The freelance market is on the rise. A third of the American workforce are currently freelancing, according to a study by Edelman Berland. It’s the “new normal”, says Kristen Fischer in an article for Success.Com.
Startups have taken advantage of this new freelance economy. It’s become their go-to solution to get the job done while keeping their overhead costs manageable. It’s a great hiring option, but is it enough?
At Bolton Remote, we help companies hire offshore remote staff. We believe that a full-time, dedicated employee is best in the long run. Startups, in particular, need exceptional and devoted hires during the early stages. Hiring freelancers with a “gig” mindset doesn’t offer this kind of commitment.
The option to hire freelancers when needed is great, but we have a few reasons why they shouldn’t be the only solution for your startup:
1. You need collaborators, not contractors.
Startups are always building and always growing. During this crucial stage, you’re still improving your product and working out the kinks along the way. When you hire a freelancer for vital tasks like building your software, “there’s a big risk that you won’t be able to understand and manage the technology as you grow” says David Cohen, founder of TechStars. You need people just as invested in your product to make it unique.
2. They’re not just focused on you.
Hiring freelancers is attractive to startups. “It keeps the companies nimble and scalable” says Jeremy Quittner of Inc. You can take risks and scale without worrying about being able to afford this month’s payroll. But this kind of flexibility comes with freelancers whose attention is split between your startup and numerous other clients your freelancer is working with. Full-time employees work hard to help you achieve your goals because they believe your success is their success.
3. They’re not interested in your business.
You can hire (and probably afford) highly skilled freelancers from all around the globe, but do they know anything about your industry? There might be nuances about your business and your customers that won’t translate well in client briefs you send to freelancers. Employees “will get to know the inner workings of your company” shares writer Miles Young for Tweak Your Biz. In turn, they’ll be able to do their jobs with a deep understanding of what you do.
4. Eventually, you’ll grow.
Once you’re out of the startup phase and you’re ready to scale, you will need people for key roles. Your best hires for these position are those who have grown with the company. When you only hire freelancers to accomplish key tasks, who will you promote for key roles?
Think about the longevity of your company. According to Paul Spiegelman of Stericycle, the option for advancement also “boosts productivity, fosters innovation, cultivates loyalty and keeps employees focused on business goals.” Full-time employment is a win for the talent, too, not just your company.
5. Company culture is important.
As the old adage goes, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. This means, part of your startup’s success is the culture you cultivate among your employees. It “drives the value of a company from beginning to end” says Murray Newlands for Forbes Magazine. A culture that will attract customers and partners will start with the culture you develop within your company.
You can’t build a company culture when you’re mostly reliant on freelancers who will move on after their services have been rendered. The sooner you invest in employees, the sooner you can build and implement a strong company culture.
6. Loyalty will help you get far.
Freelancers do not represent your business, they represent themselves. Full-time employees, however, are your de facto ambassadors. “Every individual you bring on board comes with their network, which at some point could be very useful to your business.” says Eric Muli, president of Zabamba. They’ll be able to network for your company, too.
They can even refer excellent hires to work for you. Employee referrals might even be your best source of talent. According to Undercover Recruiter, it has the highest applicant to hire conversion rate. If you have offshore remote staff, they could help your brand get a wide and global reach. You can send them to conferences where they’re located and they will be there as a representative of your company or brand.
When it comes to hiring full-time, you’re better off doing it sooner rather than later. There are numerous options to keep your overhead costs low without relying solely on freelancers. You need people who think long term. “Too much fixation on a short-term exit is very dangerous” shares tech entrepreneur Lynn LeBlanc. Build a strong team today and you will help your startup in the long run.
We can provide with full-time focused, committed, and dedicated offshore remote staff that will work towards your success. Visit our website at www.BoltonRemote.com and in 3 days, you’ll be interviewing candidates ready and eager to work for you.
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