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Ask the L&D Staffing and Workforce Services Experts: How do you hire and train freelance employees?

At AllenComm, we’re now offering staffing and workforce services to help your organization scale your learning and development team with top talent. In the article below, you’ll find best practices for onboarding new hires as shared by the instructional design experts at AllenComm.

Are you scaling up a team of professionals? Do you use freelancers or contractors to extend the reach of your team? If so, you’ll want to read on to learn more about best practices for onboarding new temporary employees.

When hiring temporary staff, the temptation might be to put them through the same onboarding process as the rest of your team. However, that would be inefficient and not the best use of resources – either time or budget. Instead, the training method for freelance professional staff should be streamlined. It should be flexible and adaptable, based on role, need, and use. The goal is to prepare your temporary employees to perform, without wasting time covering information they’ll potentially never use.

So, how do you know what they need to know? The following best practices for onboarding temporary employees are useful in whatever industry you’re hiring professionals to fill.

  • Use training time to set clear expectations. Training for freelancers should communicate information about things such as organizational quality standards, how to communicate with the team and who their point of contact should be, and other requirements and expectations when working with internal teams and clients, if that’s part of their role.
  • Reduce overall seat time. Conduct training for contractors in shorter bursts, embedded in their daily workflow. Make use of bite-sized training stages by prioritizing the most critical knowledge and skills required on the basis of filling immediate assignments, or a segment of a project. Especially if freelancers and contractors are working on short-term projects, training should be adjusted to fit in with the project timeline. It also isn’t necessary in all cases to provide a big-picture overview of the project work.
  • Train for specific tasks. You’ve recruited freelance professionals to supply specific skills and capabilities. Your goal is to either augment your team with complementary skills to increase your team’s capabilities, or similar skills to provide more hands to scale up during the busy times. By identifying your expectations and knowing the desired outcomes and role will help you create more tailored training programs. For example, if you expect them to follow your internal process and use any proprietary tools/software, they should be included in the training program. If they are doing something new and must communicate according to a new process, that should be accounted for, as well.
  • Supplement with on-the-job resources. Certain skills and knowledge sets will require more handson practice. Your training program should include scaffolding from which to build. For less complex or infrequently performed tasks, consider making us of on-demand resources and informal learning experiences. (Those might even include peer shadowing, coaching from managers, and real-time run through of a process during the workday.)

Of course, there is some crossover with how you’ll need to onboard your full-time staff. In situations that require remote work in fluid workplaces, you’ll want to make every opportunity to build collaboration and socialization into your onboarding experience. Often, new hires – both full-time, as well as contractors – are at a disadvantage when they don’t have opportunities to learn more about their teams, daily workflow, cultural norms, and get informal opportunities to bond with coworkers and as questions.

If you’re hiring learning and development (L&D) professionals, these standards do apply as well. However, if you don’t have the resources to conduct training for your temporary hires, or need help to find the right fit, you may consider using a staffing service.

AllenComm is now offering staffing and workforce services to extend L&D teams. You can find more information on how this will work here.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you could use more information on how this solution might work for your organization.