How to Onboard Freelance Tech Talent

July 31st, 2017

onboard freelance talent

By Michael Solomon, 10x Management Co-Founder

While the thought of outsourcing and hiring agile talent (sometimes referred to as freelancers, 1099s, consultants, contractors, etc.) can be a little daunting to companies, there is no reason that the process should be complicated.

At 10x Management, the first tech talent agency, we work everyday to ensure that the process of finding, hiring and onboarding freelancers runs as smoothly as possible.

Begin Before the Project Starts

Good freelancers come ready to begin on day one.

Great freelancers tell their customers ahead of time what they need on day one.

This way, no time is wasted and your freelancer can begin with the highest level of productivity from the start.

10x Story: We recently had a customer tell us that they onboarded one of our freelancers for a project while they simultaneously brought on a dev agency for another project. The information came in the form of a compliment. Our set-up in advance of the start date resulted in two days of extra productivity compared with the dev agency, which spent the first two days of their engagement getting acclimated. By day three, the customer was out thousands of dollars of lost productivity to the dev agency before the first work had even begun.

Adjust the Plan

Good freelancers lay out a timeline at the beginning of the project.

Great freelancers update their timeline throughout the project with clear communication about changes.

There’s nothing worse for a customer to find out at the end of the project that it is running behind schedule. Time management is critically important to the success of any project.

Be Open to Your Freelancer’s Ideas

Good freelancers understand what they are building.

Great freelancers understand why they are building.

When freelancers understand why they are building a product, they are able to make recommendations that are profoundly valuable to their customer. It’s always nice to see someone take the extra effort to understand a project: what are the goals, what is the ideal outcome, etc. This way, informed recommendations can be made from an expert.

Document The Work

Good freelancers leave behind a clean finished product.

Great freelancers document their work so that the next team can take over.

Having great work done, only to find that it is very hard to build on in the future, is a frustrating experience.

10x Story: I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had customers come to me and say, “I know someone worked on this in the past, but I just can’t figure out what they did.” That’s why we always have our freelancers clearly document the work they perform so that whoever takes over can immediately get to work, no questions asked. We recommend a daily recap of tasks performed.

The Difference Between Good and Great

Hiring a freelancer means trusting your business with someone that you may have never worked with before, who might be an outsider. If you put your best foot forward and come to the engagement fully prepared, there is no reason that onboarding and managing a freelancer can’t be a satisfying and fruitful experience.

If you like this article, you might enjoy reading The 10x Vet and Match Process