Are you thinking about hiring a freelancer but are not sure whether it’s a good idea? Read this article to get the low down on the pros and cons.
Hiring freelancers can be much more cost effective than hiring full time staff, because freelancers work from home and use their own equipment, whichkeeps the cost down. You can expect to save 20 – 30% annually with a freelancer when you factor in not having to pay for benefits, like health insurance and pensions.
The Best for the Job
When you hire an employee, you’re likely to be looking for someone with a broad range of skills, whereas if you hire a freelancer for a very specific project and then you can get someone who is highly skilled in that specific area. They also don’t require constant supervision and may have professional tools specifically designed for the project.
If you want to create a minimum viable product or try a new project then hiring freelancers is much lower risk because you don’t have any contractual commitments outside of the delivery of the project itself and don’t have to provide any employer benefits.
Freelancers aren’t involved in the day to day running of the company, so can provide a fresh perspective, free of any preconceived ideas that permanent employees may have, that could help the finished product to be much more effective and engaging.
With freelancers you have more flexibility as you can hire them just when you need them. This means that you can balance your costs based on the workload rather than having to pay a fixed salary unnecessarily.
When hiring freelancers there’s no geographical limitations, meaning that you have access to a global talent pool so you can find the best person possible for your project.
Increased Employee Productivity
Hiring freelancers can improve your employees’ productivity by working on projects that permanent stuff find hard to squeeze into the working week, helping the employees to handle more manageable workloads.
Terms Are Clearly Laid Out
When you hire freelancers, the contract that you sign clearly lays out all of the terms of the work being completed and if they break any of the terms of the contract, you have the right to fire them immediately. With an employee, the reasons for firing concerning work productivity can be in a grey area. The clarity of the working relationship you get with with freelancers allows everyone to put more time into the work itself.
Freelancers often have multiple projects at the same time, so it’s quite possible, unless you give them lots of notice, that they’ll be unavailable when you need them. Also, if you’re unlucky enough to find a freelancer who is unethical, there’s always the risk that they might leave mid-project to work on something more lucrative. Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of for freelancers to do the same.
In-house employees are aware of everything that’s going on in the company, which puts them at a massive advantage when building relationships with clients over freelancers who don’t have that access.
Lack of Investment in company
Freelancers will want to deliver the best result possible and will want to make sure you hire them again, but your company’s individual success is not their priority. A full-time employee is likely to feel a higher level of commitment to your organization, and therefore more motivated to add to the bottom line.
If you require confidentiality on the details of a project then it’s much more risky to freelancers than permanent employees. You can insist that they sign a non-disclosure agreement, but you’ll still have to weigh up the pros and cons.
You have less control over a freelancer than an in-house employee, because you can’t constantly supervise their work and enforce when, where and how long they work. However, if you plan well, establish milestones, and set clear deadlines, you’ll be much less likely to experience last minute disasters.
Training and Supervision
How much supervision and training does the project require? If there is a long lead time for them to get up and running, it might make more sense to invest in a full-time employee. Also, a freelancer might choose to perform the work outside of normal business hours, when you’re not able to monitor their progress.
If there are any other pros and cons you think we’ve missed then please add them to the comments below.