Companies are increasingly hiring freelancers to meet work demands rather than full-time employees. What makes this growing segment of the workforce so appealing to corporations?
It’s the time of the freelancer. Even with the challenges facing freelancers (like the unpredictability of income and lack of benefits), more and more workers are either wholly abandoning their traditional jobs in favor of a more flexible schedule or keeping the security of a permanent position while freelancing on the side. With the numbers growing steadily, it makes sense that freelancers would eventually attract the interest of corporations.
The status quo for years was for companies to hire permanent employees. However, recently, corporations are more frequently outsourcing project-based jobs to freelancers, rather than hiring full-time staff.
Whether you are a freelancer yourself or a business owner considering hiring a freelancer rather than a long-term employee, the outlook is bright as this arrangement increases. These are the main reasons why companies love to hire freelancers.
1. Specialized skills and expertise
There’s always been a stigma attached to freelancers, with many believing that they aren’t as skilled as their full-time counterparts. This is not true, especially as of late. Because freelancing offers freedom and flexibility that’s impossible with traditional 9-to-5 jobs, many workers are turning to it as either their sole source of income or additional income. Therefore, the talent pool is rapidly increasing, meaning that people from various fields are using their significant knowledge and expertise in freelancing gigs.
Think about how this could be useful for a company. Say you need a professional writer for a single project. It would not make sense to hire a full-time writer, because your writing needs aren’t enough to justify it. Hiring a full-time employee would be expensive and a waste of company money. However, a freelancer would fit the project perfectly. The company would use the freelancer’s skills for the project, pay them, and then the two entities would part ways.
When companies hire full-time employees, they are responsible for providing benefits. These usually include health insurance, paid time off and sick leave, which are all expenses that the company has to pay. Freelancers are free agents, not part of any company’s permanent staff, so the employer does not need to provide freelance workers with any benefits. This is a perk for employers but a disadvantage for freelancers, who lose money whenever they take a vacation or get sick.
When freelancers are hired for projects, companies can spend less because they only have to pay the freelancer for their services. This could be one of the fundamental reasons motivating corporations to utilize freelancers more frequently.
3. Project-based work
Not all projects and tasks require a full-time employee. Many projects are one-off assignments that have various start and end times throughout the year. These projects may require completely different skill sets, so hiring one person full time to complete them just doesn’t make sense. A full-time employee may have the specific skills needed for one project but lack the expertise to complete another effectively.
This is where freelancers shine. Freelancers are expanding their skill sets to keep up with the evolution of the workforce. However, more pertinent to employers is the specificity of the skills most freelancers have. You may have a project that requires a graphic designer but not enough to justify hiring one full time. The logical solution? Hire a freelancer. Then, when the next short-term project rolls around, such as one where you need the skills of an app developer, you can hire another freelancer with those skills. This makes more sense than hiring full-time staff for short-term assignments.
Freelancers may find jobs easier to obtain in the future. There has been a shift in mindset toward freelancers. While the myth that freelancers aren’t as skilled as full-time employees may remain, many corporations are starting to see the benefits of using freelancers instead. Financially, freelancers ease the burden by not being entitled to benefits. They also have specific skills perfect for short-term projects.