With the changing scenario in the job market,
fewer employers hire people for full
time jobs, leading to a dilemma of freelancers vs full time employees. With
advancement of technology, contract jobs are becoming more popular.
Working in a single location is no longer a must with different arrangements available. The Freelancer’s Union states that 1/3 of the working class in America, roughly around 54 million, work independent of employers, either on a contract basis or as freelancers.
Dilemma: Are Independent Contractor Jobs Better?
Full time employees
work in a single company and get paid on an hourly basis or receive a fixed
What is freelance? On the other hand, for freelancers, their employers are more like clients.
As an employer, when you consider contract vs full time employees, which is a more practical option? The trend is towards a gig economy and companies are slowly moving towards freelance work, as it offers them more flexibility.
That being said, there is another side to the coin in case of choosing between freelancers vs full time employees – so here goes:
#1. Cost Effective
- Hiring full time employees makes more financial sense.
- A full-time contract is a cost effective option.
- However, though the actual payment might work out to be less, there are other expenses involved with full time employees, which might make it more expensive in the long run.
## Salary increases.
## Training expenditure, which is not present in contract jobs, as the person is specialized for that particular task.
#2. Time Investment
- A full-time employment contract can be cumbersome as you need to train him/her completely to fit your requirements.
- Interviewing and finding the right candidate is also time consuming.
- You don’t have to spend much time with a part time employment contract or freelance workers. There are many candidates on the lookout for part time freelance jobs. You can quickly bring them on board for a specific or single project.
- For instance, if you have a short-term task for designing your website, you can hire freelance developer temporarily for a freelance design work or other freelance projects.
- Again, if it is a marketing
job that can be done from any location, there are plenty of capable people
available for marketing freelance jobs.
#3. Loyalty / Commitment
- When considering this aspect of freelance vs full time employees, the latter win hands down.
- Full time employees are permanently present. So you get more loyalty and also a personal connection with the company. Many HR professionals opine that gig employees or freelancers do not have that level of commitment.
- As an added risk, in freelance jobs, a freelancer could expand knowledge gained from your company and it could prove to be advantageous to your competitor. This might not be intentional, but it could occur due to negligence on the part of the freelancer employee.
- They also consist of the best and the brightest talent available. You wouldn’t want to miss out on them.
- Freelancers or contractors might not have that level of commitment for your company or project, as they might be balancing several tasks and clients.
- If a job requires interaction with customers, full time employees are the way to go.
- For instance, in case you need to offer customer support, a contract employee would surely not fit the bill. He may not be well versed with the ins and outs of your company or service.
#4. Job Suitability
- A permanent staff will know every nuance of your business and is better suited for the job. If you hire a freelancer, he/she might not have niche skills necessary for your company.
- You can train a full-time employee to suit a particular project and convert him into an expert, making him/her more suitable for the job/company.
- Since employers have more control over full time employees, they are able to direct them better and extract better quality of work. This results in improved productivity over a long period of time.
#5. Ease of Coordination / Flexibility
of Freelance Work
- Employers find it easy to collaborate a short term job with freelancers in the form of a contract employment, using mobile apps and emails.
- The business environment tends to be shaky for many companies. It makes sense to hire freelancers on contractual basis.
- They can manage labor in a more flexible way, preventing mistakes in hiring and finding specialized talent more easily.
- Many consulting agencies vouch for the fact that top HR executives come to them to hire freelancers for short term tasks.
- It makes sense to hire freelancers when you have a project that is outside the scope of normal inhouse employees, or you want something done at a rapid pace.
- Employers can also fill in a temporary gap with freelancers. For instance, when women are on a maternity leave or when someone is on a sabbatical.
- They can hire freelancers on a test basis for a specific project and then hire her/him full time if they are satisfied with the work.
Considering a Blend
If you are not able to decide outright whether
to go in for freelancers or full timers, you could consider a blend. You can
also opt for a full time freelance.
Such employees can be a part of your company,
being fully loyal to you. They will also be available to deal with clients
whenever you need them.
According to Jimmy Fabiano, the GM of OnForce, offering software for freelance management, many organizations prefer a blend of the two.
- Use freelancers for short term projects.
- When there is a spike in the demand, you can use freelancers as a temporary solution.
- Consider a blend of 80% full timers with 20% freelancers.
So now you’ve gone through the pros and cons of full time employees and
freelancers, you’re in a better position to decide what would work for
you. That said, one thing common while hiring any of them is a proper
If you want a good quality of work, and I’m
sure all of us do, you need to assess their skill levels, their motivation,
commitment and determination, references, track record and so on, before you
sink money into hiring someone new.
Who should you hire? It depends on the amount
of work that you want done, the costs and budget available for the task and the
specialization needed for it.
As an employer, you need to examine the upside
and the downside of contracted labor. What you gain in flexibility, you lose in
loyalty and stability. Make your choice.