, operating on entirely different schedules due to their respective time zones and availability.

To prevent delays or miscommunications, start by defining your business hours, their hours of availability, and your expected response times for communications. Additionally, inform your freelancers about your average response time and specify the hours you’re available for direct inquiries. Encourage them to seek independent contractor workers compensation lawyers if they are unsure about any of your expectations.

Be Honest and Direct

Be upfront and clear about your desires and expectations for the business exchange you’re starting. If you need a new website, collect some examples. For a new logo, design a Pinterest mood board. If you seek expert advice, list specific questions.

To ensure freelance success with any contractor, provide them with a detailed job brief as you would for an internal team member. This document should outline the project’s purpose, specifics, context, and actions to ensure everyone is aligned and working toward the same goal.

Don’t Hold Back on the Feedback

Although freelancers don’t undergo the same probations and performance reviews as permanent employees, they still value advice on improving their work. Ultimately, you’re paying for a service.

Providing feedback not only boosts their performance but also strengthens your relationship. If their work is excellent, express your gratitude; if they’re underperforming, be straightforward. Review the original contract regularly and clearly communicate whether they’re meeting their targets. Remember, as freelancers, their contract allows you to terminate the agreement at any time.

Value their Independence

Many individuals opt for contracting due to the flexibility and autonomy it provides. While it’s essential to onboard your contract workers and integrate them as part of the team, it’s equally important to step back regarding when, where, and how they perform their tasks.

Instead of micro-managing, trust them to handle their workload (as they probably have other client commitments) and avoid being too specific about how they should accomplish the job.


On-demand talent is crucial in today’s workplace and will become even more significant. Mastering the management of this valuable resource will repeatedly benefit your company.

Featured photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

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