Top Six Benefits of Hiring Freelancers
Technology has disrupted the way businesses operate as well as how people work. It has created opportunities that were not possible many years back. From the way recruitment system has changed, to the evolution of certain business processes, we seem to have reached a high note, all in all!
Background inspections (check it out here) during hiring, extensive onboarding methods, and employee engagement, among all others have improved in leaps and bounds. One of these changes is the rise of freelancers and the reliance of small businesses on freelancers instead of having full-time employees.
In fact, a study by The Plato Group indicated that 33% of Americans-around 40 million people-were freelancers, and they had projected this number to increase to 50% of all Americans by 2020. Hiring freelancers has become quite common due to the benefits they bring. I hire freelancers from time to time, and here are some of the benefits I have seen.
The gig economy eliminates some of the costs that come with having full-time employees. This means more money. Some of the overheads that I have saved on while working with freelancers include:
- There is no need to create a workspace because freelancers telecommute or work remotely.
- Training costs. Most new full-time employees need some training which takes up time and money. On the other hand, freelancers come with all the skills I want, and I do not have to train them.
- No Benefits. I have to cater to benefits like retirement, healthcare, sick leave when hiring permanent employees. Freelancers do not need these benefits, and this saves me money.
All of these factors definitely have an impact on the costs of the company in some or the other way. Taking sick leave as an example, many states have the criteria of providing sick leave to all employees (paid or unpaid). You can click here to see if your state offers paid sick leave. However, this is not the case for freelancers. As a freelancer, they are not given a set number of sick days per year, unlike traditional employees. There are no project managers to communicate with their clients, nor are there any coworkers to pick up the slack. As a result, hiring freelancers rather than full-time employees is always advantageous for employers.
Although I might have to pay a higher hourly rate for a freelancer, this is always cheaper than having a full-time employee because I do not have to pay for any benefits. Also, freelance sites have many skilled freelancers who might be willing to take a lower rate in exchange for building their portfolio. This saves me money.
Having a full-time employee means that I have to give them a set number of hours to work per day or week. I realized that sometimes I pay for more hours than I need, and over time can be abused by employees to make me pay them more. This eats into the productivity of the company and reduces my bottom line.
Hiring freelancers is easier since I will always have the right person for the job, irrespective of the size of the project. I also do not have to set hours for them. All I have to do is set a deadline. Also, freelancers can work at any time, including weekends or during after office hours, without billing me for overtime.
Freelancers are also a great choice when I need some small temporary tasks done, and I do not want the hassle of bringing in a new person. Plus, I can hire them on flexible terms, for instance, on a set rate for the project, on an hourly or daily rate.
Most employees have one skill that they are good at, whereas I may have some tasks that require a different skill set. From my experience, hiring freelancers helps me get professionals for complex tasks that are outside the scope of my employees. For instance, I could get a very skilled website designer to manage my site, an SEO guru to improve my SEO strategy, and a virtual accountant to handle all my financial needs.
When I hire an employee, I sometimes have to train them, which involves spending a lot of money. However, I have no control over when the employee decides to leave, and I have to begin the process again. The easier alternative is hiring a freelancer because I can choose from a pool of freelancers, and if I am not satisfied with a freelancer, we can peacefully part ways.
Freelancers rely a lot on networks to get jobs. A business can use these connections to get referrals for other tasks they need done. There was one time I had hired a web designer to create my company website. She did a stellar job.
After the job was done, I needed an SEO expert. I asked her if she had any recommendations, and I got a good referral for a freelancer from her, and the referral also did an awesome job. This showed me that I do not need to hire a company to get some projects off the ground.
If you are still convinced that the only way to get productive employees is to have full-time or part-time employees, I hope the points discussed above have convinced you otherwise.