Discover Why Freelance is the Future
Freelance is an increasingly popular way of working, both in the UK and globally. The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) reveals there is a surge in the number of people swapping their routine 9 to 5 day job for the flexibility of working for themselves. Millennials are driving this shift in the UK workforce and account for a whopping 66% of the UK’s freelance community.
What’s more, women and new mothers represent more than 75% of those taking the plunge. Why? Because the nature of freelance work is arguably more accommodating to modern day lifestyles. Freelancers can, within reason, choose their own working hours to fit around other commitments, and their earning potential is uncapped! What more could you possibly ask for.
There are numerous advantages of working freelance, and there are also endless reasons why hiring a freelancer is a savvy decision for businesses too!
Here’s how your business can benefit from the freelance boom:
Flexibility of Freelance
The prospect of achieving a more flexible work-life balance is perhaps the number one reason why freelancers choose to make the switch. You may be surprised to learn that this flexibility can aid your business objectives too. How? Well, while most of your employees work 9am to 5pm and then shut down for the day, your freelancers could just be getting started. This means you can become a 24/7 business overnight. You can manage your online presence during the evenings and weekends when your prospective customers are most active!
Hiring freelancers allows you to gain greater control over your HR function. Freelancers will work on demand as and when required. This means you’ll pay only for the time and skill you need, when you need it. What’s more, as freelancers aren’t on your payroll they do not represent a fixed cost on your balance sheet. When considering remuneration, you will not need to contribute to a pension scheme, provide paid annual leave or statutory sick pay. Not to mention savings on office overheads, and the possibility of retirement or redundancy packages. Oh, and did I mention, you can avoid that hefty recruitment fee! These expenses amount to a worthwhile saving, even when hiring just one freelancer.
Freelancers are self-employed individuals who run their own businesses. As such, they are arguably more dedicated than your average employee. They work for themselves and they know nothing is guaranteed. In other words, they won’t take your business for granted. They consistently produce their best to ensure a steady flow of work comes their way.
Knowledge is Power
As an employer you’ll feel the burden of providing regular and ongoing training for your employees. This is very costly and time consuming. The reality is, many employers are guilty of falling short of their training duties. However, when hiring freelancers, you can remove ‘training’ from the checklist. Most freelancers are proactive in investing time and money into staying abreast of changes in their industry. After all, their livelihood depends on it. What’s more, they have broad and varied experience working for a diverse mix of companies from different industries. This means they have more skills, knowledge and expertise to apply to your business.
Location Knows No Bounds
When hiring a full-time, in-house employee you have access to a limited pool of talent; people that live within a reasonable commute from your offices. Freelance overcomes the day-to-day obstacles of recruitment. It provides you with access to a much wider talent pool. As a result, you can hire someone who is a specialist in their field and has the specific knowledge and expertise you require, rather than settling for second best. Some UK firms even recruit from overseas!
Mitigate Business Risk
If you’re a business owner, you’ll understand the many risks of employment. From handling legal disputes to dealing with underperformance, it’s a minefield of risks that are difficult to avoid. Hiring people on a freelance basis carries very little, if any, risk. Freelancers cannot sue you for unfair or constructive dismissal as they are contractors.
Aside from the legal risks, there are more practical risks that freelance workers help you to mitigate. For example, business demands and requirements can change from month to month, and even week to week. What you require today you might not need tomorrow. Let’s say you lost one of your biggest clients, that would affect your business dramatically, although you would still need to pay salaries. However, when working with freelancers you can ensure staffing adequately mirrors changing business requirements.
Get Staffing Right
Your reasons for hiring a freelancer could be less about business risk and more about hiring the right resource. Any recruiter will tell you that even when a full-time vacancy is live, and applications are flooding in, some employers are still uncertain about the decision to recruit. They are unsure whether now is the right time to hire, whether they’re prepared to pay the salary quoted and what level of skill they really need.
For reasons outlined above, hiring employees requires serious commitment. If there is uncertainty around the decision, then freelance is most definitely a suitable alternative. Freelance could be a short-term solution, or you may find it works for your business long term.
By their very nature freelancers work independently and are specialists in their field, as such they require little to no supervision. What’s more, they have no time or exposure to office politics, which mean less headaches for your management team. Most are dependable, reliable and work outside of normal office hours to get the job done.
The Cherry on Top
This list is by no means the full scope of benefits you can gain by working with freelancers. However, here are a few more short and sweet advantages:
✓ Freelancers can bring a fresh pair of eyes and new ideas
✓ Take pressure away from in-house employees who have too many tasks and responsibilities to fulfil
✓ Avoid the growing back log of tasks and assign projects to freelancers
✓ Achieve quicker turnaround times with more hands on deck
✓ When staff, both internal and external, can focus on one project at a time they will produce a better and quicker outcome
✓ Freelancers offer something unique – they have an entrepreneurial mindset and are motivated to work hard as ultimately, your business is their business