Every business seeks to build a talent-focused team. To align with that thought, employers usually focus on hiring full-time employees. However, outsourcing work to freelancers is a prominent strategy that requires a different approach.
The increased reliance on freelancers is due to the fact that their population is growing every year. Currently, 34% of the global workforce consists of freelancers, and it is estimated that there will be 14% more freelancing projects over the next six years.
Like all other aspects of a business, there are pros and cons of hiring freelancers. Thus, before hiring freelancers, you must know both the pitfalls and advantages of working with them.
Benefits of Hiring a Freelancer
The freelance economy is snowballing, and onboarding a freelancer over a full-time employee has many advantages. Some of the significant benefits businesses can leverage are:
Flexibility & expertise
It can be challenging to find one ideal person who possesses all the required skills for an upcoming project. Since each project demands different skills, hiring freelancers is the best option to meet a company’s varying requirements.
One of the biggest benefits of hiring a freelancer is their unique expertise. So, you can fit them into your projects based on their skillset and experience. This is a good way of streamlining projects and ensuring productivity.
The process of hiring and onboarding a full-time employee means investing in training, equipment, and additional employee benefits like healthcare and social security.
On the other hand, freelancers often work remotely and use their personal resources. This saves the overhead cost of office space, employee benefits, and equipment. Therefore, hiring a freelancer over a full-time employee is a cost-efficient option.
By hiring a freelancer, businesses can reduce costs without compromising the quality of work. Moreover, you get payment flexibility as you can pay them hourly, monthly, or on a project basis.
Freelancers focus on building long-term relationships with their clients. This is only possible by providing high-quality work consistently.
Before onboarding a freelancer, you can look at their work portfolio, check reviews from previous clients and interview them to ensure they are the right fit for your project. Since freelancers focus on getting a good review and expanding their portfolio, they strive to maintain industry-standard quality aligned with your requirements.
Access to bigger and specialized talent pools
A professional and experienced freelancer will get the job done with minimum input and guidance from the organization. If your business needs a specific skill set for a project, you can hire a freelancer who has spent years perfecting that craft.
Freelancers proficient on a topic will add value to the project. Hence, businesses can benefit from their expertise without onboarding a full-time employee.
By working on a single idea for a long time, full-time employees often run out of new ideas. On the other hand, freelancers can bring a new perspective to the project. They work with different clients across different domains. Hence, they can effectively brainstorm creative concepts and offer a fresh pair of eyes.
Disadvantages of Hiring Freelancers
With the numerous benefits of a freelancer also comes a fair share of disadvantages. Below are some of the cons of a freelancer that employers must consider before hiring them:
Lack of commitment
Most freelancers manage multiple projects at once to ensure that they make most of their time. However, sometimes, they miss out on evaluating the scope and timing required to invest in a particular task. This is one of the most significant disadvantages of hiring freelancers.
There might also be other issues like unstable internet connection, incompetent systems, etc., that affects the timely delivery of projects. Furthermore, due to the heavy workload and irregular schedule of freelancers, the response time to urgent requests is longer than full-time employees.
Of course, full-time employees don’t guarantee the highest success rate. However, due to regular communication, timely performance reviews, and other perks, full-time employees invest their full dedication to company projects.
Security should be the top priority for new businesses or startups when working with remote freelance employees. As freelancers have access to the company’s systems, data repositories, and process documents, you must ensure they are not privy to sensitive information. Therefore, you must set clear security guidelines and conduct regular checks to ensure the safety of your data.
Lack of supervision
One of the biggest disadvantages of hiring freelancers is the lack of supervision. Unlike full-time employees, freelancers don’t have fixed working hours and their quality of work differs from time to time. Thus it is impossible to supervise them all the time. This can eventually lead to mistakes, especially when deadlines are imminent.
Global payment limitations
One of the common disadvantages of hiring freelancers is regarding the payments. In different countries, the payment rules differ for freelancers. In addition to this, the company has to keep a tab of different payment modes and platforms to pay freelancers.
Tips on Effective Cooperation With Freelance Workers
Here are a few tips for initiating effective cooperation with freelance workers:
- Instead of hiring a new freelancer for every new project, try to build good relationships with those you have already collaborated with. This will ensure that they fit nicely into your workflow while improving responsiveness and work quality.
- As the freelancer is an outsider and doesn’t know the company’s inner workings, you must provide clear guidelines and requirements for every project
- Develop a transparent communication system. For example, try to set up frequent calls to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Use project management tools to ensure that you can track all the tasks seamlessly. These tools help track the teams’ progress, ensuring continuous integration and shared repositories.
- Explore the market requirements of your target country, and consider the time and cultural differences before onboarding a freelancer.
- Bridge the gap between freelancers and in-house employees by engaging them in team-building activities.
- Give frequent feedback to ensure that the freelancer grows while working with you. This helps build a positive relationship with the freelancers and ensures high-quality work.
Hiring a freelancer has its pros and cons that you must understand before outsourcing work to them. One of the benefits of hiring a freelancer is bringing flexibility and expertise together, especially for short-term projects.
Depending on the nature of work, duration and expertise required, you can outsource work to freelancers. In addition, having a balanced mix of in-house professionals and freelancers gives you immense flexibility to get the work done according to your requirements.
With Multiplier, you can forget the stress of growing and managing global teams for your business. With our SaaS-based technology, we ensure to provide a seamless onboarding experience. Whether you plan to hire a freelancer or a full-time employee, our team of experts will help you with onboarding, PEO, and compliance while you can focus on building your business.
1. Are freelancers a good choice for large companies?
Nowadays, most businesses hire freelancers to contribute to their growth, including SMEs and large companies.
2. Is it cheaper to hire freelancers?
Freelancers may charge more than a full-time employee on the payroll for a project. However, the cost of a freelancer is limited for a timeframe, while the employer has to deal with added benefits and incentives for a full-time employee.
3. Which are the best freelancer hiring platforms?
Some of the best freelancer hiring platforms are Fiverr, Upwork, Linkedin, Flexjobs, SimplyHired, and Freelancer.com.