When is Hiring Freelancers A Good Idea?
The global pandemic has changed how companies operate with remote working and contractor workforce becoming the new norm. Research has revealed that in the U.S. alone, there will be 86.5 million freelancers in 2027, making up 50.9% of the total workforce.
From worker flexibility to specialized subject matter expertise, freelancers bring several benefits to the table. Let us look at some of the instances where onboarding a freelancer comes in handy.
1. Your Workload Increases
During peak business seasons, your business may not be able to keep up with deliveries as employees and teams have to put more hours and effort into managing workloads.
In such situations, rather than hiring a full-time employee on your payroll, it’s better to onboard freelancers with specialized skills managing the tasks at hand. It will not only help you cut costs but also makes it easy to manage work efficiently.
2. You Want to Cut Payroll Costs
When you hire full-time employees, you are required to offer them benefits like health insurance, medicare, retirement benefits, paid leave and social security. These expenses can increase your operational cost dramatically, and oftentimes your profit margin can take a hit.
For businesses looking to cut operational expenses, onboarding freelancers is a boon as they need to be paid solely for their services at hourly rates. Moreover, you will also be able to lower your office supply cost and money invested in procuring expensive equipment as most freelancers rely on their own resources to accomplish tasks.
3. You Want to Boost Service Quality
Freelancers rely on their clients to make their ends meet. Which means they need to build good relationships and maintain the best know-how to stay relevant and offer services that delight their clients.
Your full-time employee may not deliver consistent support or quality deliverables. But your freelancer will always deliver high-quality work as their job will be at stake if they fail to offer the best services.
4. You Want to Mitigate Risk
Sometimes, companies accidentally hire the wrong people for the right job. When this happens, many things can be at stake: such as your workflow, brand reputation, operational efficiency, and even your profitability. Such risks can erode your business culture and disrupt processes within your organization. Because freelancers are not full-time employees, managing employers’ risk is significantly reduced.
Suppose you are working with a freelancer and are unhappy with their performance or feel that you have access to better and more knowledgeable resources, you can always terminate them without notice and replace them with competent talents.
5. You Need Specialized Skills
Freelancers are much more experienced and knowledgeable in their profession than full-time employees. Because freelance projects are their primary source of income, they make it a point to hone their skills and stay sharp and focused on the industry that they work in.
Organizations always hire the best freelancer talents for their projects and pay a reasonable price for their services. Therefore it is imperative for freelancers to stay on top of their game to remain competitive and relevant in this booming industry.
6. You Seek Flexibility
If you are a small or medium business or a start-up looking to stay competitive in your industry, you need a skilled workforce who can deliver results fast without compromising the quality of the output all the while saving cost and managing expenses.
Hiring full-time employees means that you have to shell out a lot of money for salary, bonus and benefits - money you may not have access to if you are just starting out in the industry. It always helps to onboard freelancers who can work for you remotely, as it would mean you can save a lot of expenses.
Start-ups and small businesses struggling with a busy work environment can reap excellent benefits onboarding freelancers who can support them when required.
7. You Are Not Ready to Hire Full-time Employees
If your organization demands knowledgeable resources who are adept at managing tasks, it is a good idea to onboard candidates as freelancers and offers them an opportunity to work on your project. If they meet your expectations, you can offer them a permanent role. If not, you can replace them with better talents. This will ensure one of two things:
- You are not wasting time and resources on the wrong candidate, and
- You can mitigate risk by ensuring that you are not investing in someone who is not competent enough to effectively handle the task
8. You Need Faster Turnaround
When you have a big project and enough employees to finish it on time, you can always onboard freelancers to extend support to you. This will help ease the load for your employees and ensure that you meet your deadline without compromising on the quality of the output.
Granted, some freelancers are not efficient at delivering on time as they follow their own schedules, but if you are working with a professional freelancer, you will not only get your deliverables on time but also free up resources in your office to focus on other important tasks.
Onboarding full-time employees Vs. freelancers
When you hire full-time employees, you need to provide benefits like paid leave, benefits and insurance. Also, you will have to pay salaries every month regardless of whether your business is doing well.
Hiring freelancers allows you to save 20-30% cost annually even if you pay them at a higher hourly rate. You do not have to offer benefits or Medicare.
It isn’t easy to terminate full-time employees even if their performance is not up to par. Even if you do terminate an employee, it takes a lot of time and effort to onboard a new employee.
Freelancers are easier to terminate if they are not well-suited to take up the work at hand. This is particularly helpful in states with laws that create exceptions to employment-at-will.
Employers are responsible for offering training and professional licensing requirements for full-time employees.
Freelancers are often highly skilled and experienced in their line of work. They do not require training and often deploy their own tools and equipment to carry out tasks assigned to them.
You need to consider the geographic limits involved while hiring full-time employees as they are required to come to the office. Even if you have access to better resources from across the globe, you may not be able to hire them due to geographic constraints.
You can onboard freelancers from across the globe as they are more than capable of working remotely. Freelancers have flexible working arrangements, and they are capable of working in silo when required. One of the main benefits of this arrangement is that you can save on operating expenses and supplies cost.
The traditional workplace is undergoing massive disruptions and will continue to evolve over the next few years. In this changing business environment, truly competent organizations are the ones that embrace the new models and leverage the resources and talents to achieve success.
Of course, it is not easy to change how your business functions overnight, but if you can crack how you onboard and engage your freelancer taskforce, you will realize significant benefits than ever before.
Thanks to cloud-based freelancer management platforms like Freelance Central, tracking and managing your freelancers is now easier than ever. Businesses who deploy such tools have a greater chance of staying productive and competent in the industry.