Even before I started working for Freelancer.com, the world’s largest online freelancing marketplace, as the company’s Asia Regional PR Director, I’ve done my fair share of freelance work and dealt with a number of clients.
I’ve also seen how it works from the other side of the fence: I’ve collaborated with freelancers on different projects and I know how fun or difficult it could get to work with a freelancer.
There’s no dearth of horror stories on freelancers doing a lousy job, but this time I’d like to tackle a more pressing issue: employers who think they can get away with treating their freelancers terribly.
Here’s a piece of advice for employers who hire freelancers: have some humanity and pay your freelancers properly, and on time. Most especially, full-time freelancers.
Freelancers may do it for the love, but as an employer, we need to understand that a freelancer also has to pay his bills. They don’t just magically whip out stuff from nowhere and give it to us – it takes time, talent, and resources to get a particular job done.
From an outsider’s point of view, a freelancer may seem to be delivering such a brainless, menial task, but it takes a true expert to comprehend that you need pure skill to make something look so elegantly executed.
When we cheat our freelancer by paying less than what he deserves, or by delaying the payment for days while piling excuses upon excuses, we show how thankless we are by depriving them for the good job they delivered.
And what do employers get when the good ones are finally out of the game? They will have to deal with those who deliver substandard work.
Employers, if you’re not willing to treat your freelancers well because you don’t believe in respecting other people, then at least do it because you know it will eventually be bad for your business too.
And if that doesn’t convince you to change, then be prepared to deal with sucky results from the not-so-good ones next time.
I believe it takes a certain skills set to become a business-savvy entrepreneur – and a lot of freelancers out there barely survive just because they do not possess the talent necessary to grow their business (or assert themselves.)
This lack of knowledge subjects them to abuse from employers – mistreatment which a poor freelancer will likely ignore, hoping that the amount of abuse is inversely proportional to the rewards they will get in the end (whether it be monetary or network-wise.)
Whenever I talk to a newbie freelancer (or even a professional freelancer at that), I always encourage them to ask their employer to register on Freelancer.com and get hired by their employer through our platform.
And that’s not just because I work for the company – it’s because, truth be told, Freelancer.com has a number of features that make sure freelancers will get paid for the work they do.
With Freelancer.com’s Milestone Payments feature, a freelancer can ask an employer to deposit the money to an escrow-like system before the freelancer works on a particular project. The beauty of this feature is that an employer can’t withdraw the money he deposited unless the freelancer releases the money back to the employer. And should the freelancer and employer end up vilely disagreeing on some details of a project they’re working on, they can always elect to have Freelancer.com’s Disputes Resolution team to resolve the issue.
If you’re a freelancer reading this, why don’t you put that Hire Me button on your website now? Unless of course, you want to suffer through the same hell you’ve experienced charging your employer once the project is done.