Employees VS Freelancers

In 2015 a study showed 4.1 million people were freelancers in Australia. 370,000 more than from the previous year

What is a freelancer?

  • Someone working in a service-based industry, self-employed and undertaking supplementary, temporary, project or contract based-work

There are 4 categories of freelancers in Australia :

  • Moonlighters: They are Full time workers but Freelance in their free time
  • Divergent Workers: They Have a part time job and use their spare time for freelance gigs
  • Contractors: They generally work for One to two clients at a time max.
  • Professionals: Working with many clients at the same time

Each freelancer will have a different approach; some are happy to move from one type of work to another; others are committed to one type.

Why do you want to bring freelancers into your organisation? If your answer to this question is to “save money”, then you need to take a step back.

Freelancers are not cheap substitutes for full time employees. In fact, the hourly rate for a good freelancer will slightly be more than for a similar employee. There are various reasons for this.

The cost of an employee is more than the salary when you consider training, superannuation, payroll tax, office space, personnel services. As freelancers have to carry out their own marketing, accounting and etc. they spend fewer hours on their core work.

Trust can be demonstrated in freelancers by:

    • Giving them work that makes the most of their experience and skill
    • Paying an appropriate rate
    • Paying on time
  • Being clear about dates and durations as early as possible

Trust will be repaid by:

    • Delivering their best work
    • Keeping their skills at the cutting edge
  • Helping you to find other quality freelancers when needed

Here are some facts about Freelancers :

    • Freelancers are not Cheap Employees
    • You need to know what Freelancers can bring to your Organisation
    • Freelancers can be part of your Organisational Culture
  • Good freelancers bring value to your organisation

Here we go with some suggestion for you to consider while hiring a freelancer

  1. Suggestion 1  – “Be clear about the requirements of the freelance role e.g. full-time over a specific time period, on retainer with a specified amount of work. Clarify where the work will take place – is it remote or on specific premises?”
  1. Suggestion 2 – “If you are approaching a particular freelancer, rather than advertising a role, take time to understand their work structure and make sure that your requirements can fit in with that. Each individual knows how they can best deliver for you.”
  1. Suggestion 3 – “Treat every freelancer you hire as an individual. They will bring different experience and skills to your organisation. Taking the time to understand their potential contribution outside of the skills you hired them for will lead to a productive relationship for both of you.”
  1. Suggestion  4– “Pay your freelancers a rate that recognises their value to you organisation, not the lowest rate you can.”
  1. Suggestion 5 – “Be clear with yourself and your freelancers what it is you want from them and what you expect them to contribute to the organisation.”
  1. Suggestion 6 – “Articulate your values to your freelancers. If you can explain them clearly and in a way that people can relate to, they can understand quickly whether they share those values.”
  1. Suggestion  7– “Set expectations with your freelancer as soon as, or even before they start. Bear in mind that people absorb information differently, so they may not remember everything presented in an initial session. Ensure that new freelancers have continuing access to the information they need to work in your organisation.” If you want to build a pool of freelance talent to call on over time, it is worth investing in building and maintaining that relationship, even when you’re not hiring. Letting them know what is going on in your own organisation send the message that you value their involvement and builds commitment. Freelancers like regular clients as much as employers like having access to good freelance talent.  
  1. Suggestion 8 – “Make organisational culture part of the selection and onboarding system for your freelancers.”
  1. Suggestion  9– “Establish clear boundries expected in communication. Communicate these in your on-boarding process so behaviour expectations are clear. The more you align the boundaries for your staff and freelancers with each other, the easier those relationships are likely are likely to be. For example, if freelancers can work outside the office, then consider allowing your staff to do so as well.
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Puneet Thakur

Clarity to choose a right path towards your goal with a clear execution plan is the real power in today's disruptive world. Your knowledge, experience, qualifications are just potential power.

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