It is becoming increasingly common to work with international freelancers. Thanks to the power of online communication tools, using freelancers from countries like Nigeria is very easy. You never need to meet in person and all communication can be done via tools like Skype. It’s also easy for freelancers in Nigeria to find work with international clients.
Platforms like Upwork let Nigerian freelancers connect with clients from different countries with zero hassle. However, while working with international freelancers is the norm, it’s essential to be aware of the obstacles and understand the risks.
Read on for a quick guide to the main points to remember:
Have a Strong Vetting Process
Nigerian freelancers are no different from freelancers from other countries. Some will have the right skills and others won’t. To avoid any issues, it’s important to select the freelancer with the skills you need, someone who fits into your existing team seamlessly. If you make a mistake and hire someone who can’t do the job, it could negatively impact your bottom line and cause no end of other problems further down the line.
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Factor in Time Differences
One of the biggest disadvantages of working with overseas freelancers is the time difference between their country and yours. Nigeria is five hours ahead of Washington DC and eight hours ahead of Los Angeles. If you need to contact your Nigerian freelancer during your normal working hours, it could be a problem.
Communicating via email is the best solution when there is a big time difference, but don’t expect freelancers to respond immediately. Respect the hours they work and set some rules in advance, so you know when they are available for work chats in real-time.
Be Mindful of Cultural Holidays
Note when there are important national holidays like Nigerian Independence Day and religious holidays like Eid-al-Fitr. Most workers won’t be available on these days, so don’t be unreasonable and expect them to respond to emails or send project updates during these times.
Have a Contract in Place
Contracts are there to protect you and the freelancer. A contract sets out important things like how much the freelancer is being paid for their work, how long the job will take, what hours they are expected to work, etc. There are standard boilerplate contacts available for download, but if you want to avoid any legal difficulties, it is wise to have a bespoke freelancer contract drawn up by a lawyer that is enforceable according to laws in Nigeria as well as the law in your home country.
Have a Payment System in Place
Set up a payment process that works for both you and the freelancer. Use an international money transfer platform such as the Ria Money Transfer app to send money to Nigeria. This is a lot easier and cheaper than asking your bank to transfer money.
Finally, keep the lines of communication between you and the freelancer open at all times. Once the job is complete, leave them feedback and offer some constructive criticism. They will appreciate the gesture.
Author Bio: Tricia Lee is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs, a Digital Marketing Agency. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, dance, and read non-fiction.