5. Inductions and 'Out-Ductions'
What happens at the beginning of a job and what should happen after the work is done?
Organisations are always changing and evolving and bringing freelancers in can be part of that evolution. Accordingly, freelancers must be welcomed in at the start of work with their comfort and wellbeing in mind.
March for the Arts have developed a simple induction template that can be found here. This is simple so that organisations can develop their own to suit their freelancers, especially as familiarity can sometimes reduce the work that needs to go into an induction.
We have also developed a checklist for freelancers to double check they have all the initial information, particularly useful when a full induction isn’t appropriate.
"Organisations are organisms that should be constantly adapting - freelancers are part of that."
Empower freelancers with knowledge and information about who they are working for and their processes.
Refresh information to make sure changes are clear
Build in feedback and create clear start, middle and end points.
Provide appropriate levels of digestible information
Support and celebrate each other’s work with open communications about publicity.
5.1 An organisation should ensure that a freelancer knows all the basic information about where they are working and who they are working for, particularly if those basics have changed.
If an organisation works again with a familiar freelancer, they should consider what has changed since their last job and ensure that this new information is passed on. Often this will be prompted by providing a reminder of all the ‘given information’ and basics or repeating their induction.
5.2 Consider accessibility at the induction stage.
An induction process is a good time to clarify if there are any reasonable adjustments that organisations can make to accommodate the freelancer's individual needs.
Any induction checklists should include a question to confirm if any access needs have been identified and accommodated (and by whom). See more in our accessibility section.
5.3 Communicate ethos and brand at the start of work - freelancers can then take responsibility for representing an organisation while working for them.
5.4 Where an organisation has various staff who might deal with freelancers under their own departments, they should be fully briefed.
All departments should be following the same standards and communicating centrally if necessary so freelancers aren’t cut off or treated differently from department to department. It may be a good idea to create an induction checklist for staff members who are managing freelancers.
5.5 An organisation should provide a handbook that is of appropriate length for the size of job.
If a job is short term this might be a simple couple of pages including policies and basic information. In other circumstances it may be appropriate to provide a freelancer with a full staff handbook, but this should still be digestible and adapted to freelance working.
5.6 It is best practice to involve another staff member in the induction process in order to provide an alternative contact for a freelancer.
5.7 Information for publicity purposes should be shared on both sides with clarity and support.
If the organisation will require information from a freelancer for publicity purposes this should be requested in good time, with awareness that providing such information takes time and effort. Freelancers will often have information to hand but may also require support to provide specific publicity material e.g. examples of work, images, biography.
An understanding that every job differs is necessary, freelancers cannot be expected to simply know the ‘standard way of doing things’.
5.8 Keep the documentation and information of freelancers appropriately confidential and safe.
Organisations should follow relevant data protection guidelines in terms of their freelance staff.
Gather, use, share and keep information and documentation safely, appropriately and with relevant permission.
Communicate clearly about why paperwork or documentation (such as degree certificates, DBS certificates, passports or National Insurance numbers) is needed.
Treat the information sharing process with respect; allowing freelancers time to provide necessary information and making sure they know how it will be used and stored.
5.9 Organisations should consider how to help advocate for their freelancers during and after work - this works both ways.
Part of being a freelancer involves a lot of self-promotion, organisations can help by promoting the freelancer and their work simultaneously to the promotion of the project or organisation.
Support freelancers in gaining access to relevant material for promotion - e.g. photos that are preapproved for use by freelancers.
5.10 It is good practice to involve regular freelancers in general staff meetings and updates where possible.
During the course of a project, meetings should be transparently costed for in any agreements or contracts. However, outside of work/projects, some freelancers might benefit from being involved and kept up to date. Of course freelancers would need to be paid for this time.
See our section on use of a freelancer’s time for general information about meetings as part of work.
5.11 After the work has finished organisations should provide an opportunity for the freelancer to provide optional feedback.
March for the Arts are collating feedback from freelancers about their experiences working with organisations - please complete the anonymous feedback form here.
Organisations may also provide this link and encourage freelancers to complete the survey, March for the Arts will then pass on anonymous feedback in relation to your organisation after a grace period to ensure anonymity.
5.12 Build in a way to officially finalise the work.
It is good practice to communicate at the end of the project about all of the things mentioned in previous clauses.
Ensure that freelancers have been logged out of accounts; have returned confidential information; returned equipment; and that they understand the future of the project and their work. Make sure they have had an appropriate ‘out-duction’.
5.13 Try to credit or tag all types of work (including recordings or photographs of freelancers and/or their work) indefinitely, so that after work has finished the freelancer still receives credit for their part in a project.
6. E.g. toilet location, fire procedures, points of contact, Safeguarding policies etc. Please see template.
7. An ‘out-duction’ might include a chat, feedback on both sides, a de-brief of any issues, a talk about the future, the re-affirmation of payment plans etc.
Where safeguarding information is lengthy, it can be helpful to provide a condensed version that can be easily checked by freelancers in case of a safeguarding emergency.
Organisations might consider collating a press pack that can be shared by freelancers and will help them easily promote their work in an agreed way.
However an organisation wants to administrate feedback, they should communicate the process clearly from the start of the job.
Provide contact options, where possible depending on the size of organisation.
General press packs could be provided for ongoing use.
Inviting freelancers to meetings in order to keep up to date on a voluntary basis might be appropriate, but organisations must be aware that such invitations also create pressure to attend - commit to a ‘no judgement’ policy if a freelancer can’t attend in their own time, and communicate this clearly.
Very often freelancers will see uncredited pictures of themselves, recordings of themselves or their work, (or of projects they have worked on), used to promote the work of organisations. While this is often technically legal and above board, it fosters better relationships to keep calling back to and including freelancers in shared publicity where possible.