• How to Hire and Manage an International Freelance Team

    With modern communication tools, companies can now collaborate with talented workers from around the globe. Building a team of international freelancers is a flexible, cost-effective way to access specialized workers regardless of their location. However, there are unique considerations business owners must take into account when hiring and managing a successful global team of remote workers. If you’re unsure of how to start assembling your team, the following guide will help you put together a solid plan.

    Take Care of Business Housekeeping Items

    Before building your freelance team, there are two important tasks you’ll need to address (if you haven’t already). The first is making sure your business is properly structured and registered with the state of Illinois. A limited liability company, or LLC, is a good option for most entrepreneurs who are new to business ownership. Your personal assets will be protected should your business ever end up in legal hot water, and you’ll enjoy tax benefits. LLCs are relatively easy to set up since they don’t require a lot of paperwork, so you can research how to start an LLC in Illinois online if you want to file yourself. However, it’s a good idea to work with a formation company to ensure the process is handled correctly.

    You’ll also need to have an employee payment system in place. Since freelancers aren’t full-time employees, you won’t necessarily benefit from using an advanced payroll system like Quickbooks, although this type of program comes in handy for other bookkeeping tasks and may be worth looking into if you have the budget for it. Many entrepreneurs use PayPal to compensate freelancers, since it offers low rates and is available in most countries.

    Define Your Reasons for Building a Global Team

    Global workers offer many advantages, and understanding your motivations for hiring overseas can help when building your team. For example, you can find experts who specialize in skills that are challenging to find locally. Furthermore, your company can gain access to localized knowledge and linguistic skills. Having a diverse team can enhance creativity and bring fresh perspectives to your work. International freelancers can take on remote work tasks such as copywriting, web design, and content marketing.

    Develop Thorough International Hiring Practices

    When you hire remote freelancers, you need strategies to discern their abilities so that you can build an effective team. First, create a job description that attracts the best candidates and market the position on sites that cater to global freelancers. For example, if you’re looking for help with marketing, consider joining forces with an agency that specializes in direct marketing. 

    Once you find applicants, you can interview those who meet your requirements and assess their skills. Finally, make sure to prepare all necessary paperwork, including tax forms, when onboarding your international hires.

    Research Freelance and Remote Management Skills

    Surveys cited on Apollo Technical suggest that remote workers report an increase in happiness while maintaining productivity and minimizing absences. However, working with remote and freelance teams may require additional effort to build engagement and cohesion. Emphasizing the benefits of remote work, such as improved work-life balance and the lack of commute, may encourage your remote team. Also, the SHRM recommends establishing defined boundaries regarding freelance work prevents misunderstandings. For example, many freelancers work on multiple projects, and you should discuss your expectations regarding time commitments with your team. 

    Set Up a Payment System That Works Globally

    A reliable and legal system for handling international payments builds relationships with your team. Creating a formal agreement that outlines the terms of work, payment and ownership can help your company avoid conflicts. Determine when and how to pay your freelancers and endeavor to stick with your plan. Irregular or late payments can damage relationships with remote collaborators. With online payment services, you can avoid many of the complications associated with international money transfers. 

    Learn To Communicate With Overseas Workers

    Strong communication skills can improve any workplace, and teams with many remote freelancers should implement strategies to collaborate, share details and discuss issues. Try to connect each day with your team to discover problems and pass on information. Modern tools like instant messaging services and video conferencing can enable you to easily maintain contact. You can also create a process map using templates, which help your team stay productive and organized by enabling analysis of outcomes and processes.

    If you hire global workers, educating yourself and your team about cultural differences can prevent disruptive miscommunications. As the business operator, you should treat your workers as individuals and model unbiased and professional behavior for the rest of the team.

    Hiring freelancers from around the world can help you build your growing team, gain expertise, and bring diverse perspectives to your company. There are special challenges business operators face when managing a global team, and companies can benefit from tools and resources that facilitate international and remote communication.

    Join the Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce for resources that will help your business thrive in our community.

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