• Ailsa jane

Why should you hire a freelancer?

There is no doubt that the workforce is changing. By 2020, it's predicted that up to 40% of American white collar professionals will be freelance and I see the same patterns emerging here in Australia. Why?

The answer is pretty simple - people want a better balance to work and life.

Milennials are notorious for jumping services when they aren't satisfied and this is pretty consistent for the workforce as well. If you don't offer what they want, then be prepared for your workforce to disappear.

How do I know this? Well one, I'm a millennial. Two, I'm a freelancer and three, some of my clients work in the HR industry so I spent a lot of time reading and looking into workplace trends.

I was first attracted to freelancing because I felt unappreciated and unheard in a regular 9-5 job. I came to the table with fresh ideas to try and help the company attract new customers and I was either shut down as being "too young to understand" or my ideas were taken and presented under someone else's name a few months later. It was incredibly frustrating and it took a real toll on my self-confidence as a professional. I ended up leaving the workforce and took some time to rebuild my personality and figure out what I was passionate about.

So, in 2016, I started working as a freelancer, offering social media and content management. It meant I could work with who I wanted, under my preset conditions and I was answerable to myself (and of course, my clients).

It really took off in 2017 and I haven't looked back since. I'll be frank - I'm not rolling in the cash but I am 1000% times happier working like this than I ever was before and to me, that's worth everything.

So now that we've been intimately introduced, why should you hire a freelancer for whatever task it is that you have going?

Firstly, freelancers tend to specialise in a one set of skills ie, social media and marketing, design, developing, accounting etc. Nowdays, a lot of employees are somewhat expected to be experts in a multitude of skills that they may not be interested in but are required to have. If the person assigned to the task is passionate, you're going to get better results, period.

Secondly, when you contract a freelancer, you generally don't have to pay for equipment, sick leave, holiday leave, tax or superannuation. Of course, each contract is different but in general, you just pay the freelancer for their services and everyone continues on their merry way. This could be a one-off contract where you needed something specific completed or you have the person working as an on going basis. This means that the freelancer is supplying equipment and they have to be savvy enough to put money away for the tax man and to cover themselves should work dry up or they head off on holiday.

So essentially, when you have a good freelancer on the books, it does boil down to cost and time savings for your company with little to no overhead costs.

Thirdly, freelancers are usually less expensive in general. Not only do you have little overhead costs with a freelancer but their contracts don't cost as much as having someone in the position full time. While specific skills like swanky digital design and VR experts will cost you a pretty penny, someone like me will cost less per month than having a bum on a chair in the office. You get the same work done.

It also means you don't need to have the bum there when you don't need them. In a full time position, you're stuck with Sally whether you particularly need her there anymore or not. With a freelancer, you can contract them for the time needed and then be done. (Sorry Sally!)

Lastly - though there are a tonne more reasons - freelancers are desperate to prove themselves. I don't mean we're willing to sell ourselves short but I mean we are wanting to deliver good results and to prove our worth to you, the client. This means little delays, stellar quality and a passionate team member who wants to impress you.

All it takes is a quick Google search to learn that freelancing and the 'gig' economy is no joke.

If you're not already looking at freelancers and contractors, what are you waiting for?

If you haven't considered offering your services as a contractor, what are you waiting for?

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