It can be difficult to retain high-level freelance technical talent because they’re constantly being headhunted by the highest bidders. But it’s not impossible. In a nutshell, you just need to treat them right while considering the needs of their particular expertise.
Pay Them on Time
Many businesses seem to think that it’s okay to pay freelance tech specialists at a later time than promised as long as the payment is made. xEntrepreneur notes how some even delay freelancers’ salaries for months. This is the easiest way to lose the best and brightest freelancers on your payroll. Instead, establish systems that can ensure their due payments. Online invoicing and payment systems may help in this regard. You may also consider making advanced payments via post-dated checks – just make sure they don’t bounce.
Make Essential Work Processes Easy
Freelance tech specialists are already burdened with difficult duties. This is why salary and benefits are not their sole considerations for staying in a particular workplace. If you can streamline fundamental work processes, you have a better chance of retaining the high-level talent that your company needs. Online freelance recruitment platform Yoss reveals some of the strategies for making fundamental work processes easier for freelancers. This includes handling all contracts, payments, invoicing, and project briefs through a single, secure digital platform. Streamlining these parts of the process can go a long way towards convincing your best freelance tech talents to stick with you instead of looking for prospects elsewhere.
Clarify Their Work Limits and Your Expectations
Unlike traditional and/or tenured employees, it’s much harder for freelance tech specialists to go above and beyond their job descriptions. This is because freelancers will likely have other commitments to tend to. From the start, it’s important to agree on which specific short and/or long-term tasks you need them for. The Huffington Post outlines the different circumstances in which hiring a freelance tech specialist could be ideal for your company. This includes finding the specific tech talent who can help broaden your company’s scope and vision. There’s also optimizing, upgrading, or repairing your company’s tech or infrastructure. You may also need technical help in finding and eliminating security or financial vulnerabilities. Whatever the reason they’re on your payroll, compensate your hired freelancers accordingly should their work entail going above and beyond their agreed-upon tasks. Remember that as long as you can pay them accordingly and their schedule allows it, most freelancers are often willing to do additional work.
Establish a Transparent and Collaborative Work Culture
Technical specialists can arm your company with essential insights that even the most business-savvy CEOs can’t provide. While most employees can benefit from a transparent work culture, this is even more true for freelance tech specialists. For instance, a cloud technology engineer can better facilitate your company’s cloud migration if they are fully aware of your company’s cyber security history. Likewise, a data scientist can provide accurate business predictions if they have access to all the relevant development data. In a podcast conversation with executive coach Jason Treu, the necessities, risks, and possibilities of establishing a truly transparent and collaborative work culture were discussed. So, make sure you give it a listen, if you haven’t already.
Give Freelancers the Option of Going Full-Time
Unless you can hire them full-time, you need to let freelancers diversify their clientele. This may be because they need more income to make ends meet, want to explore the possibilities of their skill sets, or increase the amount and quality technical skills that they can offer. This is the nature of freelance work, particularly for those who specialize in developing technologies. Don’t penalize freelancers (whether officially or unofficially) for trying to find other prospects for their skill sets. If you want to be their sole client, offer them employee packages that are attractive enough for them to consider going full-time. While hiring temporary freelancers can save you some money now, spending the cash to retain essential freelance tech specialists as regular employees could be a worthwhile investment.