Should I hire a freelancer?
Are you thinking about expanding your workforce? Whether business is picking up or you have a project that requires specific expertise, there are several things to consider when deciding whether to hire a freelancer or permanent employee.
Why hire a freelancer?
Cost is the main reason why companies choose to outsource work. Hiring a freelancer means you only pay for the services you need, when you need them. Consider your business needs: If you have a project with an estimated duration and completion date, you may only need specific services for a short period of time. For example, if you’re launching a new product, you may want to outsource work on package design and landing page SEO to freelancers. If their expertise isn’t always needed, it reduces the cost of running the business compared to keeping them on permanently—especially if you would be required to pay for benefits packages. Many freelancers are also willing to work remotely, making outsourcing an even more affordable option as there is no overhead cost to hiring them.
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If you have an ongoing process or a project that will repeat, you might consider finding a permanent employee. In this case, keeping someone on permanently may save time and money from continually recruiting freelance workers.
Before you hire a freelancer
If you’re considering outsourcing to a freelancer, there are several factors you need to identify first before you begin your search:
The scope of your project
In order to determine your outsourcing needs, you first need to identify your project scope. Not doing so can potentially waste time and money on unneeded work—for both you and the freelancer. Determine what you need to get done, and what you expect from the freelancer. You will also need to decide on the skills level you need, as that will impact your budget (more below).
Milestones and deliverable
What do you need the freelancer to complete? Do you require check-ins, or will you need to factor in revision cycles? Determine this before searching for talent so that it is defined before you start your contact. Decide what you need, when you need it, and the skills required for it. Not doing so could waste time and money—or worse, you might end up hiring the wrong person for the job.
Determine how much money have to hire a freelancer. If you’ve mapped out the scope of your project and determined milestones, you should have a good idea of how many hours the project might take, or how many milestones you should expect. Decide how you are going to pay your freelancer—hourly, per project, or per milestone. Depending on what experience level you require, you may need to budget for more in order to attract qualified candidates. If you’re not sure what the market rate is for your ideal freelance worker, check out Salary.com.
How to hire freelancers
The process of how to hire a freelancer is not drastically different from hiring permanent employees—you just need to advertise the job in the in the right places, and write your job posting so that it attracts good candidates.
Advertising on sites like Upwork can save you time on recruiting logistics which are often included in the service fees. These sites can gain you access to freelancers around the world, which has the potential to save you a lot of money as you can outsource to an area with a lower cost of living. Freelance workers on these sites are typically vetted and may have feedback from previous clients. This can save you some money on background checks—or worse, the of risk hiring a nameless, faceless person who may not have the expertise that they say they do.
Write your job posting so that it clearly defines the scope of your project, its deliverables, and your budget. If there is anything that would make a candidate better—such as experience in your industry or familiarity with a software program—include that in your job description. You don’t have to identify who you are; however, being as specific as possible with what you do and who your customers are can help you get better bids since freelancers can determine if their expertise is a good fit for your job.
To summarize, you can save a lot of money by hiring a freelancer to outsource your work. Hiring a freelancer means that you are only paying for the services you need, when you need them. This is beneficial for areas of expertise that are not needed full-time at your business. Before your hire a freelancer, you should outline your project scope, its deliverables, and identify your budget. You should express these clearly in your job posting to ensure it attracts a freelancer with the type of expertise and experience you need for the job.