Freelancing is rapidly becoming a dominant component of the modern workforce. The gig economy has seen exponential growth. Why? Because professionals are looking to bolster their wealth and pursue their passions, and freelancing provides the landscape to do just that. And it’s not just that professionals are increasingly choosing the freelance route — it’s also that companies are providing the work for freelance professionals to do.
This approach allows businesses to accomplish staffing needs in a way that’s most efficient in every sense of the word without neglecting the fundamental operations and priorities of the organization. Most experts agree that businesses would do well to take advantage of the freelance economy.
Here are five of the main reasons your company should as well:
You Can Save Money
Freelancers can save your organization money because unlike with a full-time employee, you’re only paying a contractor for the work they do. Full-time employees are a financial investment that far exceeds just what their salary is.
Michael Solomon, 10x Management Co-Founder, writes for the Huffington Post, “Once you’ve made the decision to hire a candidate, training is one of the costliest investments that a company makes. Orientation and integration take time. This is where having an experienced freelancer really saves you. The best freelancers come to jobs ready to begin on day one and require less training than a standard employee.”
Freelancers are cost-effective because if you hire the right one, you remove much of the financial burden that inevitably comes with everything surrounding the actual work. You typically only pay freelancers for the actual project you hired them to do.
Thus, freelancers are often the most cost-effective business decision you can make.
You Can Save Time
The more efficiently each individual is able to complete their work, the more efficiently your company as a whole will operate — which means that your business will be able to maximize productivity and minimize time wastefulness.
They’re experts: A freelancer will most likely come with a higher hourly rate, but you’ll be hiring someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. Thus, they will do the job far more quickly than others on your roster who are less experienced at achieving the task at hand.
They’re motivated: While freelancing is becoming more popular, it is fraught with challenges. Given the fact that a freelancer’s livelihood is completely dependent on their ability to do a job well, they’re motivated to get it right.
They can be rehired: They’re motivated to get it right because they want to be rehired. And if you find one that’s a good fit for your organization, it’s a winning situation. An example of this may be when your organization releases new products or services and is in need of a fresh marketing campaign to start that product off on the right foot.
The right freelancer could spearhead each new marketing endeavor so that they are all cohesive and masterfully done, but you wouldn’t need to keep that freelancer on your payroll in between new product debuts.
According to productivity and time management guru Greg Digneo for WorkflowMax, “Once I found a great freelancer, I hired them again and again and again. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of time and money this saved me over the course of running my marketing agency. I never had to worry if the freelancer was going to deliver on time.”
The case could likely be made that each leader in business has gone through seasons wherein the conundrum they worked hardest to solve was how their organization could become more efficient within the limited parameters of the work week. In a lot of ways, freelancers solve that challenge because they do not struggle with the same productivity challenges that face traditional, in-office employees.
You Can Save Space
This may seem like no big deal — at least not until you’ve got an office space completely maxed out. Every employee you house must be provided the workspace and the equipment needed to complete their job. Plus, there are the costs that you may not consider immediately. Beyond their workspace, every additional employee requires additional amenities in the rest of the office spaces, like the break rooms.
If your company employs multiple freelancers, you could potentially see savings in the thousands since you will not be responsible for the overhead costs associated with each individual.
You Can Utilize a Fresh Perspective
One of the main reasons you may be tempted to hire one or more freelancers is because your organization has a need that isn’t being met. Sure, that need may simply be an unusual influx of work that your regular employees don’t have the resources to handle, but it could also be a need that they aren’t actually equipped to handle.
If that’s the case, a freelancer can ensure that the job gets done correctly. For example, TechRepublic recently reported that the number one demanded skill for freelancers is currently blockchain, and that makes sense.
Alison DeNisco Rayome writes, “Blockchain’s growth puts it on the path to become what the cloud was back in the mid-2000s, the report found. In Q1, blockchain saw 6,000% year-over-year growth, making it the fastest-growing skill out of more than 5,000 skills on Upwork.”
So, if your business could benefit from a type of expertise beyond what your team has, a freelancer can almost certainly meet that need.
Plus, even in situations when your employees could theoretically make the project happen, a freelancer can provide a fresh viewpoint. Perhaps your team is struggling to come up with creative concepts; a freelancer brings fresh eyes and an objective perspective to the table.
You Can Reduce Risk
To be overly simplistic, people often pose the greatest threat to businesses. They are wildcards who have the potential to make a company’s expenses exceed its income. Freelancers reduce the likelihood of that happening.
They don’t have to be insured: The costs associated with insurance needed to cover employees can be as high as 20 to 30 percent of your organization’s income. But you don’t have to insure a freelancer, because risks like injury are not your responsibility.
They can’t sue you for workplace harassment, unfair dismissal, or discrimination: When you hire traditional employees, you make a commitment to them. Some employees will attempt to take advantage of that agreement. Even if there was no foul play, an employee pressing charges for workplace-related offenses can have serious consequences for a company’s bottom line and image.
They are easier to part ways with: If things do go awry, a benefit to hiring freelancers is that it is virtually always easier to part ways. When working with an independent contractor, the agreement revolves about the specific job at hand, so if that job isn’t being completed as was negotiated, you can move on, decreasing the time and money invested.
They don’t need a lot of sensitive information: A challenge connected to full-time employees is that the very things that make them an asset, can also make them a risk. Not only do they know your company’s plan and end goals, they typically have access to sensitive data.
According to Ontrack’s Ben Blomberg, “Contractors, consultants, and project-based workers should be trained on security practices and only be given access to the information they need. Once their time or project has been completed, access should be shut off.”
You have more control over what freelancers can access and how long they’re able to utilize sensitive company information that could potentially put your organization at risk. Thus, they minimize the likelihood that risk will evolve into an actual, profit-sucking problem.
If your organization is struggling to achieve efficient, cost-effective project completion, the answer could very well be awaiting in the form of freelance contractors. The freelance economy is booming because this innovative approach to work collaboration is proving time and time again that it is unhindered by typical challenges faced by traditional teams.So, if you can pinpoint where growth or change is most needed, what you may also see is how freelancers can meet those needs. Innovation is essential for a business to be able to remain competitive and relevant, and freelancers are hitting that mark for organizations across a wide array of industries. Don’t let the fear of the new keep you from using what could very likely give your organization a valuable leg-up