As a freelance hiring manager, it’s your responsibility to give your creative team critical feedback and provide guidance, but in the creative sphere where everything is subjective, it can be difficult to do so without confusing, overwhelming, or alienating your freelancers. Through our extensive experience in creative recruitment, the team at 24 Seven understands how important it is that your freelancers understand exactly what you mean when you critique their work, so we’ve compiled our 4 best tips for improving your feedback and optimizing effectiveness when guiding creative staff.
When discussing potential critiques with the freelancer you’re working with always repeat the context in which the finished work will appear, its intended audience, and purpose. By restating these expectations, any criticism you provide can refer back to this context. This helps creative staff understand that you are not dismissing or rejecting their work period, you are simply evaluating how effective it is in the context of this project.
When you give feedback to a creative freelancer, be specific. Try to point out precisely what needs to change, as well as what’s working. If it is at all difficult to articulate what you mean, bring in examples of work that you think accomplish what you’re looking for, and use them to illustrate your point. In some cases, your freelancer may know exactly what you’re trying to say, and teach you a new term that will be useful in the future. Clear communication is an increasingly important soft-skill.
Be Responsive and Respectful
Creative freelancers are part of your team and deserve the same time and respect as a full-time employee. When you provide criticism, avoid language that could be hurtful, overly dismissive, or vague. This kind of criticism is completely unproductive and leaves freelancers feeling not only misunderstood, but also unsure of what changes to implement. Even if a complete overhaul of the creative work is necessary, be sure to provide guidance going forward, and offer your time for future check-ins.
Set Clear Expectations
Setting clear expectations and guidelines at the very beginning of a project streamlines this process and makes it much easier for your creative freelancers to meet your needs. Making these expectations, or the notes from your last critique, into a rubric the freelancer can refer back to is highly recommended. Make sure that you offer suggestions and reiterate what you’re looking for in the final product, rather than just repeating what you don’t like. Goal oriented criticism keeps your team focused and motivated to finish the project on time.
Work with Freelance Recruitment Experts
Another surefire way to establish a constructive relationship with creative staff is to start with a team that matches your company’s goals and sensibility from the start. 24 Seven vets the best freelance talent for you, before sending our recommendations your way. Not only that, but we help prepare freelancers for each assignment, and give them access to an extensive database of resources. To find talent or to find work, join the 24 Seven network today!