Working with freelancers has many pros and cons. However, we often hear from clients that freelancers are too expensive, the collaboration is too complicated or the risk of false self-employment is too high.
In recent years, however, it has become clear that freelancers bring considerable added value to companies, and studies have shown that they are often crucial to revenue and employment growth. Especially the combination of permanent employees and freelancers, i.e., hybrid teams, is usually very efficient.
In this article, we take a closer look at various preconceptions of freelancing and show how successful collaboration can work.
As an addition, we have compiled all the information for you in our detailed e-book.
What Does It Mean to Work With Freelancers?
Freelancers are self-employed workers who carry out assignments for companies. The activity is usually set out in a service contract, which regulates the general conditions. These are often points such as hourly rates or tasks that the freelancer has to fulfill.
Freelancers are typically responsible for special projects or dedicated tasks.
Why Work With Freelancers?
Contrary to many assumptions, freelancers can actually be less expensive than permanent employees. For example, employers save $11.6 per hour per employee by hiring freelancers.
Freelancers Bring External Knowledge Into the Company
By constantly changing and working with different companies, freelancers often bring a different perspective and new ideas to a project.
Freelancers Ensure Economic Efficiency
Freelancers manage themselves, and so there are usually no other costs outside the hourly rate.
Freelancers Have Good Adaptability
With constantly changing employers, freelancers can quickly adapt to new environments and situations.
Freelancers Ensure Future Orientation
Freelancers promote digital innovation and the building of a digital culture
How Much Does an IT-Freelancer Cost?
As a rule, you can expect 90-120€ hourly wage for an IT-freelancer in Central Europe. This hourly wage covers all possible additional costs of the project duration. Often the service of a freelancer mediation is already included.
Although the hourly rate may sound a lot at first, there are no additional cost points such as training fees, vacation, vacations, or costs for equipment.
In our guide, we go into more detail about the costs, explain how they are made up, and compare them with permanent employees.
Find the Right Project Description
A good project description aims to attract the right freelancers to the project. For this, it is important to have a precise idea of the task.
The most important components are:
- project title
- project details (task and requirement)
- remuneration and deadlines
- area of expertise and required skills
- location of project execution
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Open vs Cursed Freelancer Platforms
Open Freelancer Platforms
In open platforms, freelancers can usually sign up without any obstacles. The selection of freelancers is larger, but they are not verified. Thus, no quality standard is guaranteed.
Cursed Freelancer Platforms
With closed platforms, freelancers must first go through an application process. The selection of freelancers is significantly smaller, but they are first checked and the quality is usually higher. In addition, consultants are often still available on this type of platform.
Work With Freelancers: Approach Onboarding the Right Way
Tackling Integration Right
Freelancers often work in hybrid teams, i.e., together with permanent employees. It is therefore important to integrate the freelancers into working methods, networks, and structures to enable a quick start to the project. This also applies to provide access to networks or necessary data.
Integration goes hand in hand with good communication. Make sure that the freelancer’s concerns can be taken into account and be open to criticism. Often it is also useful to have a contact person who is a direct link between the company and the freelancer.
Learn From Each Other
Freelancers often bring experience and knowledge to the company. At the same time, freelancers gain new experience with each company. It is important to understand already during the onboarding that both parties can learn from each other and are open to it.
Although project documentation usually takes place in the course of or towards the end of a project, it makes sense to agree on essential information at the beginning that is important for the documentation. This also makes it easier to work with freelancers for future projects.
What Does False Self-Employment Mean?
A false self-employed person is a freelancer who, from a contractual point of view, provides services for an external company, but actually works as if in a classic employment relationship.
Both the freelancer and the company concerned bear the responsibility.
A detailed article including a checklist to avoid false self-employment can be found in this article.
Work With Freelancers: Problems and Solutions
“Freelancers Are at Risk of False Self-Employment.”
Basically, it should be noted that freelancers work in a results-oriented manner and do not have fixed working hours. In this respect, they differ significantly from permanent employees. In addition, freelancers are not bound by instructions, but are only responsible for the completion of a task.
“Communication With Freelancers Is Difficult.”
It is helpful to check the language skills of possible project partners in advance. Furthermore, you should define fixed communication channels (mail, teams, telephone, etc.).
“Freelancers Are Not Suited for a Longer Project Duration.”
Freelancers can also be employed in the company for longer periods of time. As a rule, this also has a positive effect on the hourly wage, since longer projects provide more security for the freelancer. For this reason, you should specifically look for partners who are ready for a longer collaboration. In addition, one should consider the already mentioned danger of false self-employment.
“Freelancers Deliver Poor Quality Work.”
As a rule, freelancers do not deliver negative results, as they also have a duty to fulfill. Nevertheless, it can help to set clear expectations at the very beginning of the collaboration. A positive working environment and good communication also ensure higher productivity and fun during the collaboration.
“Freelancers Don’t Pay Attention to Privacy.”
Freelancers know very well through experience how to handle sensitive data. This includes using VPN (Virtual Private Network) applications and avoiding public networks.
In our blog, we have explained and summarized further problems and possible solutions. Read the full story here.
The Offboarding: Ending the Collaboration the Right Way
Communicate Project End Early
Since freelancers often have to acquire new projects while projects are still running, it is helpful to announce the end of a collaboration early on. This helps the freelancer with planning and leaves a positive impression.
Ensure Knowledge Transfer and Documentation
Take away content and lessons learned from the collaboration. Documenting the project’s progress and lessons learned can also help facilitate future partnerships.
Clarify Contractual Details
In a final conversation, any last ambiguities are clarified, and a final exchange takes place. Finally, the freelancer submits an invoice, which should be paid promptly by the company. The last impression counts just as much as the first.
Even after project completion, it makes sense to continue maintaining business relationships. This way, later collaborations can take place more smoothly. A network can also be formed, which helps to find and train freelancers more easily in the future.
Working with freelancers is fraught with many prejudices that can be refuted with proper information. If a few basic points are taken into account, freelancers can bring considerable added value to your own structures.
Hybrid teams of freelancers and permanent employees in particular often ensure high productivity and satisfaction.
At this point, you can download the e-book with even more content and tips.