Embedding freelance independent consultants or FCIC in your regular workforce can seem daunting. Thankfully, it is surprisingly seamless to integrate them in your existing workforce since FCICs, as freelance independent consultants, take responsibility for work delivery and therefore if you take care a just a few aspects, you soon won’t be able to distinguish your regular employees from them.
One of the best aspects for you, is that freelance independent consultants reduce the need for active management. This gives you more time to take care of delivering on plans and strategies and gives the FCIC the flexibility to deliver according to their own expert judgment.
Both sides must keep to agreed arrangements to ensure a successful engagement.
Here’s some of the important tips for you to get your freelance independent consultants up and running quickly:
1. Make sure that all internal processes required by your company are concluded and finalised before you start engaging with FCIC on the assignment whether your engagement is in person or virtually through platforms like One Circle. Don’t make the mistake of rushing through the start of the assignment if this isn’t attended to, for the protection of both parties.
2. Arrange for your selected FCIC to have access to the right company inputs and data needed to deliver on the project. For example, if you are engaging a reward specialist, they must have not just the appropriate brief, but your risk teams must be happy with the level of data access granted to ensure that your data policies are not compromised.
3. Spend the requisite time needed to ensure there is clarity related to the project brief and clear milestones attached to the work delivery. Spending the energy and time on this upfront will avoid wasted time and resources. Engage your freelance independent consultants to ensure they are happy with those terms as well. Remember, they are the ones committing and delivering on the work.
4. Involving the right people internally, in order to ensure your selected freelance independent consultant is given the right support. A successful engagement relies on effective partnerships. As one freelancer put it: “If the links haven’t been created and haven’t been oiled, then I can’t fulfil the task that I’ve been brought in to do. So it’s making sure that the rest of the machine understands what is required of it, as much as the consultants understand what is required of them.”
5. You would need to ensure that the finance or accounts department settles invoices on time or funds the project as soon as the terms are approved: FCICs rely on cash flow just like any other business. Freelance platforms as well only consider the project active once the project is funded and the fees are in trust; any delay to fund the project delays the start date and accordingly can impact your deadlines.
In addition to the above tips related to freelance independent consultants, the general requirement for formal planning and scheduling of when and how to communicate, is crucial.
Set up regular check-ins, to stay on top of things.
Ultimately, the most successful business relationships are the ones in which client and contractor can co-create requirements.
Through regular communication and close collaboration, you can evolve the initial plan from inception through to delivery, adjusting as necessary along the way to tackle unforeseen obstacles or to introduce new ideas that might come to light along the way.
Above all, RELAX.
Your freelance independent consultant has done this before and will guide you along the process if it’s a new one for you.
When you welcome the alternative viewpoints that external specialists can offer you, it can lead to transformational breakthroughs.
As the entrepreneur Malcom Forbes said, it’s “the art of thinking independently, together”.
Browse some of our freelance independent consultants profiles here and see if there’s anyone who looks like they could help you and your team on your projects.
One Circle is a freelancing platform for independent HR consultants.
Where businesses of all sizes can find coaches and HR specialist consultants across the entire HR spectrum with multiple areas of expertise. If you are a business and are looking to get HR projects done, virtually, consider signing up!