Hiring a full time staff and retaining those employees can be a challenge for any business, large or small. Whether it is a question of cashflow, consistent business and sales or an unexpected change in the market, employees are not as loyal as they once were. It’s normal a talented employee will move onto a new company if there is no growth for them, it is important they do in order improve their skills and experience bringing more to each company they join. This however is tough on the company they choose to leave behind. Keeping an employee happy is sometimes more than a pay raise or free coffee.
Hiring a freelancer is a chance to test drive a “potential employee” without having to commit long term (in the beginning – setup for another blog post). While they may work in their own way, they offer high value for a short trial period. If you are happy, you may have a go to person on the next project. without paying the salary between downtimes. Allowing you some breathing room and a chance to relocate your finances as needed.
A freelancer also as a diverse background in experience and training as they move from project to project with perhaps a wide range of clients. This allows them insight sometimes into the competitor as well. They see things you may not and from many perspectives, helping you overcome obstacles before they present themselves. They also may provide more attention to detail and genuine care into your business as it benefits them, unlike a regular employee who may clock in and clock out with disregard. They may have a more diverse skill set as their clients needs varied as well. This can provide an opportunity to take advantage versus a employee who performs more repetitive tasks.
Everyone loves free!
Freelancers can have their challenges, mostly being they highly value their personal freedom, they may charge a bit higher or have other expenses an employee wouldn’t. While this may come across as stubbornness, it is usually a result of being a business owner themselves. Self employment is no easy walk in the park, so while this may cause a bit more friction than say in house staff. They are more likely going to go the extra mile to make you happy. Be sure to respect their boundaries and pay on time otherwise you may get blacklisted and possibly lose some great talent and collaboration. But occasionally a shared vision isn’t there, or there are external circumstances that stand in the way of a smooth collaboration. Sometimes a new employee or management team member just doesn’t sit well with them. The beauty of a freelancer is there is no obligation to continue after a contract is completed. You are both free to go your separate ways and maybe reconnect later when the collaboration is better suited. (As long as you pay them, free does not mean free work!)