In-house vs. Freelance: When to Hire a Freelancer and When not to

Posted by  Published 2 years ago

We live in a new age, where technology has transformed business. From creating and selling virtual products to new digital marketing channels that didn’t exist before to customer acquisition automation, technology has changed not only how we buy and sell goods and services, but also what we buy. Technology has also changed how work gets done. Platforms that enable communication and collaboration without requiring people to meet in person are now the norm. And, for possibly the first time in history, we have all the technology in place to allow nearly any worker to perform their duties remotely and businesses now need to hire a freelancer.

The change has been dramatic. As of 2019, about 35 percent of the workforce in the U.S. worked as freelance. And with the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s predicted that an additional 25-30 percent of the workforce will permanently work from home, according to Global Workplace Analytics.

With all this remote team work, some businesses might be weighing whether it’s better to hire someone in-house or to hire a freelancer. To help make the decision easier, here’s a brief comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Hiring In-House Talent

Advantages:

  • Potentially greater loyalty to the company.
  • Can grow within a role.
  • Easier to train employees on company processes.
  • Closer collaboration with team members.

Disadvantages

  • Likely more expensive, when taking into account taxes and benefits.
  • The candidate pool is often (though not always) limited to the immediate geographic area.
  • Can be challenging to find employees who fit a firm’s work culture.
  • Performance can drop and, depending on the laws in your country, it could be difficult to fire the person.

When to Hire: Decisions to hire an in-house worker over a freelancer can often depend on the size and type of company, but generally speaking, it’s best to hire in-house when:

  • You need the worker to participate in your company culture,
  • The function is a core part of the business,
  • The work involves trade secrets or intellectual property that require a high level of confidentiality.

Hiring a Freelancer

Advantages:

  • Often less expensive, which lowers project costs and reduces financial risk.
  • Depending on the level of the freelancer’s experience, little to no supervision is required.
  • Could potentially transition to a full-time employee.
  • Can extend or expand a firm’s core competencies.
  • Freelancers often get work done faster than in-house employees.

Disadvantages:

  • Hard to know beforehand if a freelancer can deliver as expected.
  • Possibly less invested in project outcomes outside of their portion of the work.
  • Low level of loyalty to the company.
  • Work is often limited to what’s in the contract.

When to Hire:  Freelancers are a great resource for one-off projects. They don’t have to be small, necessarily, but they should have very specific objectives. Freelancers are great for small businesses and startups, looking for people with high levels of expertise without having to commit to paying them a full-time salary.

Whether you’re looking for short-term freelancers or a longer-term remote team, Thankz can help. From web developers to virtual assistants, and everything in between, our global marketplace can supply you with the talent you need to grow your business.