By Anthony Coggine, blogger for The Business Zone . . .
Businesses are no longer bound by traditional hiring options, where they committed to paying someone an annual salary for years. Instead, leaders can source freelancers to handle the work on a particular project, ending the agreement if they aren’t happy with the work output. They can also contract to work with a person for a few hours, then continue the relationship if things go well.
But not every position can be shifted to freelancers. Often business processes that are important but not integral to building and growing client relationships are ideal for freelancing. Businesses may also opt to outsource tasks that are project-oriented in nature, since they can access a high level of expertise without committing to the top-dollar annual salary those specialists command.
“We love the ability to offer our customers all different kinds of expertise under one roof. The result is they are like kids in a candy store,” says Michael Solomon, co-founder of 10x Management, which bills itself as a talent agency for high level freelance technologists. “Sometimes they come in just to find a Java expert and then learn that we also have data scientists and cyber security experts. They find themselves emboldened to bring on expertise that they could never afford or didn’t need to have in house but will snatch up when it is available on demand.”
Here are a few top employee types that are often perfect for outsourcing to freelancers.
Software developers are among the most difficult professionals to find. As businesses grow, they realize the need for programmers who can help build apps or custom websites, but developers command more than $68,000 a year on average. That number increasing considerably in areas with a higher cost of living, which means in certain areas of the country, hiring a remote freelancer can save a company considerable money. Businesses often choose to partner with recruiting services that work hard to find the perfect fit for their unique needs. These services can gather information about the software they need and find a freelancer with the experience and knowledge necessary to build it.
- Business Consultants
Consultants are often brought in for a short period of time to lend their expertise on a particular project. They may even be asked to weigh in on a business’s day-to-day operations, providing insight into how things can be improved. By choosing a freelance consultant, businesses can access highly specialized professionals with years of experience without spending a fortune on an annual salary. The consultant can come in for a brief time and give advice that can be put into action over a short period, with the business paying an hourly fee for the work.
- IT Support
In the early days of personal computers, businesses retained full-time IT support staff who remained on site in case help was needed. In today’s cloud-intensive environment, businesses now choose to outsource support on an as-needed basis. Their cloud software likely comes with a customer support line and for everything else, they can use freelancers. Thanks to the many remote desktop tool options now available, businesses don’t even have to bring someone on location to troubleshoot their computer issues. If on-site help is needed, it’s much more affordable to pay a local service for the work than to have a full-time employee around in case something breaks.
Although there are bookkeeping tools that can help entrepreneurs manage their accounting processes, every business can benefit from a professional’s expertise. A freelance accountant can provide guidance on everything from setting a budget to planning for tax season. Whether a business decides to hire ongoing accounting help on an hourly basis or only ask for accounting advice when needed, freelancers are the perfect option for this role.
Certain times of year come with personal distractions that make it difficult to get in a full day’s work. When that happens, entrepreneurs can rely on virtual assistants to take care of day-to-day tasks that are important but not connected to growing a business. Instead of having a full-time assistant on staff to take care of making appointments and handling clerical tasks, businesses now shift those tasks to freelance workers who bill a small fee per hour or task. The work gets done without committing to an annual salary.
More businesses than ever are shifting their work away from full-time employees to freelancers. By identifying the tasks that are ideal for contract workers and putting a plan in place to locate the perfect providers, a business can save money while also getting quality work on an ongoing basis.
Source: The Business Zone