Working as an online freelancer has many benefits and the best part is that the demand for freelancers is growing.
As a co-founder of a platform for freelancers, it's a bit ironic to say that for years, I preferred full-time employees over hiring freelancers. I had the feeling that this was a kind of capital extortion and that the primary motivation of these home office heroes would be their income. I reasoned that you only build a strong team with full-time or part-time employees. Otherwise, you teach the monkey to climb, pay him for it and then he runs away with the bananas.
Exceptionally, when we had a capacity problem or when particular expertise was needed, I could be persuaded to hire someone for a temporary job. But he couldn't count on a lot of attention or guidance from me. Come in, do the job, and get out of here was my credo.
Trends in the freelance labor market
There are plenty of arguments about why hiring a freelancer is not a good idea. However, this does not reflect the undeniable freelance labor market trend. For example, the estimate is that by 2027, more than half of the American population will have made a conscious choice to become a freelancer and make money online from home.
With a percentage of 36% of the total labor market in the USA, they contribute 1.4 trillion dollars per year. These hard figures show that in addition to the threats, the opportunities should also be studied. What makes freelancing compared to full-time jobs so exciting, and what could be the advantage of a dominant freelance market?
What are the advantages of hiring a freelancer?
Without immediately using the popular terms 'agile working' and 'optimal flexibility', there are very factual benefits when it comes to hiring freelancers. Although the quality of freelancers is just as diverse as in the regular job market, you can generally say that freelancers perform better than an employees.
If an employee is not working correctly, it can be difficult to fire him for that reason. On the other hand, a freelancer who does not perform at his best will soon be out of work. It is usually an excellent motivation to go to great lengths.
The advantages of freelancers for a company
You bring in specific expertise
Scalability of your capacity at peak times
New insights into working methods, trends, and opportunities in the market
Why does someone want to become a freelancer?
You can divide freelancers into three groups, where someone in one group can end up in the other group after a while. The first group of freelancers has become so out of necessity, the second group for-profit, and the third group to make better use of their passion and talents.
The latter group can be divided into a group that chooses a healthier work/private balance or becoming a digital nomad and a group that chooses ambition.
Profit motive freelancers
Passion and talent developers
Work/private balance freelancers
When hiring a freelancer, we are generally best off with passionate and talented developers. They were already good at something and wanted to get even better at it.
Are freelancers loyal to a company?
In the past, one used to work for the same company for 40 years. That's what we call loyalty. Apart from the fact that many companies don't make it to their 40th anniversary anymore, we're ignoring the fact that there may have been other factors besides loyalty.
Finding jobs used to be harder, the culture in many parts of the world required you to be happy with what you have. The families were more significant, so you had more significant responsibility. In other words, the question is whether employees were and are loyal. Maybe many freelancers are much more loyal because they consciously choose a task.
The difference between a freelancer and an employee is that an employee is assigned and has to perform a task. A freelancer can choose from hundreds of tasks and take on the most fun and appropriate one.
As long as the fun and appropriate tasks from which the freelancer gains satisfaction continue to present themselves, the freelancer is loyal. It is different from the employee who stays because it gives stability and security. And in return, he also does the tasks for which he does not have the qualities and passion at all. If I had my say, I would always choose the intrinsically motivated and loyal freelancer.
How do remote online freelancers work?
The most significant growth within the freelance segment is to be found in the remote online freelancers. Whereas in the past freelancers were often used for mechanical or physical work, the supply and demand for knowledge and expertise have increased tremendously.
One of the most popular areas of freelance expertise in 2018 was Instagram and Social media marketing. Due to the increase in demand and technical possibilities to work remotely, the supply has also increased enormously.
I remember a case where we had to create a massive book with different tables. None of us had the exact knowledge of how to easily import the customer's file, and retyping would take too long to meet the deadline. Via others, we found out the name of a freelancer who had a lot of experience with this, but unfortunately, he lived 200 miles away and didn't have time in 3 days.
If we had had the technical capabilities such as dialing in with live video calling and sharing screens by then, the solution would have been within easy reach. A call to set the settings correctly, and within half an hour, we would have had a solution. Now we are stuck for three days and paid a daily rate because that day he couldn't work for anyone else anymore.
What are hybrid freelancers?
Thanks to the increasing demand for freelancers, there is a new trend for freelancers who combine their assignments with a permanent job. The so-called hybrid freelancers. Some work one or two days as a freelancer and the rest as an employee and others combine their work by doing a few projects in the evening.
Think of translation work or tutoring. A few hours a week of freelance work can make a helpful contribution to a pleasant monthly income, and sometimes it is a nice change from the routine work at the office.