Here are the ways that hiring freelancers and independent contractors can help your business.
Here's what you need to know:
- Hiring freelancers allows you to develop and cultivate a readily available talent pool
- Contractors can be hired faster than full-time employees
- Freelancers can help you avoid unnecessary overhead costs
- You cast a wider net for talent when you hire remote freelancers
- The value that a freelancer can give your company is immense
Hiring freelancers can be a great, cost-effective way to fill in any gaps in your workforce. Top-tier freelancers have a variety of talents that they’ve been able to parlay into a reputable brand.
For example, a particular freelancer may have comprehensive experience that makes them a great fit for projects that demand a variety of skill sets. This person’s well-roundedness will lend itself well to a project with different moving parts (more on this in a bit).
Before we get too far, though: You may be wondering what a talent gap is. Harver defines a talent gap as “the space between your employees’ current level of talent, skill, or competencies and where you’d need them to be to meet your organization’s goals.”
Now, you can have a talent gap for many different reasons. You could have a staff consisting of entry-level to mid-level employees who are great but don’t have the depth and breadth of industry experience to tackle ambitious assignments. You could have a few employees who cannot come to work for a certain period of time for a variety of valid reasons.
Why should companies hire freelancers?
The bigger picture is this: Hiring freelancers allows you to develop and cultivate a readily available talent pool for project ebb and flow. It accounts for the instances when you need highly qualified people to do the jobs that no one else in your organization knows how to do. More and more organizations are beginning to see the value in this.
If one of your employees takes a leave of absence or exits the company entirely, or if your current staff just doesn’t have the experience to execute a project satisfactorily, having freelancers who can turn in quick, last-minute projects at a moment’s notice can help take a ton of pressure off of you.
This is especially important in the age of COVID-19. With numbers beginning to climb again, it is impossible to know when you will need to call upon freelancers to step in and help you out.
We have put together some additional thoughts to help drive home the importance of hiring freelancers. Check them out!
The value of hiring temporary workers and freelancers
If you have ever had temporary gaps in your workforce for whatever reason (maternity leave, paternity leave, illness, etc.), you know how stressful things can get. Hiring temporary freelancers can help you mitigate that stress and avoid future HR headaches.
Many freelancing jobs are temporary by nature. Sure, there are freelancers who work for 1 or 2 employers on an ongoing basis. But for the purposes of this article, let’s just assume that you need someone to come in, help you with a project, get paid, and leave.
There is an understanding that helps define the nature of the professional relationship from the get-go. If they have done this for a while, the freelancer understands that they are filling a temporary need and that they are not your employees.
These people are independent contractors who file their own taxes and work for themselves. Because of that, they may charge a bit more. That’s okay, though. Ideally, you will be working with a person who is well-versed in these kinds of temporary professional relationships.
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Freelancers bring in an outside perspective
This is a big 1. When you hire someone who is not employed by your organization, you are bringing in a person who has an unbiased outside perspective on both your company and the project at hand. This can be extremely valuable to you, and it can help fill perspective gaps that your full-time employees can’t.
Certain gaps in perspective can only be identified by someone approaching your company at least somewhat objectively.
Contractors can be hired faster than full-time employees
Let’s face it: bringing on a new full-time employee is usually an exhaustive, months-long process. And honestly, most of the time it should be. You want to make sure you are hiring someone who will thrive at your company and provide immense value.
Generally, hiring freelancers is much less of an ordeal than trying to replace a full-time employee.
You can see where we are heading with this. With freelancers, the process does not have to be nearly as long. In fact, if hiring a freelancer for a specific project takes too much time or too many resources, the need for that freelancer may evaporate. You are also probably looking in the wrong places if this is an issue.
Obviously, the amount of time spent looking for a freelancer depends on a number of factors. If the project requires an extremely skilled professional with years of experience under their belt, the hiring process may take a bit more time.
Generally, though, hiring freelancers is much less of an ordeal than trying to replace a full-time employee.
Freelancers can help you accomplish more with less
Many companies jump at the chance to hire freelancers for 1 simple reason: you can get more done and have more reach without using an excessive amount of resources. It is a win-win scenario for everyone: the freelancer gets to work on their own terms and you get to avoid paying more than you need to.
For 1 thing, bringing in freelancers can help you avoid unnecessary overhead costs. That’s 1 of the big reasons companies rely on them so much and why you should start, too. Your spending goes much further and is put to much better use when you bring in an independent contractor.
For another, you cast a wider net when you hire freelancers. Many freelancers are remote, which means your talent network can potentially expand to other states, countries, and continents. From there, you can find and cultivate professional relationships you may never have discovered otherwise.
Freelancers’ niche experience = high-quality work
We have found this to be true across many different industries. It makes a lot of sense. An industry professional who has operated as a freelancer for a long time will likely have a number of very niche skill sets.
And because their skills are so specific, these freelancers will probably be exceptionally good at what they do. If you want to fill a talent gap with a highly qualified person, an experienced freelancer could be your best bet.
Think about it like this: Independent contractors have to pick up lots of different skills pretty quickly if they hope to succeed at doing freelance work. If they don’t, they will likely fall behind their competitors and lose out on high-paying gigs.
If you want to fill a talent gap with a highly qualified person, an experienced freelancer could be your best bet.
As mentioned above, companies often want great work done in a very short amount of time. With that level of pressure behind every gig, freelancers are forced to learn and adapt quickly.
The short-term value that a freelancer can give your company is immense, especially if the individuals you hire have spent decades in one industry without any gaps in work history or experience.
As the above article illustrates, getting in the habit of hiring freelancers to help fill talent gaps can pay huge dividends down the road. And by dividends, we mostly mean avoiding unnecessary costs, as well as stress and frustration.
The benefits do not stop there, though; they are numerous and far-reaching. Cultivating a pool of eager contingent workers is a strategy many companies are turning to in these changing times. It is a good idea for your organization to follow suit (if it hasn’t already).