No matter what scale of business you’re running, you have probably thought at some point about hiring freelancers instead of full-time employees. Maybe it was a rough year of sales or too many issues with certain employees that made you think about it.
The idea of having freelancers to work for you sounds great but is it actually practical? We’ll be discussing some of the important pros and cons of hiring a freelancer over a full-time employee and if you should hire them for your business.
What's wrong with Full-time Employees?
It's a fact that almost any business owner will feel more comfortable working with the employees that have been with them since the start. There is a sort of trust that builds within a business and its employees and it may feel wrong to go the other route and hire a freelancer. But why do businesses that operate entirely off freelancers exist? Full-time employees are great but here are a few reasons why businesses choose freelancers over them:
- Employees are expensive
- Local availability of skills
- Employees require some management
- Lack of specialization
Having employees means paying them even when there’s no work to be done. That’s just how it works. Freelancers can be hired and paid for on a per-task basis.
Depending on the scenario, yes you will be saving more money by recruiting freelancers instead of full-time employees. Access to a global pool of skills and specialized people can only be good for your business. Hiring a full-time employee also puts you in a position to be accountable for their actions. Aspects like employee rights, insurance, and other related policies have to be considered.
If your business happens to be in a small city, you’re in short luck to find the people with the required skills for your business. Even if you do happen to find people who are skilled enough they might expect higher pays and bonuses since they’re aware of the lack of qualified people in the area.
In scenarios like this hiring a freelancer might be ideal since you get the skills required to get those tasks done without committing to paying an employee year long.
The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Freelancer
Since it's obviously easy for any business to find a freelancer faster than an employee, why don't most businesses do this? One of the reasons is that businesses trust employees more than a freelancer, especially with critical tasks.
An employee is someone who's been with the company for a considerable amount of time. They have an understanding of the company that's probably better than that of the freelancer. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't hire a freelancer.
Here's a list of the pros and cons of hiring a freelancer for your business:
Pros of Hiring a Freelancer:
You only pay per task
Let’s be honest, freelancers are not cheap. But if your business demands some skills that none of your employees have, you shouldn’t have to hire another employee just for the sake of filling the gap.
Going over the entire hiring process all over again can be time-consuming and more expensive. Hiring a freelancer means less effort and you get individuals with the skill set you require. You only have to pay them for the tasks they complete. This could help you save money and the hassle of hiring new employees.
Access to skills from all over the world
Let’s assume your business is located in some remote location. Getting all of your employees physically on-site may not be practical. You may already have a few employees but your work demands more and this starts to slow you down over time.
It’s a common problem for startups and enterprises based in remote areas. Getting a freelancer allows them to work remotely and contribute their skills to your task. You can hire talent from all over the world as long as you can shake on a price.
It’s a short term partnership
Unlike traditional employees, hiring a freelancer is a short-term deal. You hire them, they work for you and you pay them. There are no long-term commitments or policies to work out.
You can hire the same freelancer over and over again whenever you need their skills and terminate their services when you don’t. This kind of flexibility isn’t possible when you're dealing with full-time employees.
They may not be reliable
While hiring a freelancer you should inspect their experience and ratings as this determines how good of a freelancer they truly are. Since they aren’t liable for much commitment, there’s always a possibility that a freelancer may abandon your project. This means you won’t have to pay them but it will affect your project, especially if it’s an important one.
Something to keep in mind while hiring freelancers is to ask as many questions as you want, to help clarify your understanding of the freelancer.
Lack of understanding
As far as the freelancer is concerned, the only important information is what you have provided for him to work with. They are unaware of the core beliefs and ideas of a business and this may affect their work. It’s mostly not an issue for most businesses but it’s something worth considering before you hire a freelancer.
An employee who’s been working at the same company for years has an overview of what it's trying to accomplish. They have been briefed and have also undergone some form of training. A freelancer is only aware of the information you’ve given them and the results of their work may not be suitable for the business.
Any decision that might have an impact on your business should be done carefully. Whether you should hire a freelancer or not, depending on the circumstances that your business faces.
If you just need some expertise for one or a few projects, hiring a freelancer should be ideal and get the job done. Instead, if you’re looking for individuals for the long run and are ready to account for their payments, hiring some reliable, full-time employees might be much more suited.
Regardless of your choice, it's best to think twice before taking advantage of the world of freelancers for your business.
Why do companies prefer freelancers?
Many companies prefer freelancers as they have more extensive exposure. Also companies prefer freelance employees for short duration projects.
Which skill is best for freelancing?
Social Media Management (SMM), Web and Mobile Development, Data Entry, Web Designing, Accounting, and Graphics Designing are some of the best freelancing skills.
Is it better to hire a freelancer or a full-time employee?
If you are a startup and are on a tight budget hiring a freelancer is the way to go.