Onboarding freelancers: best practice for successful integration



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Onboarding freelance consultants is a crucial process for ensuring a smooth and efficient integration into a company. Unlike permanent employees, freelance consultants may have temporary assignments, requiring a specific approach to maximise their productivity and contribution. In this article, we explore the onboarding of freelance consultants and share the challenges, but also the essential tips and practices to ensure a successful integration.


Integrating external consultants into transformation projects is a major challenge for international companies.

Onboarding freelance consultants involves facilitating their integration into the company's professional environment, while aligning their skills and objectives with the specific needs of the project. This goes beyond simply handing over equipment and accessing systems; it's about creating a positive experience that enables the consultant to get off to a fast start and integrate smoothly into the team and the business.




Caroline Choubard - IT Director of the OPERA Services programme at Imerys, shares her experience and perspectives on how companies can optimise this integration. She emphasises the importance of adapting to ensure that new arrivals are up and running quickly.


In a context where formalism and documentation can vary, the human factor becomes a key factor in the success of integration.


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Transparent communication from the outset is crucial. Even before the first day, share clear information about expectations, project objectives and internal processes. A detailed induction document can be useful to provide an easy reference.


Make sure the consultant has all the necessary tools and equipment from day one. This includes access to IT systems, specific software and all relevant documentation. An introduction to security protocols and company policies is also important.



optimiser-image-web-article-blog_xuukRAHE-minAdelise Barbier - Facilitator, trainer, professional coach and HR consultant, has been a member of the FocusTribes community for 1 year. As expert on the subjects of Onboarding and Re-Onboarding in companies, she gives us her advice on how to optimise this crucial phase, which is often underestimated in most companies.




"Facilitate the social connection by organising meetings with team members and key players in the project. Organise a team lunch on the first day, and plan essential meetings over the first fortnight - this will make integration much easier! Provide an in-depth presentation of the company culture, values and standards. This helps to create a sense of belonging and encourages positive collaboration. The first few weeks are essential and will set the tone for the assignment. Introducing the company codes (jargon, rituals, etc.) saves the consultant time and avoids offside situations".


Avoid misunderstandings by clearly defining responsibilities and expectations from the outset. Identify the main points of contact to answer questions and resolve any problems.


Propose a personalised program to familiarise the consultant with internal processes, specific workflows and quality standards. This can include individual sessions or online modules, depending on requirements.

"Imagining a group course involving several consultants can enable you to optimise the time spent on integration without impacting on quality," adds Adelise.


Establish a regular feedback system to assess the consultant's progress and identify any areas for improvement. This helps to maintain open communication and adjust expectations as you go along.

"Take advantage of this outside perspective to question the way you operate and your approach to the project. A consultant has had the opportunity, through previous assignments, to discover different playgrounds, it would be a shame not to take advantage of this," concludes Adelise.



Caroline talks about how she's tackling this issue in her current projects, which include integrating consultants from the FocusTribes community.


"Anticipate the arrival of a new external employee as well as that of a new internal employee. (...) Prepare and make sure that on the day they arrive, they have people who can help them, guide them and inform them about their new working environment".


"It's very important in a large team, on a major transformation project, to communicate about the arrival of this person. I'm a great believer in human relations, so this person mustn't just be a name for everyone; he or she must also represent the value that will be brought to the project."



Faced with the complex challenges of managing talent in an international context, the balance between speed of integration and cultural adaptation is proving to be an essential key to optimising the integration of externals.
Imerys' approach demonstrates the importance of anticipation, transparent communication and creating an environment where everyone involved, whether internal or external, can add value quickly.
By drawing on these practices, any business can create an environment conducive to the success of their transformation initiatives, shaping a smooth and effective integration of external talent.

Effective onboarding of freelance consultants is an investment that pays dividends in terms of productivity, satisfaction and quality of results. By adopting a proactive approach and implementing the above advice, companies can ensure a successful integration that benefits all parties involved.


Would you like the FocusTribes teams to help you find the best talent ?


Book a meeting


To find out more:

- How to get your teams involved in a SAP implementation project ?

- Boost commitment and efficiency through participative management

- How to select the right people to carry out transformation projects?