Why Freelancers?

Shortcomings of being tied to hiring full-time talent and why companies should consider hiring freelance developers to supplement their team.

To set oneself up for success, the importance of having the right team has been established time and time again. Top companies, big and small, consistently attribute success to their teams. It only makes sense then that firms everywhere spend an inordinate amount of time and money to build their dream teams.

Clearly, it’s not disputed that assembling the right team is critical to achieving goals. The impact of having an in-house team v/s hiring freelance developers, though, isn’t debated as much as it should.

However, in recent years, this has changed. Freelancing and remote working have caught on to the imagination of not only the forward-thinking startups but also the visionary corporations that are constantly on the lookout to find the new lever of growth. And rightly so, as the benefits that they offer are too good to ignore.

Below we look at a few of the reasons why hiring and working with full-time employees can be limiting for some companies:

The problem with in-house employees

1. Long time to fill a position

To begin with, we need to understand the number of time companies spend on hiring a quality developer or designer. “Time to fill” is the number of days between the publication of a job and getting an offer accepted. According to industry benchmarks, this metric is 55 days for Engineering & IT talent (across geographies).

Also, commitments, such as the notice period, delay the time taken for the talent to join the firm by another month or two. This makes the entire process an intensive 3 to 4-month ordeal. Reports indicate that this duration has been increasing in recent years.

Of course, while you grapple with the slow hiring process, the loss in opportunity costs cannot be ignored. Unfilled positions in the US Tech industry alone account for a loss of $20.1 billion per year. Not being able to hire fast can hamper a startup’s growth, and cause considerable problems for larger companies as well.

2. Dipping employee-employer loyalty

For the millennials in today’s workforce, job-hopping has become the “new normal”. According to a recent report by Gallup, over 21% of millennials have changed their jobs within one year, which is 3 times more than their older counterparts.

Talent managers and recruiters cite a large portion of resumes filled with job stints of a year or two. This is concerning for companies, since after spending many months training their employees, losing them in less than a couple of years is a huge waste of their resources.

Studies show that it costs a business 6 to 9 months’ salary on average every time they have to replace a salaried employee.

3. Not enough flexibility

Oftentimes, situations arise where the team has to be scaled fast to solve a particular problem, owing to the lack of relevant expertise in the in-house team. In such cases, going through the painstaking process of hiring a full-time employee doesn’t make sense.

Such an individual’s expertise is usually only required in the short term. So, once the particular task is completed, companies can’t afford to have them on the payroll without further work. Hence, some companies prefer to have flexibility in terms of hiring.

The Solution

Using freelancers to augment your core team represents the best solution. By hiring and working with freelance developers, you’ll be able to bring about fast turnarounds in your product development goals, and also have the flexibility needed to adapt to the changing needs of the market.

Having a core team to build around is important and ensures that your company has a proper structure in place. However, multiple startups, even with a single founder, are able to grow quickly by working with a team of freelancers. This highlights the incredibly high versatility of freelancers.

As aptly phrased by one of our customers (the top management of a Series C startup), the future of work involves each individual building their own brand and possibly firms being entirely run by freelancers.

With platforms such as Flexiple providing not only vetted but also specific recommendations to your talent requirements, building your team can’t be any easier.

Benefits of hiring freelance developers

Having understood why full-time employees might not be the right solution every time, let’s understand the benefits of hiring a freelance developer and the use-cases they solve:

1. Bring about fast turnarounds – Meeting product goals

For the 3-4 months that it takes to hire permanent employees, a firm’s work can’t be stopped or postponed. Hiring a freelancer developer to augment the team in such a setting ensures that the targets and deadlines don’t have to be compromised upon.

Vetted freelancing platforms enable companies to hire freelancers within a week or two. Additionally, the personalised recommendations by experts reduce the chance of a bad hire and the need for iterations. Quality freelancers mapped correctly to requirements hit the ground running, requiring no training and very low ramp-up time.

2. Niche technology – bringing in experts when they’re needed

At times, a team’s knowledge in a particular domain may be limited. Finding permanent hires in these niche technologies might be very hard. Furthermore, such a skill might not be needed by the firm on a regular basis.

Therefore, hiring a freelancer who is an expert in the field and has relevant experience, allows the company to take advantage of the contextual knowledge they bring to the table. This would be more beneficial economically and also efficient from a productivity perspective.

3. Higher flexibility – increasing the ability to adapt to the market

Hiring freelancers allows the company to have a more flexible team, one which can be scaled fast and modified when the need arises. This equips them to easily adapt to the changing needs of the market.

This is invaluable to smaller companies that are looking to grow fast. Freelance developers allow them to keep up the pace on their build, while not having to take up the additional costs of hiring permanent employees. Our next point elaborates on this concept.

4. Instantly increase the team’s bandwidth

Certain times might call for an immediate need for more manpower. This includes situations when the team’s bandwidth has been maxed out, with opportunities being missed if there’s a long delay in getting more team members in.

Hiring freelance developers for such situations can prove to be a great solution. Freelancers can start work almost immediately, resulting in fast turnarounds. This further allows them to act as extensions to the in-house team and ensure the pace is kept up through the high demand.

5. Reduced overhead costs

There are a lot of factors that influence freelancer rates including:

  1. Demand for the skill in the market
  2. Expertise in the skill-set
  3. Past Work Experience
  4. Geography

While hiring a freelance developer may or may not be cheaper than hiring a permanent employee, it can definitely save overhead costs like benefits, office space, and supplies.

Especially, in a volatile funding climate, freelancers can be a boon. To adapt to a tough market, companies might need to take challenging decisions such as a hiring freeze. Using freelancers to supplement the team with freelancers can be the solution to keep up the growth.

6. Take advantage of worldwide talent

When hiring in-house employees, companies only have access to a finite pool. They must either be located in the same region or be willing to relocate on short notice.

Hiring freelance developers offers companies a game-changing competitive edge by giving them the ability to leverage worldwide talent.

Skills, technical expertise, and prices for freelancers vary across geographies. So if a company is ready to embrace remote working, it increases the odds of finding the best-suited person for the job significantly.

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