Working from home as an independent freelancer used to be a dream of many full-time employees. However, with the sudden shift in the economy, many people were sent home and left jobless due to the consequences of the global pandemic.
Businesses started to hire local freelancers to cut down on expenses during what might become the next big financial crisis. Most companies today are more likely to hire freelancers to make up for their losses.
However, this is not a permanent solution. Businesses have become more likely to turn freelance workers into full-time employees at some point of their collaboration. Read on to learn the benefits of hiring freelancers and when you should convert them into permanent employees.
The Benefits of Hiring Freelancers
Businesses that hire freelancers can take advantage of significant benefits that include saving money and getting more value for the price. Here are four reasons why it is a good idea to hire freelancers for your next project!
1. Lower Expenses
It is much cheaper for companies and startups to hire local freelancers instead of inviting a full-time employee. In this scenario, the employer does not have to pay for additional expenses such as taxes and health insurance.
Instead, they only pay the hourly rate or the fixed price for the project, depending on what kind of a deal they make with the freelancer. Besides saving money on overhead expenses, businesses that hire freelancers don’t have to worry about office space, since most freelancers work remote.
For instance, if you hire a digital marketer freelancer, all the work they’re doing can be done remotely. Freelancers usually work from their own homes and offices, meaning you don’t have to deal with the responsibility of maintaining and paying for an office space.
2. More Flexibility
On top of saving extra money, businesses that hire freelancers will get the benefit of higher work flexibility. While full-time employees are available only during certain hours, a digital marketer freelancer would have more flexible work hours to offer.
With that in mind, you can easily arrange specific hours for your calls and shuffle other tasks and responsibilities throughout the day. Besides, you can use a website to hire freelancers whenever you need them and you don’t have to keep them on board when there are no tasks ready for them.
This kind of flexibility allows you to get work done regularly, while still having the freedom to let go of workers who are not needed at the moment. All you have to do is find freelancers that can match your expectations in terms of work quality and schedule flexibility.
3. Ability to Find Experts
With full-time employees, businesses can only get the kind of workforce that can come into their office and be present at a physical location during office hours. While this is the definition of traditional employment, it puts limits on your chances of finding experts in the right fields.
However, if you use a website to hire freelancers, you can easily find people who are specialized in the field you’re looking for, regardless of their location. Since freelancers work remotely, you can aim for experts from any city or country in the world.
A digital marketer freelancer can get their job done from any location since all they need is a computer and internet connection. Instead of limiting your options to local employees, you can look into qualified workers from all corners of the world and enrich your workforce with fresh talent.
4. Higher Quality Work
Last but not least, companies that hire local freelancers or hire freelancers in general will receive higher quality work compared to those that employ full-time workers. The reason behind this is simple.
Freelancers are more likely to put extra effort into what they do because they have to build positive connections and a network that will ensure that they get regular work in the future. They put work quality at the top of their priority list because of the lack of job security.
A full-time employee, on the other hand, won’t feel the pressure to perform at their highest abilities because they have that job security that freelancers are lacking. This is good news for businesses that plan to hire freelancers in the future.
When to Convert a Freelancer into a Permanent Employee
The real question you’re here for is when is the right time to convert your freelancer into a permanent employee? And the answer is - it depends!
Of course, you can always find freelancers to fill up empty positions easily. However, if you find a great one, they might be difficult to replace. This is exactly when you should consider making a shift to full-time employment.
With that said, here are 8 factors to help you recognize when it is the right time to convert a freelancer into a full-time permanent employee:
1. Assess Flight Risk of the Freelancer
Before you make any final decisions, assess how likely the freelancer is to leave your project. While businesses that hire freelancers get to take advantage of many benefits, they also face one major risk.
The freelancer is not tied to their company and they can choose to leave whenever they want. If you are too slow in hiring a freelancer as a permanent employee, they may leave you. If you are too quick in converting a freelancer, they may not be the right fit and a drain on your financial resources. Hence, it is imperative to know when the flight risk of a freelancer is the highest and to be able to convert them to your payroll if there is a great fit.
