How Do You Integrate Freelancers into Team Dynamics Effectively?

    Authored By

    CHRO Daily

    How Do You Integrate Freelancers into Team Dynamics Effectively?

    In the evolving landscape of team composition, the integration of freelancers and contractors presents unique challenges. We've gathered insights from Team Leads and Managing Directors to tackle this issue head-on. From 'Six Steps for Integrating Freelancers' to ensuring 'Onboard Freelancers for Unified Vision', here are four expert strategies on weaving external talent into your company's fabric.

    • Six Steps for Integrating Freelancers
    • Adaptation and Mutual Exchange
    • Streamline Workflow with ClickUp
    • Onboard Freelancers for Unified Vision

    Six Steps for Integrating Freelancers

    Adjusting freelancers into a team can be challenging, but collaboration is a two-way street. When someone speaks, it's a speech. I follow these six steps with every contractor/freelancer on my team: Clearly define roles and expectations. Establish effective communication channels. Provide proper onboarding and training. Make an effort to include freelancers or contractors in team activities and encourage collaboration. Set clear goals and expectations. Provide support and feedback. One time, a freelancer on our team fell weeks behind schedule while I was on my 15-day annual vacation. Upon my return, my associate submitted details of every freelancer working with us. When I inquired, he explained the freelancer struggled with understanding company policies and work etiquette in the remote setup. He hadn't been introduced to relevant project stakeholders. As a project manager, I helped him integrate into the team, explained milestones, and clarified the expected work velocity. After 1.5 years, he continues to contribute to our projects.

    Hummaid Naseer
    Hummaid NaseerTeam Lead, PureSquare

    Adaptation and Mutual Exchange

    We look for freelancers who not only bring the right skills but also show a willingness to adapt to our ecosystem, tech stack, and workflows. This doesn't mean they lose their independence or unique approach; instead, it forms a mutual exchange where their expertise enhances our projects, and our structured environment gives them a steady base to work from. This understanding shapes our approach. We leverage widely adopted tools, so they often find these platforms familiar, if not already integral to their own workflows. This familiarity breeds efficiency and ease from the get-go. We aim for a dynamic where their autonomy and our structure coexist, benefiting the project without diluting the essence of freelance flexibility, which benefits both parties. This approach fosters a productive, yet respectful, integration that aligns with both our team's needs and the preferences of the freelancers.

    Michael Morgan
    Michael MorganManaging Director, Medallion Partners

    Streamline Workflow with ClickUp

    We've used ClickUp to organize projects and assign each freelancer their task in the workflow with a correlating due date. This takes a few videos for training the freelancers on how to use the app, but it's pretty intuitive and easy to use once they get the hang of it.

    Once a task that's been assigned to a worker is completed, they can mark it as "complete," and it is automatically assigned to the next task manager—who is notified by email as well as within the desktop app.

    This has helped us greatly in planning out content, as there is less day-to-day management required to ensure the project is on task and meeting its deadlines.

    Kristine Thorndyke
    Kristine ThorndykeCo-Founder, TEFL Hero

    Onboard Freelancers for Unified Vision

    Though the two types of employment are qualitatively different, I find that freelancers, too, need to be onboarded and integrated into the company to a certain extent. The only way for freelancers and contractors to produce the same quality and type of content as our full-time staff is for them to understand and agree with our core principles, and limited onboarding is a great way to achieve this goal. Furthermore, I recommend maintaining a central knowledge base that everyone draws upon when needed, which further helps ensure a unified vision and its execution.

    Shaun Gozo-Hill
    Shaun Gozo-HillDirector, 2Game