Is hiring a freelancer the right decision?
The freelance market is booming. With working from home being the new trend, perhaps the new normal, many professionals are choosing to work as freelancers rather than take traditional contracted roles at established companies. But when you hire a freelancer, are you getting the best match for your company?
Sometimes it makes sense to hire a freelancer, especially when it involves a certain project, but it can often be counterproductive depending on your company’s needs. For example, it may be a better fit to take on a content marketer as part of your marketing team instead of hiring a freelancer to write a few articles.
The challenge grows larger when you are considering taking on multiple freelancers. It can be hard to manage multiple people on a team when they are contracted employee using the same management processes. But when you hire freelancers, each of them manages themselves differently which can make managing even more of a challenge. Therefor, if you know for a fact that the work you have is consistent, it may be wise
So how do you establish if a freelancer or a steady-team member would be a better fit?
What are the pros of hiring a freelancer?
There can be many pros to adding a freelancer to your B2B team. Let’s a closer look at some of the reasons why you would hire a freelancer rather than putting an employee on contract.
- They sometimes cost less
Sometimes they cost much less! When you hire a freelancer, this usually means that you do not have to pay the pension or several other governmental taxes that you would have to cover on a regular employee. They pay those themselves. Additionally, you have an option to pay the freelancer by the project which cuts down on the amount of down-time that you may otherwise pay for if you do not have enough work for them. However, you should review the terms of your contract closely. Some freelancers include the costs of governmental taxes, hourly fees or sometimes, additional fees that make them more expensive than a regular employee. They definitely can be cheaper, but you will have to shop around.
- They can be hired quickly
Sometimes you need to hire someone and you need to hire them fast. But the process of writing up a contract, interviewing, setting a start date, and waiting for the new employee to finish their previous position, can slow down the process. If you need someone fast, this can be a problem. However, if you hire a freelancer, this process may be cut down significantly. Many freelancers on the market are often available immediately cutting down on the amount of time you need to wait for them to join the team.
- They manage themselves
Freelancers already have a system in place that assists them in completing their work fast and efficiently. As such, you do not have to instruct them on how to complete their job. You simply instruct them on specific tasks of the project itself. This can take the burden of management off of you as they are expected to complete the work within the allotted time. However, it is good to remember that freelancers are not familiar with the project you are starting them on. This may require additional time to brief them on the specific tasks that are unique to your company.
So if you choose to hire a freelancer, the next step is choosing if you want to hire a freelance agency to bring on the freelancer, or if you want to interview and hire them yourself. Hiring through an agency such as Headfirst is a good option if you plan to bring on a large group of people. This takes the pressure off of you during interviewing and contract signing process. Depending on the agency you choose, they may even conduct payroll as one of their services.
The downside to a freelance agency is that there are fees involved as you are hiring them to provide a service as well. Furthermore, if you turn over all interviewing services to them, you would not meet the freelancer beforehand. That could make it hard to know if the freelancer would personally fit in your team.
Of course, you could settle for a halfway option. There are online sites such as Upwork that allow you to hire freelancers yourself by posting your project on a job board. Freelancers registered on the site then apply to you and you can interview them. However, these sites too have fees so it is best to look into them before deciding. Whatever you choose, it takes a lot of work and there are cons to hiring freelancers as well.
What are the cons of hiring freelancers?
- You have to manage collaboration between freelancers who work in different ways.
One of the biggest cons to hiring freelancers is that while they are able to manage themselves individually, it is up to you to manage the entire group. It can be hard to get different sets of freelancers to work together, especially if you have certain technological systems in place that some of your freelancers may not be familiar with.
Not only this, to a certain extent, you have to manage around their schedule. You may not be their only client and they will have other clients that they focus on. You may not be their top priority. Additionally, it could be difficult to find times to meet with the team when all the team members have different schedules.
This could affect the quality of their work, especially if your projects depend on collaboration, consistency, and marketing activities strengthening one another. With the disjointedness, you may feel there is a lack of supervision and inconsistent quality.
- Lower investment in the company.
Freelancers can leave as soon as their work is completed. This means that they have a lower investment in the company. They are not dedicated to making your systems run smoother because they may not be around to benefit from the result, thus they may not be overly dedicated to the final product.
You may even receive pushback from them if they are asked to join company training. Or you may choose to train them, only to have them leave soon after they have obtained the proper skills that you wanted earlier in the project.
They may entirely disappear after your project which means you lose their existing and gained expertise altogether. This could leave a new freelancer trying to play catch-up to complete tasks and figure out how the previous freelancer conducted their business. Training a freelancer will not have a long-term effect on your business as the learning will not be institutionalized for your company.
- They could be a security concern.
Not only do you lose their expertise when they leave but the freelancer could be a security concern. Freelancers often have access to client and customer information, important files, passwords and access codes to digital information. If you have not taken steps to avoid losing passwords to secure documents that they worked on, you risk losing access to important passwords and work. They could change the passcodes, access client information and potch company secrets if you have not taken proper care to secure this information upon their leaving.
Furthermore, the freelancer may have access to secure locations such as office access. If they have made a copy of the office keys and there is no digital solution, they could access secure areas in your business. Thus extensive steps have to be taken to change keys and codes to avoid any security concern. You may be stuck changing keys, passwords, and codes often to avoid this. This can get frustrating and potentially costly over time.
What’s right for you?
The choice to hire freelancers is yours and yours alone. Having a plan in place to outsource team transfer of knowledge after the freelancer leaves, and reviewing their work so that you have a clear understanding of how they completed their task, can help alleviate some of the worries about hiring freelancers.
Additionally, you can pre-agree on project fees and/or ask for performance-based fees to not have freelancers or freelance agencies endlessly plus/increase their fees.
Perhaps outsourcing is the answer.
Alternatively, you can avoid freelancers altogether and outsource. Outsourcing means that you can find specialists in your field that are specific to your project. For example, if you are looking to hire a B2B marketing team, why not hire a B2B marketing company?
Instead of taking on the stress of hiring freelancers, or even several in-house employees, hire an entire company to take care of things for you. You can choose companies based on their fees, their specialties, and their previous portfolio.
Companies, such as Comarketers specialize specifically in B2B growth marketing. Thus, their teams have highly specialized knowledge that is hard to acquire in house. They have specific growth plans that are already tailored to the needs of their clients. Comarketers for instance, have three different scale up options that fit different sizes of companies based on where they are in the https://comarketers.com/blueprint/scale up stage. With this expertise, your business has a better chance of reaching your goals quickly and efficiently.
This solution can help you get the best deal for your money and time! Comarketers even have some resources to help aid in the outsourcing process.