Businesses are leading the evolution of the work market globally by investing in freelancers. As more and more organizations realize the benefits of working with freelancers over traditional models, the gradual shift is turning into a landslide. Moreover, millennials’ affinity towards freelancing is growing steadily as it gives them the freedom to work on their schedule. While it allows freelancers to work on a variety of projects simultaneously, businesses are more than willing to harness this cost-effective talent pool.
These factors gave rise to a concept termed Cloud Teams or Freelance Teams.
A Cloud Team/Freelance Team is a set of freelancers with varied skillsets and expertise that businesses compile based on their project needs. This new-age work culture is derived from the remote work environment that exploded in the last few years. A cloud team designed for a marketing project could comprise content writers, social media experts, graphic designers, and paid marketing specialists. The mix for an application development project would be a product manager, coders from different languages or technologies, UI/UX designers, and testers.
The team formulation is quite similar to hiring an in-house team. The only difference is the terms of recruitment and scope of work.
This guide will give you a clear guide on how to build a cloud team. In a few simple steps, we’ll break down every aspect of managing a freelance team, so that you can bring the benefits of this concept to your business.
Guide to Manage Cloud Teams
Even though most organizations today have embraced remote working, certain fears and doubts associated with freelancing are yet to be dispelled. If you are new to the freelancing world, things might seem to be not in your control. Moreso, when you’re working with a team of freelancers you have hired on a per-hour basis. However, if you orchestrate your process with a well-mapped-out strategy, cloud teams will work to your advantage.
We have made a step-by-step guide to help you better manage a cloud team.
Step 1: Define the processes
Regardless of your project size and business model, you need to clearly define your project goals, the scope of work, expertise and levels required, and the budget. These factors will help you build a perfect team. The next part of this step is to set workflow structures like calendar, delivery funnel, etc. Recording the complete process will be a nice-to-have document in the long run.
Step 2: Hire with care
Hiring the ideal freelancers for any project needs a systematic approach. One critical thing that you need to make a note of is that just hiring the right talent isn’t enough. You should seek trustworthy resources since they’ll be working from remote locations. They should also be willing to play as a team like in-house employees. SignUp Now to hire skilled freelance talent through GigVistas
Step 3: Involved onboarding
Onboarding freelancers isn’t very different from welcoming a staff member. Irrespective of whether you’re hiring for a single project or a long-term commitment, the team needs to be well apprised of your business goals. Sharing proper documentation will help them meet your work standards. For example, an editorial handbook for content developers, or brand guidelines for designers.
Step 4: Be clear on expectations
Before you sign off on the work, the cloud team needs to be very clear on project expectations and the budget. Organizations usually have a contract drawn up to establish the scope of work and remuneration. If you’re hiring them at an hourly rate, it is wise to set work milestones within a project’s hourly allotment.
Many organizations also include the negotiated hourly rate in case of additional workload. This avoids unpleasant conversations at the later stages.
Step 5: Set reasonable timelines
Rushing a cloud team through the project would spell doom. Understand that good work takes time and coordination. As much as the freelancers need to report work on time, you have a similar onus. If the team seeks information from you, it is important to be proactive in offering support. Any lapse on your part can upset the timelines.
Freelancers work on multiple projects simultaneously, and might not take you up on last-minute work requests. Therefore it is important to have a clear calendar setup shared with the team.
Step 6: Use team management tools
The last two years have seen unprecedented strides in terms of team management tools. We have a variety of choices at our disposal to monitor, coordinate and manage a team digitally. Explore tools like Asana, Trello, Monday, and Basecamp to organize your project and ensure that the team is on the same page. Emails play a vital role in keeping track of the workflow, while video conferencing tools will accelerate communication.
Step 7: Mentor the team
Though freelancers work differently from full-time resources, they need regular assessment and feedback. You might take the approach of reviewing the work based on the predetermined milestone. But this could lead to unforeseen issues. Instead, you can set deadlines ahead of time to steer clear of last-minute changes. Engage with the team at regular intervals to understand their challenges and progress.
Step 8: Make them feel valued
When you form a good cloud team, you should try to foster a relationship with them for your future projects. You need to make them feel like a part of the company and its vision. It is important to play the role of a mentor through open communication about work. You can also engage in team-building activities to create camaraderie between the team.
Setting up an ideal team might take time when you’re just starting with cloud teams. However, if you follow these steps and discover more along the line, you can streamline your process and get effective results.
GigVistas makes it fairly easy to find, evaluate and recruit freelancers for any project need. Its advanced AI engine understands your requirements from the information you provide and maps you with the most suitable professional from around the world.