checklist freelancers

Onboarding freelancers optimally and correctly? This checklist will get you started

reading time: 5min | # principals #collaborating with freelancers | September 20, 2021 | Daan De Bock

Companies are increasingly choosing to hire specific expertise on a flexible basis for certain assignments. On the modern work floor, you will find more and more freelancers working closely with permanent employees. Are you also thinking about working with a freelancer? Then invest in a good onboarding. This will increase the involvement of your freelancer, stimulate optimal cooperation and only benefit your projects. The editors of knowledge platform NextConomy wrote a complete checklist to prepare your business to start working with freelancers.

This checklist will get your freelance talent off to a strong start.

Good onboarding = successful take-off

1) Put good and clear agreements on paper

If you are going to work with a freelancer, of course - just as with a permanent employee - there are legal-administrative aspects to consider. Draw up an agreement in which you clearly describe the content of the assignment, the agreed rate and how many days a week the freelancer will work for you, and for what period of time.

GiGHOUSE is one of the players on the Belgian market that mediates supply and demand of freelancers. In this role as an intermediary, they relieve both client and freelancer of the contract part.

Melanie Deblanc of GiGHOUSE: "As soon as client and freelancer register on our platform, they agree to the general terms and conditions. These are, as it were, the 'rules of the game' that each party must abide by if they want to work with a freelancer or client through us. They include general rules around independence. This way you avoid false self-employment.

There is also the project agreement, as an addendum. This contains the project details: what the content of the project is, what fee was agreed upon and how many days per week the freelancer will be engaged."


2) Give your freelancer a "company bath

Once the signatures are on paper, it is important to give your freelancer a good idea of your company and its culture. In other words, discuss the company's core values so that he or she is completely on board with the vision. If necessary, provide him or her with a house guide. Also, tell your freelancer what your mission statement is and who your clients are, what they value ...

In short: investing enough time in a "company bath" ensures that your freelancer is more firmly in the saddle and thus can fully participate in building the vision and mission of your organization.


3) Provide a warm welcome

Has "your freelancer's first day" arrived? Give him or her a welcome brochure that gives an insight into the ins and outs of your company. Melanie Deblanc: "Especially if your company frequently works with freelancers, it's a good idea to create a separate welcome brochure for freelancers. In it, of course, certain information, such as how he or she should request leave, or where and when a sick bill should be submitted ... need not be mentioned."

But it doesn't stop there, of course. There are many more things to increase freelancer engagement:

  • Guide the freelancer through the business premises
  • Introduce him or her to the staff he or she will frequently work with
  • Create a separate list where you keep track of important dates of the freelancers. Be sure to differentiate enough here with what and how you do all this for the permanent employees to avoid the risk of false self-employment.
  • Tip: Does your organization work with freelancers on a larger scale? Then make someone responsible for onboarding these talents. That way you can be sure it's done professionally and consistently.


4) Create a portfolio of your successes

Every company has success stories. And these often provide an excellent guide when a new project is underway. Especially for freelancers who jump on board as outsiders and are not aware of these previous successes. That way, you can quickly and easily reference similar projects that have produced good results.

Tip! Collect all kinds of information about your success projects and compile them into a portfolio: articles, presentations, photos, any videos ... Use all this to quickly familiarize outside talent with past successes.


5) Schedule an intake interview as well as regular feedback calls

When starting out, make time for an intake meeting with your freelancer and discuss a few things:

  • What are the expectations of both parties?
  • How and when do you want your freelancer to keep you informed of his progress?
  • ...

Because good agreements make good friends.

TIP! In addition, already set a number of feedback moments in the agenda. There you discuss expectations and goals. But in addition, you also stop and think about how the freelancer is feeling, how things are going, where he or she might still need support ...

In short, welcome the freelance employee as much as possible as if he were a permanent employee. That way, you involve him or her in the best possible way, which will benefit the course of the assignment and the results. In addition, in this way you also make the freelancer an ambassador. And that is not unimportant, since he or she will also work in/for other companies and can therefore also help build your network.


6) Beware of false self-employment

The big advantage of working with freelancers is the flexibility they offer. Freelancers often go to work one or two days a week for a client, but if necessary they also support full-time projects they jump on the bandwagon with. Always be alert to false self-employment, though, as it is a form of social fraud that is heavily punished.

Sham freelancers are employees who have the status of a self-employed person, although in reality they are performing a professional activity under the authority of an employer. And in this relationship of authority lies the greatest risk, because if there is one, the freelancer must be an employee by law.

There is also the contractual part. Make sure you have everything clearly and correctly written down on paper, as described above. Or partner with GiGHOUSE for a watertight agreement with your freelancer.


Getting started with flexible talent within your company?

GiGHOUSE screens freelancers thoroughly and quickly matches the right freelancer to your assignment. Hereby we take into account the right skills and a cultural fit with your company. Interested in a smooth cooperation?

Get in touch and we'll help you out!


About the author


NextConomy is a new, independent knowledge platform and community in Belgium, for everyone involved in the changing world of (freelance) work and (flexible) organizing.


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