Freelancers rule the world! Seriously, though. Over half of Gen-Z is voluntarily freelancing.
Whether you’re looking to hire a long-time Uber driver as a contractor to your taxi company or you’re a business looking to hire a consultant for something like cost optimization or materials design, employees and freelancers each bring their own benefits to the table. Today, you’ll close this browser window with a better understanding of:
- Why you might hire a freelancer instead of an employee
- What you should expect in doing so
- How to best utilize a freelancer’s services
Freelancers Own Their Benefits And Expenses
Sometimes, when seeking to hire an employee, costs can follow that managers may not readily project, such as training and added benefits, like unpaid time off, or UPTO. These can amount to tens of thousands per year in unforeseen expenses. As you can likely imagine, that really chews into the bottom line when many companies are struggling to keep their head above water with the current global market.
Freelancers, on the other hand, often come to a business with the exact skillset needed to manage a job. There’s no need to train them, just a small amount of time to help familiarize them with your business’ operations and information. You probably won’t hire a freelancer to manage your HR department—though some companies do and do so successfully.
More than likely, you’ll hire a couple of freelancers to manage the whole of HR functions for a small company, or perhaps a small agency of freelancers to manage HR functions for a mid-market or large enterprise. The outcome is a far faster-moving and leaner HR department.
Key Takeaway: Freelancers come in at higher initial costs, but you save money in the long run due to factors like employee training and development, unpaid time off, employee absenteeism, and more.
Freelancers Bring Diverse Experience
In business, one of the scariest things to experience is lacking preparedness. That uncertainty and lack of preparation was a dwelling fear that many businesses were plunged into at the onset of the pandemic. Most businesses were able to survive with a few scars but still rife with success.
Freelancers, especially those who have lived through a black swan event, bring more than just skills to the table. They sell a sense of comfort because they’ve been in the trenches and seen things go wrong. They’ve also probably helped resolve the underlying issues.
Key Takeaway: Freelancers can provide insights, clarity, and other benefits to your business because they are more exposed to business than the typical employee.
Freelancers are Less Engaged in Office Politics
Office politics are the stuff memes are made of. One common example, “The Office,” was the most viewed show on Netflix in 2018. With an aggregated 52 million minutes streamed, compared to 20 million minutes by “Friends,” “The Office” highlights just how relatable office politics can be.
Contextually, they can even be riotously funny. Freelancers, however, generally don’t participate in these sorts of workplace bonding because freelancers commonly work fully-remote, from the comfort of their home office (which you also don’t have to pay for.)
Key Takeaway: Freelancers, by nature, cannot be as deeply involved in office politics as an on-site employee might be.
Freelancers Often Provide Cost-Efficient Services
Freelancers may cost more at a glance, but over the duration, their services and expertise are commonly more valuable, and they come free of hidden costs, like those paid for training (annually, in addition to initial job training.) Employers often budget between $62,000 to $70,000 for an employee who makes $50,000 per year.
Freelancers often specialize in reskilling, learning new adaptations to their skillsets. Reskilling allows self-employed individuals and small businesses to create new opportunities for their future as their modern opportunities float them down the river of life. By tapping into their ability to reskill and to identify patterns, you can often develop a more efficient business, workflow, or organizational structure.
Key Takeaway: Freelancers often create value through their cost-efficiency.
Employees bring a degree of loyalty to the table that you won’t have from freelancers—people who depend on multiple clients and businesses to pay their bills. Those same people, however, provide your business with a sort of stability in their capacity to optimize your business from the inside out. Having two, four, eight, or more other businesses sign their paychecks doesn’t mean they won’t be loyal to your business; however, as many freelancers are. It just means you aren’t totally responsible for their well-being—financial or otherwise.
Andrea Giggs is a freelance business marketing writer that also likes writing about career and freelance advice. She has worked on sites like Upwork and Amit Digital.