Hiring a remote contractor comes with excellent benefits for companies. First, they are directly paying for a delivery of a product or service, bypassing many of the administrative nuisances and expenses associated with employment.
In addition, working with remote contractors such as marketing freelancers means companies are no longer restricted to local talent. They can hire anyone from anywhere and have that person start working immediately.
However, if you have not hired or worked with a remote contractor before, it may seem a bit tricky at first. This article will help you learn all the critical aspects you need to keep in mind when working with one.
How to work with remote contractors
A remote contractor (also known as a freelancer) is a self-employed worker who works independently on a contract basis for a company. As they are not the company’s employees, they are paid through invoices.
To learn how to work with remote contractors effectively, you must first understand the legal and financial implications of the business relationship. Consequently, you need to be mindful of a few key aspects: budget, project scope, project payment, communication, and taxes.
Moreover, suppose you want to ensure that your business keeps compliant at all times, which can be quite a burden. In that case, you can also use solutions that will make it easy for you to source, onboard, manage, and pay remote contractors worldwide.
Key aspects you need to understand
Here are eight essential aspects to keep in mind for hiring and managing remote contractors:
#1 Know what you need
Before you can assess the competence of a contractor, you need to be clear on the job yourself in terms of what you want the contractor to do. Sometimes you will need a contractor for one project. Sometimes, you will need one to answer multiple assignments from different projects. As a result, you need to plan well in advance.
#2 Define project scope and schedule
It is critical to outline the project’s scope, provide clear guidelines, and set deadlines for its completion to avoid any confusion. For example, consider how big the project is and how long it will take to execute the job? Is there a tight deadline that needs to be respected?
#3 Figure out your budget
Know what you can afford before engaging with potential contractors. In some cases, you may not be able to afford the top rates, but you may not need the absolute best talent for every job either.
#4 Secure good communication
As you already have some remote communication tools in place, clearly articulate which platforms you expect your remote contractors to use. Will you invite them to a shared Slack channel? Create a Google Doc to work asynchronously? Whatever your plan, set expectations from the beginning to avoid miscommunications and ensure everyone is on the same page.
#5 Access to documentation
Documentation is every written information that team members can read, learn from, and build upon. When working with remote teams, it is advisable to create the entire unit’s knowledge base. Now, you may not want to provide your contractors with full access to your complete documentation. In reality, you don’t have to. Instead, share important pages and documents individually and lean on that documentation to work more efficiently with your remote contractor team.
#6 Develop your remote work culture
Company culture is an important thing. Most of the time, it develops organically in shared offices. Still, it is not advisable to leave it on accident with remote teams. To create a sustainable remote work culture, you need to invest in setting a foundation of trust and psychological safety, be explicit about your work policy, establish regular rituals, etc.
#7 Paying international contractors
You must first select an international contractor payment service to pay international contractors. Next, check the rules of contractor payments for the country where your contractor operates. Once you know them, you can easily send the payment. Naturally, the process varies by provider, but the concept is straightforward. The most important thing is to pay your contractors on time and in total, so you can establish a good relationship.
As a general rule of thumb, remote workers pay income tax to their state of residence. In the U.S., they must make estimated tax payments on their own. Still, companies are responsible for claiming them as contractors and filling out the applicable forms.
Onboarding and working with a remote contractor is beneficial and not as complicated as it first seems. However, remember that contractors often have a different attitude to work than your employees. They are less team-oriented and more focused on their projects. Be flexible, and in time you will find the right mix of employees and contractors that works for your business.