Now that we’ve all had a crash course in remote work, the idea to hire freelancers and independent contractors for off-site work is not so outlandish. Contingent labor. Gig workers. Whatever the label, hiring freelance talent is a great solution for companies not yet ready to commit to making full-time hires. When companies hire freelancers, it’s an opportunity to control headcount and related costs, while infusing a team with specialized talent to see critical projects to fruition.
Stay Fiscally Fit
No matter how much things change, one thing remains the same: companies look for every advantage and opportunity to cut costs where they can. When a company chooses to hire freelancers, it’s a sure-fire way to reduce one of the biggest expenses in any business – staffing. A company can save money with freelancers because they don’t have all the added costs on top of salary, such as training and benefits.
Let’s explore how hiring freelancers vs. direct hires can help you stay fiscally fit. With a direct hire, you pay HR to go through applications, do background checks on and conduct interviews with those who seem like a reasonable candidate. Once hired, they may go through significant training. If it’s a full-time position, you will need to ensure their 32-40 hours each week are filled with work to maintain optimal productivity. For full-time employees, there will be benefit costs as well.
When you hire a freelancer, you pay only for the work they do and the time they spent on the project. If you only need their help for 30 hours, you only pay for 30 hours. No associated training and benefit costs here!
The Freelancer Fit Quiz
Not all positions will be the right opportunity to hire freelancers however, many companies overlook areas where they could outsource the work to external resources. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether the time is right to hire freelancers:
Can the work be completed outside the office? Most jobs can be accomplished off-site as long as your company has the technology or can afford to get it.
Will the person have access to confidential or sensitive company information? In certain circumstances, it may be best to hire a traditional employee. However, these days even sensitive accounting and bookkeeping tasks or Human Resources tasks can be outsourced. Proprietary brand and technology intel can as well. Confidential and competitive information and access can be protected by asking the freelancer to complete a legally-binding non-disclosure agreement.
Will you be available to communicate with a freelancer for instructions and updates on tasks whenever necessary? Does this project require inside knowledge that would be hard for a temporary employee to glean and master. In this case, maybe a full-time addition to your team makes more sense.
Is the job temporary or part-time? Both temporary and part-time work can often be outsourced with minimal impact to the business.
Will you save money if you hire freelancers for the job? Because the pandemic has made the concept of ‘talent is everywhere’ more palatable, companies can take advantage of high skilled workers from geographic areas that reflect lower rates and pay scale.
Does the job require special knowledge or deep experience? If special technical or industry knowledge is necessary, you may find a higher quality or seasoned worker in a freelancer with more experience than what your budget could afford in a full-time hire with a comparable resume.
Think outside the box when jobs open or talent gaps emerge at your company. Hire freelancers to move initiatives forward despite challenges like urgent projects, missing specialized expertise, budget constraints, and headcount freezes. The goal is to get the things done expertly in the fastest time at the least cost, and sometimes the best route to achieving that goal is to hire freelance talent. For more insights on the benefits of hiring freelance talent, click here.