18 Feb 2021

Employers - Our guide to onboarding freelancers remotely 

Our Lead Consultant Lara Fisher - Jones is a specialist within Market Research & Insight recruitment and has a lot of experience supporting businesses of all kinds find short term freelance talent. Here she shares her tips on how to onboard freelancers remotely. 


With remote working set to be the norm for the foreseeable future, we thought it would be useful to share our experience of placing freelancers into a wide variety of organisations since the pandemic began.  Plenty has been written about onboarding permanent employees, but here we’re focusing on freelancers/contractors in particular. 


Briefing is everything. Whilst your freelancer may only be with you for a few weeks or months, time spent thoroughly briefing them (ideally first thing on their first day) is vital to ensure all expectations are met on either side.   Tell them everything they need to know – and to who to ask in the future if they have further questions.   If it's relevant to share any background information on the project before their first day - that's also very helpful.


Make sure they have the necessary equipment and access to your networks.  Most freelancers will have their own laptop but if they need to work with yours please ensure it is with them before their first day - the same applies to network access.  (We have supported many teams with organising laptop delivery over the last few months!)  


Communication. Sometimes it's not possible to include freelancers in all channels of company information. If that is the case please make sure they have everything they need to complete the job successfully and efficiently.  


Payment. If your freelancer needs to be set up on your approved supplier list or there is other admin involved please ask them to do this on their first day - just to avoid any potential delays in payment.  Fyi, Stopgap offers a payroll service and also accepts invoices from Limited Company candidates (for small companies under IR35 definition).

Timings. Whilst this isn’t strictly about onboarding, it’s important.  Please let them know as soon as possible if things change with regards to timings i.e. if you need them shorter or longer than originally envisaged.  Just so the freelancer can plan with regards to other potential opportunities.  



We have a huge amount of experience of working with freelancers and helping businesses of all kinds with interim freelance support, from developers to creatives and agency talent. Find out more about our services, including freelance appointments. 

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