Bust a Myth: Companies Only use Freelancers for Short-term, Low-value Projects

By Carey Wodehouse

There’s a common misconception that freelancers are just like “temps,” professionals hired by companies for more short-term, low-value projects. It’s an outdated notion that freelancers only help with busywork and small jobs—things like data entry and filing—that don’t contribute to more mission-critical projects, while full-time employees spearhead new, large-scale projects.

The reality is quite the contrary: Companies are using freelancers for strategic, high-impact projects. These professionals are valuable assets to small businesses that need cutting-edge, in-demand skills to scale and get more done.

Freelancers are not in the minority anymore, either. As more businesses take a flexible approach to work, the freelance population has grown three times faster than the overall U.S. workforce since 2014. It’s predicted that in the next decade, they’ll make up a majority of the U.S. workforce that was previously dominated by traditional 9-to-5 employees.

Here’s a look at some of the ways freelancers are contributing value to high-profile projects.

Freelancers help small businesses meet higher demands while keeping overheads low

For small businesses, in particular, balancing low overheads with high-velocity production cycles can make it difficult to justify the cost and effort to hire full-time employees who have in-demand skills. During slower periods, the cost to keep full-time employees on board can be a drain on resources, particularly when you don’t need that expertise year-round. Freelancers can be an affordable alternative, offering elastic resources for those changing demands.

Also, telecommuting allows businesses to save on operating costs and office expenses while getting the same level of productivity, engagement, and value.

Businesses can quickly fill technical or in-demand job openings

To adopt the new technology and services businesses need to stay competitive and nimble, they’re increasingly turning to freelancers. Say a small business’s IT manager who handles everything from system administration and networking is working with business owners to devise a strategy for a more cost-effective cloud storage option. On top of day-to-day responsibilities, this IT manager would need to acquire training to work with this new complex cloud technology. Instead, the business hires a freelance specialist from Upwork to oversee the migration.

Freelancers can save the day with tight deadlines and last-minute personnel changes.

It’s not uncommon for individuals at small businesses to wear a few hats or handle things entire teams might manage in larger companies. Small businesses also put a premium on their time and have less flexibility when it comes to time-consuming HR processes. When a team member instrumental to a department leaves, it’s less likely there’s someone with enough bandwidth to absorb that employee’s work. A fast way to get the help they need without business coming to a grinding halt? Hiring skilled freelancers.

Say there’s an in-house designer at a regional manufacturer who updates the website, designs collateral sales material, creates signage and tradeshow materials, and pitches in with marketing. When the company needs a video to show off a new piece of welding equipment, the designer can help shoot the footage but doesn’t have the experience to edit it. Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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