2. Assess how busy the Freelancer is on other projects
One thing you should keep in mind is that freelancers work on multiple projects simultaneously and they have other clients besides you. This means their focus and attention is split between 4, 5, or sometimes even more clients.
It is in your best interest to check whether the freelancer is too busy to commit to your company. Although it would be best to have an employee focused only on your projects, you cannot control what they choose to do in their free time. Hence, if the freelancer has too much on their plate, they might not be the best option for you as a permanent employee.
3. Assess how much freelancer cares for benefits
Since they work remotely, freelancers are not used to the traditional benefits that come along with a full-time job. Many of them are used to handling their taxes, health insurance, and other administration on their own.
Thus, many freelancers don’t really care about having all those benefits that you might use as an incentive in your full-time employment offer. Take time to discuss what it is that your freelancer is looking for and whether you can provide it to them.
4. Analyze cultural fit
It takes more than just a good work ethic to fit into an organization’s culture. When working with freelancers, assess how much of a cultural fit they would be in your organization. You will generally know this by working with freelancers, especially local freelancers.
If it seems like the freelancer may not be a good cultural fit for your organization, maybe take a bit more time working with them or getting to know them better before thinking of converting them into a full-time employee.
5. Analyze if you love working with the freelancer
Naturally, you have to determine whether working with this freelancer suits you. No matter how skilled the freelancer is in their work, collaborating with them won’t be pleasant if there is a lack of communication and if you are not fond of them.
Make sure you are on the same page with the freelancer before you make any full-time decisions. Both parties should find it inspiring and rewarding to work with one another in order to achieve higher results.
6. Assess how happy the freelancer is
It is common sense that no one is going to accept a full-time offer if they are not happy with you as their employer. With that in mind, try to openly communicate with the freelancer and determine whether this full-time job position would have a positive impact on their life.
Unhappy employees can only hinder the growth of your company, as they won’t be putting effort into their work or committing to your projects at their maximum capacity.
7. Assess your budget to hire freelancers as a full-time employee
Before you present a full-time offer, make sure your business is ready to handle the additional expenses that come along with full-time employment. These include health and other insurance premiums and other benefits that need to be paid on top of the monthly salary.
Take time to calculate the annual overhead that includes fringe benefits, insurance benefits, retirement benefits, and payroll tax. Consider consulting a professional accountant if it is your first time converting a freelancer into a full-time employee.
8. Assess your freelancer’s long term career goals
Last but not least, make sure what you’re offering fits the freelancer’s long term career goals to prevent them from ditching your company later on. If you hire someone without considering their future plans, you are not looking at a permanent and loyal employee.
The best way to build your company’s team is to put together experienced, professional, and driven individuals. However, make sure their professional aspirations are aligned with the potential growth opportunities within your business.
To put it all together, it is important to address that not every business is going to hire freelancers just because of the current situation. However, there are many benefits that accrue with hiring freelancers and converting them into a permanent employee in the future.
If you decide to find freelancers suitable for your company, you will cut down on your hiring expenses and gain a lot more value than you would expect. All you have to do is use the right website to hire freelancers and get your freelance workforce ready to go.
Once you find the right digital marketer freelancer or a freelancer of any other expertise, make sure they can meet your expectations when it comes to work quality and flexibility. If you believe that you’ve found the right person for your company, it is time to make them a full-time offer.
However, be ready to hear no in response to a full-time offer made to a freelancer. While this is not often the case, some freelancers value the freedom and flexibility of being self-employed, so much so that they wouldn’t give up those privileges for any type of job security.
On the other hand, if you create a good offer that includes a fair salary and a certain level of freedom and flexibility, you might be able to get that freelancer you love to become a permanent member of your team.
It is quite easy to find freelancers nowadays but it doesn’t mean that every freelancer you work with will be the right candidate for permanent employment. You should consider the factors discussed above to assess if and when to convert freelancers to a permanent employee.