A long –term employee or a full-time freelancer? Here’s what you should know before you take a leap
The gigonomy has grown beyond one’s imagination and it’s still on the rise. According to an Intuit study, 43% of Americans will work as independent contractors by the end of 2020. It has always been predicted that people will likely switch jobs over their careers, looking for better opportunities. The gig economy is simply recognized as a natural extension of this pattern that provides a better work-life balance. Although this modern & flexible arrangement feels very synonymous with the millennial gen, a survey conducted by Payoneer revealed that in America, every 1 in 3 freelancers is over the age of 50.
The picture is changing for employers too. On one hand, there’s a growing talent pool for employers to choose from. At the other end, the minimum-wage shift work and service industry roles make up a considerable part of the system. However, the disadvantage for companies is that it is difficult to retain good people and invest in their best talent since more and more people are moving out of the cubicle. In this respect, the gigonomy encourages and empowers people to shape their own destiny and leverage their existing assets to their benefit. Businesses must shift the way they think of their teams and put processes in place to make it work in order to accommodate a new freelance-driven marketplace. But before taking a new route, here are a few things you should do to prepare your businesses for freelancers:
- Making the match
From solopreneurs to global enterprises, more and more businesses are now finding their way towards the gig economy to get work done. Partly because it gives the desired, cost-effective results and since it is easy to access specialized talent as and when needed. But hiring a freelancer may not always be the right thing to do.
Before you begin the hiring process, think carefully about the specific job and define the roles clearly. Sometimes you may need a specialist or extra help on a short-term project. Maybe you need an SEO expert for a marketing campaign or a mobile developer to iterate a new app. With the right expertise, a freelancer can deliver the quality of work you envision. But if the job requires an intrinsic understanding of your company or if you’re trying to build a cohesive internal team, then a freelancer may not be a better fit.
- Know your budget
When you try to line up freelancers, payment can be one of the sticking points. Many professionals have a particular set of rates for each project. Your potential budget depends upon the scope of your project. Clear project scope will help you define job posts that will attract top freelancers.
Consider setting apart a certain budget for every assignment that you hire a freelance for. Your concrete budget will, to an extent define the quality of the work you receive. So if a project requires premium work, you can hire a freelancer with a better experience, someone who is likely to charge you slightly higher. But if you have a limited budget and if the assignment doesn’t require special handling, choose the type that suits your demands and also fits your pockets.
- Mind the “Claim game”
While the gig economy survives on fast and competent talent, how do you make sure that the one you are hiring for a particular project is actually going to be all that he/she says on paper? Be wary of the gap between the cup & the lip as many times, people do not have the skills they advertise. Pay close attention to what the freelancer is claiming and what they can actually do for you. Are they promising amazing web designs or blog articles that can attract thousands of followers? If yes, let them back up their claims with proof, usually a portfolio.
Most online portals have a review & rating system, but relying on the ratings alone may not be an ideal thing to do while hiring a freelance. Always hire a freelancer for a pilot project or a small task, something that is payable only on its successful completion.
- Who owns what?
While hiring freelancers for a creative task like UI designers, coders or content writers, make sure you inform them about intellectual property rights and copyrights. Let’s say, you’ve hired a freelance creative web designer to create an eye-catching website for your brand. You are very excited that the designer has further created a fun web application to gamify the explanation of your company’s niche in the market. Now, who owns the web content and who owns the app?
Unless it’s specified in your agreement, technically the freelancer owns both. But what if the designer uses the same template they’ve used for your website? Or, what if the application that they’ve created was already used for another client but now includes your branding? Copyright laws apply to intellectual property like music, drama, graphics and written content. As a business owner, it is important to clarify IP ownership. To protect yourself, ensure a clause in the contract or agreement might require the freelancer to use only original IP in their work for your company.
The gigonomy is booming with freelancers expanding their skill sets to keep up with the evolution. Leveraging a freelance talent to your company’s resources can be a smart move with big benefits. Many corporations are changing quickly and rewriting their strategies to meet market demands. Freelancers will soon become an integral part of operating a business. Is your organisation ready to catch up with the coming trends and adapt to a new workforce?
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