*By Verónica Gil Arroyo
Large companies come to us searching for Hero talent on our platform, as well as for outstanding, original profiles, but then, can they actually make the most of them?
We usually share only one side of the story – the tools, tips for improvement, the success stories – but there is always a B side to it. This is where I’d like to concentrate today: what we’ve learned out of the toughest experiences, those which didn’t turn out entirely well. We’ll go through these similarities and walk with you along a new way of working, which is trend-setting within a context of permanent transformation. As you well know, we can learn a lot from negative experiences.
Let’s start from the very beginning.
The proposal: providing an answer to an actual necessity
We offered a client from the e-learning industry to build up their sales team and to reorganize their sales flow, from the early stage of finding leads to the rating and closing of sales.
The recruiting process
We posted the projects and started with the first stage: profile recruiting. The client joined us to define their needs, and later on, they worked together with a team of expert freelancers in order to select the new members, counting on good references from other clients. We suggested to hire them on a three-month evaluation period.
By the end of the first month, the freelancers wanted to abandon the project due to lack of support and communication problems, something vital when we work with a hybrid team (in house professionals and freelancers).
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What we’ve learned: a leadership role was missing.
I tried to underline this situation: I sent my feedback to the client and we exchanged some emails about how to improve the quantity and quality of business meetings. I joined two of the meetings to point out the improvement areas identified -one with the Area Manager and the other one with the Co-founder. I let them know that it’s not just about hiring a Senior profile – most clients want a 10 in their teams – but if the work is audited by standing idly, the result will end up in failure.
Then I thought to myself: in a soccer team, is number 10 ever alone? He is hired, he signs a millionaire agreement and then, is he abandoned? Do they expect him to get to the top on his own? Even the biggest star cannot make it without a guide, a coach and a team.
Well, the same thing happens when we hire a senior freelancer for a project – it is extremely important to count on someone else’s support, someone to refer to and with a clear vision of corporate goals. That support is vital to feel part of a team and become engaged, and in the end, it’s the key to allow the new professional to fully display their potential, showing their expertise and seniority.
The feedback from this company was they didn’t have the time to provide this guidance for those freelancers – that is why they wanted a senior profile in the first place. It will probably take longer to actually understand that no matter how brilliant or expert a freelancer might be, they still need information and orientation to do their work, the objectives and expectations must be very clear. In fact, the more input they get, the better their performance will be.
If we are really committed to achieving a genuine digital transformation, this has to come in hand with a change in the way we think and act. We have to invest in training the members of our team, support them and take a critical approach to review our processes.
How can we improve the orientation process of a freelancer?
These are some ideas that may contribute to the orientation process of a freelancer:
- Onboarding of the company
- Having a team leader readily available for them.
- Checking the speech, providing examples, success stories, business material
- Giving an open channel for doubts during the first period.
- Setting a first, straight-forward objective.
- Training, role playing, having them participate in some Sales meeting.
- Feedback on improvement areas, focusing on the positive points.
- Being open to new proposals and changes of strategy if the expected results are not met.
- Measurement indicators to make quick, easy decisions along the project.
Do not abandon freelancers, they need you!
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