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Using Freelancing Websites to Expand Your Rehab Center Workforce and Find Skilled, Affordable Labor
Gig-workers, or freelancers, are people you can hire on a contractual, part-time, or temporary basis. There are many online hubs where you can find freelancers with a variety of skills and specialties.
Freelancers can be a substantial asset to your business, helping you with time-consuming work, reducing your staffing costs, and providing creative, innovative, and on-demand work that can help you succeed and reduce production time.
Hiring freelancers can be especially beneficial for short-term projects, one-off tasks, infrequent work, or projects that do not need to be performed onsite or by your in-house staff.
Pros and cons of using freelancers
Here is a list of pros and cons of hiring freelancers for your rehab facility:
Access: There are many different platforms to access freelancers that have made the search and hiring process easy. Depending on your needs and timeline, you may find and hire a freelancer to start working on your project in very little time.
Low risk: Employers have the option to work with freelancers as they like, with minimal considerations. Working with freelancers reduces employer risk, as freelancers do not collect unemployment insurance and rarely have access to worker’s compensation benefits. If you are working with a freelancer that is not meeting your expectations, you can simply terminate the contract, or choose to not renew it once it is complete. This can typically be done with minimal considerations.
Quality: Freelancers work for themselves and run their own business, so their success relies on satisfying their clients (i.e. you). They are typically eager to produce high-quality work to encourage you to renew their contract and continue the working relationship.
Cost: Hiring freelancers typically saves a business a substantial amount of money that would be necessary for hiring an employee at the same level. This results from a reduced need for office space and the fact that freelancers do not receive benefits like health insurance or retirement programs.
World-wide talent: Using freelancer platforms can provide you with access to a global pool of talent with diverse perspectives and ideas. You can also utilize different time zones and pay expectations to your benefit. By having access to freelancers from around the world, you are also more likely to find one that is specialized in your niche.
Flexibility: If you have a tight deadline to meet and your in-house employees are struggling to complete it on time, you can utilize the help of freelancers. As they may be working in different time zones, you can leverage this difference to help streamline your work processes. The flexibility of freelancers is also helpful when you are experiencing influxes of work, yet foresee the need for a short-term solution. You can hire freelancers on a need-be basis to help minimize your costs.
Easy payments: Most freelancing platforms offer easy payment and billing processes that protect both the freelancer and the person hiring.
Opportunity for continued work: If you work with a freelancer that is producing high-quality work, you have the opportunity to continue working with them long-term, or even integrate them as part of your staff.
Relationship building with clients: For jobs that involve interacting with your clients one-on-one, it is best to leave it to your in-house employees. Freelancers might lack company knowledge to provide comprehensive and accurate information to your potential clients.
Multi-tasking: Many freelancers work for multiple clients at once, so it may be challenging to ensure they are always available when you need them. You can work with a team of freelancers if you are experiencing difficulties with aligning schedules and availability.
Training and supervision: As you cannot supervise a freelancer, and training opportunities may be limited or challenging, it might be more beneficial to save the training-intensive activities for your in-house employees, as it is more likely to pay off.
Classification: There are specific guidelines for classifying freelancers and employees. Be sure that you are accurately classifying each and are able to defend your decisions in case of an audit. Generally, a freelancer is someone who is self-employed and controls their work in terms of who, what, where, when, and for how much it is performed.
Fees: While you may be able to find high-quality work for a reasonable rate, be aware that most freelancing platforms charge a fee for each job. For instance, Upwork charges a fee for every completed project and another one for processing payments.
Best practices for hiring freelancers
Here is a list of best practices you can follow when hiring a freelancer:
Provide small tasks at first to test their abilities
Before assigning them a large-scale project or providing access to any of your files or accounts, test their work with a small task. If you like what they produce and how they work with you, then proceed to larger projects. If not, keep looking for someone that meets your expectations.
Consider working with a couple of freelancers
The freelancers you hire might be too busy to take on additional or last-minute tasks. By working with a couple of freelancers, you can help guarantee you have people available for all your tasks and that you have a backup team in case of emergencies.
Discuss budget right away
Be sure to agree on a rate of pay with your freelancer right away. If you have a fixed budget for a project, you can offer to pay per project rather than per hour. Some platforms also offer weekly limits if your freelancer is getting paid per hour to help you stay within your budget.
Assess their profile
When determining the freelancer to hire, review their profile, reviews, and descriptions of expertise and services. By taking the time to thoroughly review their information, you can get a better sense of their work style, attitude, and professionalism before agreeing to work with them.
Keep open communication
It is important to have a well-prepared description of the task and to maintain an open channel of communication as the work progresses. You can also encourage them to reach out to you if they have questions to help align output to your expectations.
Track the work
Most freelancer platforms allow you to track the progress of work and the number of hours or projects for which the freelancer is billing. If there are any discrepancies, speak with your freelancer right away. In extreme cases, you can usually cancel the job to discontinue your relationship with that person.
If you are interested in working with a freelancer, here is a list of websites you can use to connect with them:
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