Freelancers are self-employed individuals who take on contractual projects. Often, from multiple companies. Many years ago, freelancing was considered as just a temporary job. But the rise of digital technology opened the world of freelancing. Let alone when the COVID-19 outbreak struck.
Today, statistics show that 34 percent of the workforce are now freelancing. There has been a 3.7 million increase in numbers since 2014, and they contribute $715 billion to the economy each year. Experts say that by 2027, half of the workforce will turn into independent contractors. Needless to say, freelancing can be the future of the working industry.
Are you considering hiring freelancers for your business? Here are some things you can expect:
There are 1.1 billion freelancers in the world today. If you ever need one, you can easily find them on different platforms such as LinkedIn, UpWork, Fiverr, or Flexjobs. Those are the best websites where you can hire freelance content writers, IT professionals, and even post-merger integration consultants. Just Look for an individual with a strong online presence. Once you find the right one, provide the terms and conditions. If they do not have any problem with the contract, they can start working for you immediately. As simple as that!
As mentioned, freelancers work for themselves, making them ineligible for the company’s benefits. With this, you can save at least 20 to 30 percent despite the hourly rate. Plus, you do not have to worry about maximizing your workplace since most of them work from home. They can attend meetings when required, though.
Only full-time employees are entitled to insurance. Freelancers cannot sue you for discrimination or partial privileges. If you are dissatisfied with their service, you can terminate the contract anytime you wish than in-house employees with probationary periods.
Freelancers often have years of experience. You might end up hiring an expert! Also, as independent contractors, they try their best to retain their clients by providing quality work. They know that freelancing jobs are subject to renewal. So you can count on them to deliver quality jobs. Otherwise, look for a new one who can meet your standard.
Freelancers have different categories, such as full-time, part-time, and contractor. You can hire one based on your company’s needs and the duration of the project.
You are free to hire freelancers outside your country. That’s one good thing about freelancing. It is not limited to a geographical location. This allows you to understand new markets and expand your company with a limited budget and risks.
Considering the differences in time zone, freelancers may not be available on your schedule. And as we have mentioned, most of them handle different projects at a time, which may result in delays. It is best to provide a deadline to ensure that they can deliver outputs on time. You may also consider hiring a team of freelancers as a backup.
Freelancers can help retain your clients but may not understand your goal to develop good relationships with them. In-house employees are the best choice if you wish to build strong client relationships as they can leverage your house rules.
Due to flexible working hours, you can have minimal supervision on freelancers. They also might not be able to attend training. If those are something you are keen on, full-time employees are recommended.
Freelancers are there to deliver quality work, but your company’s mission and vision may not be their priority. If you are looking for individuals who can provide higher emotional commitment and engage in their work, you might want to go for in-house employees.
Be prepared when the IRS or the Department of Labors make an audit of your workforce. Ensure that you can provide documents that will classify freelancers from regular employees. Statistics show that companies worldwide had to pay a total of $79 million for wages after determining that the so-called independent contractors were classified as full-time employees.
You cannot expect them to reply to you immediately, particularly if they are in a different country. This can be a problem if there are changes in projects that need immediate application. The workaround is to set expectations regarding the frequency of the updates.
Should You Hire Freelancers Today?
As we keep moving further into the digital era, we can expect freelancing jobs to grow in numbers. You are free to outsource employees, but you should also take into consideration the risks involved.