By Kate Bregovic
Over 50% of the workforce will consist of freelancers by 2027, according to Forbes. However, this does not mean that including remote workers in your team is the best decision for every business. Whilst this strategy has many advantages it also has quite a few drawbacks, so you need to consider both in order to make a choice that will benefit your business.
Hiring Freelancers: Pros and Cons
Pros of hiring freelancers
The main advantages of working with freelancers are reduced costs and increased flexibility. By not having these professionals on your company payroll you get to save on taxes and some other costs as well. At the same time as you actually use their services, you still get to benefit from their work.
With the abundance of freelance marketplaces today it is quite easy to find any kind of professional online. Therefore, you can hire highly qualified experts from abroad to boost your team and increase the productivity of your business.
Another important advantage is that you can create teams on a per-project basis, making for maximum cost-efficiency within your company. And you can be confident in the quality of the work your freelance staff provide as competition amongst freelancers is fierce and you can therefore be highly selective, choosing only those who consistently provide top-quality work.
Cons of hiring freelancers
Working with freelancers can help you to save money, but if you fail to manage your remote team efficiently it can end up costing you a lot instead. James Cunningham, who works with multiple freelance writers at Bid4Papers notes: “When working with freelancers, you must have a manager capable of corralling all that talent and coordinating to ensure a smooth workflow. And that manager has to understand the jobs the freelancers do.”
This is an important reminder of the importance of professional management to any remote team. To be efficient, managers need to have the skills and tools necessary to co-ordinate disparate teams. They also need to have some knowledge of the freelancers’ duties so that they can evaluate situations and break down projects into manageable assignments. Finding such managers can be quite a challenge, and it will be an extra cost to consider.
Aside from management challenges, you also need to understand that building a company culture is very difficult with freelance workers. You will not be able to provide conventional supervision, thus increasing the risks of broken deadlines and other similar issues.
Finally, managing freelance workers will require an upgrade of your business software. You’ll need to use specialized solutions which might be quite expensive, depending upon your needs.
What About Hiring a Full-Time Team?
First of all, you need to understand that full-time workers don’t have to be located at a fixed office. They can just as easily work from home and, in fact, you can hire freelancers who will effectively become your full-time team members. They can be just as reliable and loyal as those whom you see in the break room every day. Many of them seek stability and will want to stick with an employer who can offer a good position and opportunities for growth (Entrepreneur).
What differentiates a freelancer from a full-time employee is their legal status within your company. The more people you have on the payroll, the higher are your taxes and overall costs, including hiring costs. Therefore your budget is an important factor to consider when you decide who and how to hire.
If you run a start-up or are currently ‘testing the water’ with innovative projects, hiring freelancers seems like the best course of action. However, if you are interested in building a strong and loyal team as well as capitalizing on good company culture, full-time workers and an office for them are usually the best choice.
Do remember that office-related expenses are an essential part of building a full-time workforce. Even if that workforce is remote, you will need to invest in meet-ups and various group activities in order to encourage team bonding.
Consistency is another important factor to consider when deciding between hiring freelancers or full-time employees. If your workload is consistent and/or growing, a full-time team may be necessary for providing a steady output of products/services. However, if your business fluctuates, you will be able to avoid large costs by keeping a small core team of ‘full-timers’ and hiring freelancers as necessary. To maintain consistent quality you should endeavor to enter into renewable contracts with specific freelancers, so they become semi-full-time team members.
Kate Bregovic has been producing top-quality content for years. Kate understands the need for organization and efficiency of applying project management practices to different areas of life and business.