By Amy Sept
Nearly a third of U.S. companies worked with freelancers last year, according to Upwork’s Future Workforce Report, a number poised to rise as more businesses see the opportunity of a flexible global talent pool. But is it the right move for your business?
Before you start looking for freelance help, consider whether your team is ready and what your particular needs are. Working with freelancers takes clear expectations about the work to be done. This takes some preparation and a strong freelancer onboarding process to get your project moving forward. But there are also clear signs it’s time for you to contract a freelancer.
Finding a freelancer may be a smart move if…
…The expertise isn’t available in house
Writing, design, and marketing are well-known segments for freelance expertise, but other areas—including artificial intelligence, rapid prototyping, immigration law, and natural language processing—have been on the rise.
In fact, top performers often choose to freelance over traditional employment options and may have specialized skills that are in high demand and hard to find. By partnering with freelancers, you can access the skills you need when you need them.
…Your team is already maxed out
With constant changes to the marketplace, high customer expectations, and competitors that are hard to predict, employees are often too extended to tackle new initiatives. Engaging freelancers can help you move fast without leaning harder on your staff.
“Working with freelancers allowed us to quickly hire quality talent with unique skills such as voice acting, audio mixing, and media buying.”
— Jonathan Cofer, Upwork’s Senior Creative Director
Upwork Radio Ads Feature Freelancers in Action
…You don’t have room for distractions
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to: New ideas can be great opportunities but may not be the best use of your team’s resources. Freelancers can use their expertise to bring these projects to life—maybe even better than you could accomplish internally.
“[Working with freelancers on Upwork] allows us to do more of the things that we just hoped we could do, but now we feel that we can just tackle [them] any time we want.”
— Eric Setton, CEO, Tango
…You need agility to stay ahead
Marketing is just one field where teams are “continuously asked to do more with less,” said Upwork’s Rich Pearson, senior VP of marketing. “Freelancers tend to be the ‘canaries in the coal mines’ when it comes to emerging skills,” he said, noting that watching the fastest growing marketing skills can also help identify emerging themes and trends.
What opportunities are passing by because your business can’t pivot quickly enough to meet them—or to get ahead of the competition?
But not every project is the right project
Working with freelancers can make it easier for you to get work done anytime and anywhere, but that doesn’t mean every project is a good fit for a freelancer.
Does it have the right structure?
Source:: Business 2 Community