TCG 411: Help Your Freelancers Fit In and Flourish

Help Your Freelancers Fit In and Flourish  

By Donna Farrugia, Executive Director of The Creative Group

More and more in-house creative teams are turning to freelancers to access specialized skills and provide support during busy seasons. In fact, advertising and marketing executives recently surveyed by The Creative Group cited these as the top benefits of using project professionals.

If this is a common occurrence at your firm, are you doing all that you can to maximize these resources?  A little prep work on your part will help freelancers feel welcome and start contributing immediately. Here are five tips for working with creative consultants:

  1. Take them on a quick tour. Help freelancers acclimate by introducing them to everyone on the creative team, including administrative personnel. Also, explain your department’s day-to-day workflow and provide a brief overview of policies and procedures.
  2. Create a welcoming workspace. Make sure the designated work areas are equipped with basic office supplies. Double-check that computers are in working order, with the necessary software and permissions to access relevant data. An hour spent with IT trying to get machines running is an hour freelancers are not performing the work they were brought in for.
  3. Keep them informed. Include consultants in all relevant meetings and emails concerning their projects. Don’t forget to invite them to team-building activities and informal events, like afternoon coffee runs, too.
  4. Promote open communication. Assign a point person to answer any questions that may arise. If that person is busy, be sure to appoint secondary contacts who can address issues when the primary point person is unavailable.
  5. Check in. Conduct an early assessment of your freelancer’s performance to ensure that everything is going as planned. If you’re working with a staffing firm, communicate with your contacts on a regular basis to discuss the status of the project and review the performance of the freelancer. This will help ensure you have the right consultant and that he or she is available for as long as you need.

Donna Farrugia is executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design and marketing professionals with a variety of firms. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group’s award-winning career magazine, can be found at