By Courtney Rosenfeld
The term “gig economy” has become an increasingly popular buzzword, as more workers make a living by relying on freelance, contract, and short-term jobs rather than traditional employment models. While experts are divided over whether this shift is beneficial or detrimental to gig workers, most agree on at least two things: First, that the gig economy is not likely to disappear anytime soon; and second, that it benefits business owners.
If you want to take advantage of what the gig economy has to offer your business but aren’t sure where to start, read on for some top-notch tips.
- Assess Your Needs
First, figure out what sorts of projects your business needs help completing. This could mean broad areas such as tax preparation or cybersecurity, or specific tasks, such as drafting social media posts or designing a new logo. Create a list of what you expect a freelancer to do for your business, as well as any skills or traits that the ideal candidate should possess.
- Find the Experts
Once you have a solid idea of what you’re looking for in a freelance worker and what you’re willing to pay, it’s time to jump into the candidate pool and start finding the right person for the job. Some of the best places to find expert freelance workers include:
- Your network and contacts: A great way to start your search is by checking with other people in similar industries to see if they have any recommendations. Professional contacts on social media are also a good source for suggestions or referrals.
- Freelance websites: Online sites specifically focused on freelance work are another excellent resource for finding quality freelance candidates.
- Industry-specific job boards: In addition to wide-ranging freelance websites, you can also try sites specific to the freelance position you want to fill. From freelance writers to graphic designers and other creatives, there are freelance job boards that target most niches.
- Select the Best Applicant
Given the competitive state of the freelance market, you’ll likely receive more applications than you expect. Fortunately, if you’ve already made a list of qualities you’re seeking, narrowing the field should be simple. Depending on the nature of the position, you may want to interview the top three or so applicants via phone or video call. A trial assignment is another great way to determine whether a candidate is a good fit.
- Set Up Your Payment Arrangement
Once you’ve chosen a freelancer to hire, you’ll need to figure out how to pay him or her in terms of payroll taxes and withholding. While most freelance workers qualify as independent contractors, this is not true in every case. This distinction is extremely important in terms of proper tax treatment, so be sure to review the rules carefully.
Managing your payroll is easier if you plug into online services like QuickBooks. They have features like built-in time tracking, free direct deposit, and auto check generation, making it far easier to ensure accuracy. They’ll even file your payroll taxes for you. By finding a service that takes on the bulk of the grunt work for you, you’re in a better position to focus on building your business.
Hiring outside help is an excellent way to boost your business. Examine your situation for gaps in your knowledge or duties that bog you down, and find expertise to fill in the gaps. With a good plan of action, you can find and hire the right people and services to help your company flourish.