Freelance or a full-time job?

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As a co-founder of a platform for freelancers, it's a bit ironic to say that for years I wasn't in favour of hiring freelancers. I had the feeling that this was a kind of capital extortion and that the main motivation of a freelancer would be his income. My reasoning was that you don't build a strong team like this. You learn the monkey to climb, pay him for it and then he runs away with the bananas. Exceptionally, when we really had a capacity problem or when a very specific expertise was needed, I could be persuaded to hire someone on a temporary basis. 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.

Freelance or a full-time job?

Trends in the labour market

There are plenty of arguments why hiring a freelancer is not a good idea. But this does not reflect an undeniable trend. For example, the estimate that by 2027 more than half of the American population will have made a conscious choice to become a freelancer. Or with a percentage of 36% of the total labour market 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 so popular 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 employee. If an employee is not working properly, 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. This is usually a good motivation to go to great lengths.

The advantages of a freelancer

  • You bring in very specific expertise
  • Scalability of your capacity at peak times
  • New insights into working methods and trends and opportunities in the market

Why does someone want to be 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 and a group that chooses for ambition.

  • Forced Freelancers
  • Profit motive freelancers
  • Passion and talent developers
  • Ambition freelancers
  • Work/private balance freelancers

When hiring a freelancer we are generally best off with the passion and talent developers. They were already good at something and wanted to get even better at it.

Are freelancers loyal?

In the past, one used to work for the same company for 40 years. That's what we called 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, and the families were bigger, so you had a bigger responsibility. In other words, the question is whether employees were and are that loyal. Maybe many freelancers are much more loyal because they consciously choose a task.

The big difference between a freelancer and an employee is that an employee is assigned and has to perform a task while 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. This 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 freelancers work?

The biggest growth within the freelance segment is to be found in the remote freelancers. Whereas in the past freelancers were often used for mechanical or physical work, the supply and demand for knowledge and expertise has increased tremendously. One of the most popular areas of 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 huge 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 via we found out the name of a freelancer who had a lot of experience with this, but unfortunately he lived 200 kilometers away and didn't have time in 3 days. If we had had the technical capabilities such as dialling in with a live video connection 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 lay still 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 nice contribution to a pleasant monthly income and sometimes it is a nice change from the routine work at the office.

Where can you find good freelancers?

Most freelancers spread like a virus over the web and are hard to find, but there are several meeting places where they can be found in one place. Of course TheONE is such a marketplace for freelancers, but UpWork, Freelance.com and other platforms also have a large group of experts. So far, TheONE is the only platform that focuses on direct contact through live video interaction. That's why TheONE is equipped with a payment per minute functionality. You have a problem now and you want a solution now for which you would like to pay. Of course TheONE also offers longer term partnerships. Just like with UpWork and Freelance.com you can hire someone for a day or even weeks.

The advantage of TheONE is that you can make your own agreements about the rates. TheONE only earns money if you and the freelancer call each other and does not ask for a mediation fee for self-made agreements. That's between you and the freelancer.

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