Hiring Freelance And Contract Staff

Hiring Freelance And Contract Staff






Using freelance and contract staff can be a useful option for many businesses in search of short term, flexible solutions to staffing requirements or specific skills needs. Of course, freelance staff won't suit every situation or business, so when should they be used and how?

Pros of freelance

  • No employment related costs
  • Flexible, no long term commitment
  • Can address specific needs quickly
  • They may have specific or even greater experience and expertise compared to available permanent recruitment pool
  • Short term basis focuses effort on accomplishing specific task
  • May bring with them useful new ideas

Cons of freelance

  • Day rate cost will likely be high making it unsustainable in the long run
  • It may be difficult to find the right person
  • Any investment in initial product or process training will have no long term benefit
  • Issues with permanent staff
  • Fixed costs of appointing new shortterm staff cannot be offset over time
  • Appearance to key customers or clients
  • Intellectual property concerns

So when do freelancers work well?

  • Short term needs with specific requirements in terms of expertise or experience
  • Clearly defined time scales or projects

And what can you do to ensure you get the most from using freelancers and avoid any potential pitfalls?

  • As with any appointment, check references
  • Have a written contract that clearly lays out duties and expected results
  • Document everything - primarily as a way of keeping some of their expertise in house after they go
  • Ensure that their employment terms are clear and that you are covered under employment and tax legislation.

Freelancers and contractors can be a great way to help grow your business or undertake specific projects BUT they should be treated as a short term solution - not a long term answer to staffing issues.

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