Finding the right talent at the right time can be a harrowing adventure, especially when it comes to the enterprise. Of course for many, that seems to be exponentially more-so whenever attempting to solve business development problems or otherwise fill an immediate need.
While there are several options available deciding which choice best suits your needs can be a tricky endeavor in and of itself. Is it the right project, need and time to hire a full-time employee? Will a freelancer bring what you need to the table? When is an agency the overall best solution?
Today we’ll try to answer those questions and help guide you down the path that meets your organization’s needs and goals.
The Freelance Solution
Working with freelancers takes a bit of preparation and you need to be sure that your team is fully ready for the move. In order to get your project moving forward on the right track, you have to have a clear understanding of your needs, have clear expectations regarding the work that needs to be done, and have a strong onboarding process for freelancers.
While freelancing has always been a staple for industries ranging from writing to marketing, many in tech, including artificial intelligence and rapid prototyping, are utilizing the benefits of freelancers.
You may not always be able to obtain the reliable and skilled talent you require, but the fact is that these days many top performers in the industry are making a conscious choice to freelance over traditional employment options. This means freelancers may very well have those high demand, hard to find specialized skills that you’re in need of.
Additionally, there are clear signs that it’s time for you to utilize freelancers.
- Maxed out team — Many times, teams are just too extended to undertake new projects, initiatives, or even duties. Freelancers can help you quickly hire quality talent so that you can move quickly without having to lean harder on your likely already stressed team.
- Agility is key — Freelancers are agile and scalable by their very nature, allowing them to move into positions quickly. When there isn’t time for an extended talent search, hiring process, or vetting procedure, freelancers can fill the need and keep those projects on schedule.
- Increasing the talent pool — Those organizations needing to find talent outside of their geographical limits can also benefit from freelancers. Freelancers can open the door to growth while minimizing risk and you can gain an understanding of new markets with a finite budget.
- Compliance — Keeping a lower headcount is another reason for some companies to engage freelancers. Companies that have 50 or more full-time employees must comply with the Affordable Care Act, while those with over 15 have to look at EEOC compliance. Freelancers can help get work done without adding to the organization’s headcount. That said, you should always check with state and federal law because according to entities like the IRS, simply calling someone an independent contractor doesn’t make them one.
However, a solution solely involving freelancers may leave you open to unexpected issues. While they generally work remotely and reduce headcounts, they also may be working on multiple projects for multiple clients at the same time. This may not be an issue for the majority of the duration of your relationship, but it could also mean that your team isn’t getting the attention that it needs and deserves.
Freelancers generally go where the money is, and that means that reliability could be lacking when you need it most. When considering utilizing freelance talent to fill a position or help with a project, keep both the short and long term benefits and drawbacks in mind.
Considering the things that are less important to a freelancer, including office space, benefits, trainings, and salary increases, in the long run a full-time worker can be more expensive. That said, permanent employees can be trained to specifications and are generally more reliable. Increased cost often brings increased reliability, continuity, and consistency in attention and work.
Additionally, if you’re expanding into a new market or delving into new tech, investing up front to turn a full-time employee into a specialist allows your organization to have a permanent employee that knows the project from the ground up.
As a more permanent resource, a full-time employee is much more likely to build company loyalty and bridge a connection to the organization’s goals, resulting in higher productivity. While interviewing, onboarding, and training a new employee can take anywhere from weeks to months, there are certain situations where a full-time employee is the right answer.
- Training time — How much time will have to be invested to get the freelancer up and running? It might be a better option to use that investment on a full-time employee instead.
- Supervision — If a position or project requires oversight, you’re likely going to want to forego a freelancer simply because they may choose to perform the work outside of normal business hours, meaning you’d be unable to monitor progress.
- Developing clientele — A freelancer might not be the best choice if you’re looking to build your clientele base. Your in-house staff is likely acutely aware of just about everything that’s going on within the project and company as a whole, and they can easily utilize that knowledge to your advantage when building relationships with clients.
- Room for growth – Full-time employees can growth with your business, developing new skills and capabilities. And with that growth comes new opportunities for your business to grow as well. Having in-house talent developing professionally makes your organization stronger in ways that a freelancer may not.
Partnering with an Agency
In an ever-changing and increasingly-competitive business climate, choosing between full-time employees and freelancers doesn’t have to be your only option. Now more than ever, third party agencies and consultancy are available to provide the expertise and reliability you require without the financial expense or training time associated with a full-time employee.
The right agency for your technology needs – from web development to infrastructure administration is one that can get up to speed quickly, bring the right skills to the relationship, and reduce the stress on your current tech team without sacrificing quality, culture, or communication.
As a result, there are certain situations where partnering with an agency is generally considered the best course of action.
- Time-sensitive talent requirements — If you simply don’t have the staff on-hand with the skills required for time-sensitive projects, turning to an agency like Multidots can quickly provide the expertise you need, when you need it.
- What you have just isn’t working — It’s often a really good idea to take a step back and reevaluate, especially when processes, projects, and setups just aren’t performing as expected. Whether you simply need expert consulting or a full revamp, an outside set of eyes via a new partner can be exactly what you need to kick things into a higher gear.
- You need custom solutions — Whether it’s a to-be-built custom web application, a redesign, or complete reimagining, the right agency can expand the horizons of what is possible for your project or business.
- You need to be free — Cultivating a relationship with the right partner means that you can focus on running your business while those trouble areas become the responsibility of your agency. Even strong internal teams should focus on driving the business forward, not trying to solve every technical issue that pops up. Metaphorically speaking, the right agency can focus on changing the oil and keeping air in the tires while you focus on driving the car.
- Reliability — When the project or situation calls for the prompt curation of reliable talent, a partnership is almost always the best course of action. A partner can alleviate the need for extended hiring processes or vetting freelancers, providing the reliable and skilled solutions you need much faster than the alternative.
- Your reputation needs it — Neither your systems nor your customers operate 9 to 5, and partnering with Multidots means that your team of experts is available around the clock. With proactive monitoring and working hand-in-hand with your in-house staff, your partner has your back no matter what time of day or night.
We’re the first to admit that freelancers, full-time employees, and agencies all have their place. Sometimes a freelancer to compliment your team is a great choice, particularly if you are budget constrained or have a short term project requiring attention. Conversely, a full-time hire can be a big advantage for your organization in the future as your team, talent, and capabilities grow roots, driving your business into the future. But just as often, the right agency partnership can provide outstanding solutions to the technical challenges you face without breaking the bank or compromising your mission. If you’d like more information about partnering with Multidots or want to learn how we can provide the solutions unique to your organization’s needs, contact us today.