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 It’s an outdated notion that freelancers only help with busywork and small jobs—things like data entry and filing—that don’t contribute to more mission-critical projects, while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.
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