Tips for Managing Overseas Freelancers

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When you own a business, hiring freelancers can be one of the best things you do for yourself and your company. It frees you up to think more strategically, and you can delegate certain tasks to specialists, in a cost-effective way.

There are certain tasks you might want to hire only U.S.-based freelancers for, such as tasks that require native English speakers. Then, there are other tasks that you can easily hire out to overseas freelancers, such as the more technical elements of your business.

Managing freelancers in general can be tough, despite the benefits, at least until you get the hang of it. This is especially true of overseas freelancers, with whom you might have cultural, language and even time zone differences with.

The following are some tips to help you effectively manage your overseas freelancers.

Ask Them How They Want To Be Paid

Your freelancers likely take their job very seriously, and they depend on the income they earn from their work.

When you’re paying freelancers, ask how they want to be paid. For example, they may have a payment service they prefer. If you’re sending money to the Philippines, it can be different from paying someone in India, regarding banking and convenience for the freelancer.

They’ll appreciate if you ask them what works for them, so they can actually access their funds.

Along with paying them through a service that works for them, you should make sure you’re always paying on-time. Most foreign freelancers are going to prefer being paid in their own currency as well.

Know What You Need Before You Hire Someone

This tip may not seem like it’s about managing your freelancers, but it is.

Often when people are outsourcing work, they don’t have a clear idea of what it is they need, or even what their own expectations are.

Then, they hire someone who might not want to do what they ultimately need, or who might not be a good fit.

It leads to frustration on both sides. If you can take the time before hiring someone to ensure that you know what you need and what you expect, it can make managing freelancers much easier.

Put Some Training Time In

Some tasks won’t require training, but some will. There’s this misconception when hiring freelancers that you shouldn’t have to train them at all, but that’s not necessarily true.

Sure you might not train them in the same way you would a full-time employee, but it can make things a lot smoother and more efficient down the road if you put some time in early on to onboard them as far as what their role will be.

Don’t Expect Them To Be Available All the Time

Finally, if someone is working for you and they’re around the world, they may have adjusted their schedule so that they follow U.S. work hours; however many freelancers don’t.

As long as they’re getting their work done, you shouldn’t expect them to be available at all hours of day and night. Be respectful of time differences and work on finding ways you can consistently communicate in spite of time differences.