As a business owner, you should always be looking for a competitive edge in every possible capacity. And while there are a variety of opportunities to gain an advantage, human talent ranks near the top. Get the right people working for your company and the rest will fall into place.
The Rise of Freelancers
While you probably think about hiring full-time employees when it comes to talent management, there’s a growing trend that you need to be aware of: the hiring of freelancers. Once a taboo or alternative approach to hiring, the use of freelancers is now commonplace.
Just consider the following data as gathered by 10x Management:
- By 2020, more than 60 million Americans will be operating as freelance workers.
- 15 to 20 million professionals will leave the full-time workforce in the next five years to become freelancers.
In other words, there’s no shortage of talent if you’re looking to hire freelancers. The only thing holding your business back is an archaic view of hiring. Stop looking at freelancers as strange and start identifying ways you can leverage them.
Six Reasons to Hire Freelancers
Why should you hire freelancers when you’re doing fine now? Well, it’s less about where you are now and more about where you need to be in three, five, and ten years. Freelancers clearly have a place in the future of business and you don’t want to miss out on this trend.
Here are a handful of good reasons why you need to be hiring freelancers and – in many cases – actually replacing full-time salaried employees.
Scalability is arguably the biggest employer-side benefit of hiring freelancers. With freelancers, there is no long-term contract, which means you can hire and release on demand. If a new project comes down the pipeline and you need all hands on deck, you can hire a couple of freelancers to help out. Then, when the project is complete, you can inform them that you won’t have any work for them until next month. That’s the beauty of entering into freelance relationships.
While your full-time employees probably work a consistent nine-to-five schedule from Monday through Friday, freelancers generally take what they can get. They can work early mornings, evenings, and even weekends in some situations. This allows you to have a 24/7/365 workforce without paying your employees overtime. It also allows you to complete certain assignments over the weekend so they’re ready for you when you get back to the office on Monday morning.
- Budget Friendly
Many companies enter into freelancing relationships because of the cost savings. When you hire a freelancer, you don’t have to provide all of the benefits that you may be mandated to offer employees. This includes things like health and dental insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans. You also don’t have to provide computers, equipment, office space, and other items that full-time staff members typically demand. This can save you thousands of dollars per employee per year.
It’s also important to point out that there are hundreds of thousands of international freelancers in other parts of the world that can be quickly hired online. The beauty of entering into work relationships with international workers is that you may be able to tap into cheaper labor markets, which is mutually beneficial both to you and the freelancer.
- Experience and Specialization
Freelancers are often very experienced in their fields. They’ve usually spent years – even decades – working for competitors in your industry and can provide incredible amounts of insight and knowledge that could push your business forward in a fresh direction.
Another added benefit is specialization. Most freelancers have identified a particular skill or trade that they’re talented in and tend to focus all of their energy on it. This enables you to hire freelancers for very specific tasks without tying up future resources.
By and large, freelancers are self-starters. They’re ambitious, determined, and have already taken significant steps to branch out on their own and find their own clients and projects. From a hiring vantage point, this is super attractive. It shows that they’re serious about their work and will do everything possible to ensure you’re satisfied with the end result.
- Fresh Insights
It’s easy for an organization to become self-centered and narrow-minded. This usually happens when the same group of employees and managers have been together for multiple years in a row. Everyone begins thinking alike and creativity and innovation become stifled.
When you hire freelancers, they have unique perspectives and aren’t burdened by groupthink. They’re able to infuse energy into your organization and bring new thoughts and ideas that otherwise wouldn’t have seen the light of day.
Hire Your First Freelancer
There are obviously downsides to hiring freelancers, too. For example, they can disappear whenever they please and aren’t necessarily loyal to your company. You also have to extend a bit of trust, hoping that they are who they say they are. But the pros significantly outweigh the cons. Freelancers allow you to grow your business without taking on too much risk.
If you’ve never considered hiring a freelancer in the past, now is the time to modernize your approach to talent management. Thanks to an abundance of online marketplaces, you can find your first freelance worker without even leaving your desk.
How’s that for efficiency and cost-effectiveness?