When it comes to getting specific tasks done, businesses have two choices – hire a freelancer or hire an employee.
Both options have their own specific benefits, and sometimes it’s hard to choose which one to go with.
In this post, we’re going to look at the benefits of hiring a freelancer vs. an employee, and how to determine which is best for your business.
From a human resources standpoint, there are lots of benefits to hiring a freelancer to take care of specific tasks within your business.For starters, since a freelancer is not an official employee of your business, you do not have to worry about covering their taxes, health insurance, or offering other benefits.
You don’t have to pay them for sick time or vacation time. You simply will pay them an agreed upon fixed rate (hourly or per project) based on what they accomplish.
In addition to the HR benefits, you can also consider the lower overhead costs of hiring a freelancer vs. an employee. Freelancers will normally handle all of their own expenses, unless you have agreed otherwise. You don’t have to worry about supplying them with office space, office supplies, a computer, or other assets.
Last but not least, you can hire based on specific skills that you may not need for an on-going basis. When you hire an employee, you may want to consider their versatility in the event that they may not have enough work to do within their own department or the needs of your company simply evolve.
With freelancers, since you are not committing to working with them for the long haul, you can choose a freelancer based on a specific skillset. For example, if you need a website redesign, you can choose the best freelance web designer for that project. Once that project is finished you can hire the best freelance copywriter to optimize your website’s copy. Then, you can hire a freelance blogger to create content for your blog.
On the flip side, if you were considering an employee, you might only have the resources to hire one person that would need to do all of these tasks. Finding someone that is an expert in multiple skillsets is much more challenging, and often leads to choosing a person who is only good at two out of three.
The Benefits of Hiring an Employee
With all of the benefits of hiring a freelancer, you might ask, “Why hire an employee?” There are, of course, benefits to this approach as well.
Whenever you have a specific set of tasks that you know you will need for an on-going basis, an employee is almost always the answer. Depending on your business type, you will likely always need administrative assistants, accountants, salespeople, and different levels of management. Companies that offer web design services for clients will need dedicated web designers and developers. Companies that want to build and maintain a strong content strategy will need a dedicated editor or content manager.
Hiring an employee also gives you the ability to groom them for advancement. In this case, instead of just hiring someone to do a job, you can hire them to do the job with the possibility of one day managing others who do that same job.
And of course, the main benefit to hiring an employee is that they will be working for you and only you. Freelancers typically have more than one client at any given time, if not more. Your employees will be inside the company and learning about nothing but what your business has to offer. They can also be representatives of your business at conferences, networking events, and within their own private network of friends and family.
Deciding Between a Freelancer vs. Employee
So with great benefits on both sides of the freelancer vs. employee fence, which one do you choose? Here’s a series of questions to answer to help you make your decision.
- Are you hiring someone for a task that will be needed just once or infrequently?
- Are you hiring someone for a task that is on going and crucial to your business?
- Are you hiring someone for months, or for years?
- Are you hiring someone that you want to see advance within your company?
- Are you hiring someone that you want to become a part of your company culture?
The answers to these questions should help you determine whether you need a freelancer or an employee.
Still not sure? Drop your situation in the comments and we will help you out!