Every entrepreneur needs help to get work done. But sometimes, hiring a full-time professional is a financial decision that just doesn’t make sense. In many situations, hiring a freelancer is a better decision. If you’re on the rocks about whether you should hire a freelancer or a full-time employee, you have to consider the benefits of hiring independent freelancers.
Freelancers take on non-permanent projects, and they work for as many clients as they can handle. These talented professionals come in handy especially for companies that have one-off tasks or projects that need to be done quickly.
It takes a lot of effort to keep a business moving, and there are only so many tasks you can accomplish in a day. If you want to maximize your time, hiring an independent freelancer is the way to go.
What Are Independent Freelancers?
Independent freelancers are professionals that work for themselves instead of a company. While they take on contract work for specific companies and organizations, they are still considered self-employed. This working setup allows them to work in or out of the office.
In recent years, more professionals have joined the ranks of freelancers and even the best talent is moving toward this work setup because it’s the best way they can achieve a better work-life balance, easy access to work, and a more flexible lifestyle.
The benefits of hiring independent freelancers are far-reaching. These professionals can take on jobs that traditional employees cannot handle. Freelancers set their work hours, keep track of where they spend their time, bill different clients, and pay their taxes.
The Boom in Freelance Work
The gig economy has changed the way we do business and perform work. With many people now able to engage in remote work, the terms workplace and work have taken on a whole new meaning.
The rise in freelance work has benefitted both workers and employers. Companies are able to lower costs by hiring independent contractors and gain greater human resource (HR) flexibility. Workers are able to experience gains in employment opportunities, augment their incomes, and gain flexibility in both time and location requirements in performing their work.
More than one in three US workers are now active in the gig economy. And the percentage of workers involved in the gig economy is expected to grow in the coming years.
Freelance vs. Full-Time
There are many differences between freelance and full-time workers. Freelancers still make a living despite not working in a traditional office. These people have full control over their careers, and because they manage their own time, they must have a high level of self-discipline and focus. Freelancers also work from any place they like, and they don’t have fixed work hours.
On the other hand, full-time workers usually work a 9 to 5 job. These professionals enjoy many benefits such as health insurance, retirement, and financial stability which are often not provided to part-time workers or freelancers. Despite all these benefits, these professionals are expected to work a specific number of hours and even commute to and from work. This may not seem like a big deal but spending 20 minutes extra on the road has the same dissatisfaction level as suffering from a 19 percent pay cut.
Whether you should hire one of the two or both will largely depend on the needs of your business.
Signs That You Should Hire a Freelancer
With 9.3 million job openings in the US, many companies are turning to freelance workers instead of hiring full-time professionals. This decision makes sense because the benefits of hiring independent freelancers for your business will grant you HR flexibility and reduced costs.
But do you need a freelancer? There are many situations that call for help from a freelancer.
You need to finish a short term project
Did you land a major project that needs an extra set of hands? You may need someone who is an expert in the industry, but when the project ends, you won’t need this professional anymore. Freelancers can take on this position for a few days or weeks without any long-term commitment.
You need help with orders
Enticing freelancers to join your team is a great solution if you cannot keep up with the demand for orders. For instance, if your website orders are piling up because of a weekend sale, you may need someone to do inventory tasks for you, but that person won’t be needed after the sale is over. Hiring a freelancer will save you from the hassle of having to hire and fire someone.
You need someone with specific skills
It’s hard to find a full-time worker that offers very specialized skill sets. For example, if you need someone to set up your YouTube ads, a freelancer who does that type of work will spare you from the hassle of hunting for well-rounded employees that may excel at making many types of ads. You will also find that there is a larger pool of freelancers around the world than full-time workers in your area who want to apply for your job post.
You don’t have the capital
If you are working on a tight budget or your credit line has already reached its limit, it may not be a smart decision to hire a full-time employee. Freelancers will allow you to build your dream team and expand your business while saving money. Although there are freelancers that charge high rates, the majority don’t. However, if you want to get a freelance professional because your budget is low, be upfront about it.
You are stuck
Hitting the wall when it comes to creativity and marketing can have a huge negative impact on your business. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lost your marketing team leader or you don’t have one in the first place, if you’re no longer creating fantastic content and amazing ideas that will keep your sales flowing, you need to hire a freelancer. When you bring on a talented freelancer, you can add the right amount of energy and freshness your company needs to get your creative groove back.
Benefits of Hiring Independent Freelancers
With the increasing availability of platforms that accommodate freelancers, it should come as no surprise that the use of freelancers is on the rise. For instance, in 2017, only 34 percent of the US workforce were freelancers. In 2020, that number grew to 59 percent. Here are the different benefits of hiring independent freelancers.
You can get help only when needed
Unlike large businesses, small to medium-sized brands have a more drastic fluctuation between profitable and non-profitable periods. This shift makes hiring full-time workers hard because you never know whether or not you have the funds to pay employees consistently. By working with freelancers, small businesses can enjoy the benefit of having help during their busy times, and then not worry about paying freelancers when business is slow.
You can enjoy specialized skills without a large commitment
Some of your projects may need a professional with an extremely specialized skill set, and your current workers may not have this expertise. If you need someone to complete a task that’s not a normal part of your routine, hiring a freelance worker to handle the project may be the best decision.
You will save money
One of the biggest benefits of hiring independent freelancers is that it is more affordable compared to hiring full-time employees. Most of the time, the job that needs to be finished is just a one-time task that can be done in a few days. Not only that but when you hire a freelancer, there is no need to worry about added expenses tied to traditional employees such as insurance and medical benefits. These benefits add up. Companies spend $11.55 per hour on employee benefits. When you save more money, you can hire more freelancers or invest funds back into your brand.
You have greater access to talent
Freelancers offer specialized knowledge, with many individuals devoting months or years just to perfect their craft. Location is also not an issue since it’s possible to hire a freelancer from Asia to take care of a project in Europe. Therefore, it will be easier to fill roles. You don’t need to limit your pool of talent to your local area.
The large pool of freelancers will allow you to scale your brand in ways you never thought were possible. Tapping into global markets with the help of local freelancers will make exploring business opportunities, launching products, or setting up advertisements possible in just a matter of days.
You will save time
When you hire full-time employees, it takes three months for them to be fully assimilated into your team. This doesn’t even include the time it will take for them to feel passionate and motivated about their job. When you hire a freelancer, you can seek out people that are already passionate about your industry. Therefore, the integration will be faster and more hassle-free. Organizations that have a hybrid team of freelancers and full-time employees can also do wonders to accelerate new ideas and innovation.
You will become more competitive
If you want to stay ahead of your competition, you need to constantly think of new ways to stand out. You also need to know exactly how to execute your ideas. A lot of the time, successful companies are not the ones with the best idea. Instead, they are the brands that execute their ideas most effectively. If you just rely on your full-time employees or yourself, your speed of innovation may be slow.
The world is moving at a fast pace, and more companies are now gravitating towards hiring freelancers. The benefits of hiring independent freelancers prove that this is the ultimate work setup for brands who want to reach their full potential despite their limited resources.