Today, more and more companies are deciding to hire freelancers instead of full or part-time employees. This makes sense both financially and from a general business standpoint. Why pay someone hourly who may not be consistently productive when you can simply pay for the actual work completed? But employers must understand that, like all other aspects in business, there are both pros and cons to hiring freelancers.
Freelancers can either work from home (or anywhere) via the Internet or they may work in your office. It is important you understand independent contractor laws, however, so you don’t unintentionally violate them. The most important thing to know is that an employer can not dictate the terms of where or how a freelancer works. To learn more about what defines an employee versus a freelancer, as well as important information on independent contractor laws, be sure to read Independent Contractor or Employee? IRS Guidance for Startups and SMBs as well as this article from the IRS’s website, Indepent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee?
They Cost Less
Freelancers undoubtedly cost less than hiring a part-time or full-time employee. At the very least, they are much more cost efficient, because you only pay them for the work they actually do — so none of your money is wasted on downtime.
They Can Get More Work Done
Freelancers are able to set their own hours, which means they can work whenever they choose. They have the ability to work more hours on projects, either long term or simply when necessary. Since they make their own hours, they don’t have to call out, either. If they have an appointment in the morning, they can simply work at night. If they have a party at night, they can work in the morning. Their schedules are entirely flexible, so work gets done no matter what the day brings.
They Specialize in One Thing
Freelancers typically specialize in one thing, and that is what you hire them for. Content writers write content. Web designers design websites. The benefit is that they are really good at what they do. Even besides any training or certifications they may have, freelancers do the same job day in and day out.
They Can Disappear
Freelancers don’t have as much of a problem disappearing as your normal employees do. This is especially true with distance freelancers, meaning those who work through the Internet. Things go great for a while. Work gets turned in on time, and the work is of a high quality. Then something happens. You don’t always know what happens, but eventually deadlines are missed, work quality drops, and eventually, people disappear. Those people can be replaced, but it can be a real mess to clean up in the meantime.
You Have to Take an Initial Risk
In the very beginning, you have to take a risk when hiring freelancers. Will their work be the quality they claim? Will they get that work done in time? Will they be worth the money you’ll be paying them, and do they really possess all the skills they say they do?