Professional company vs. Freelancer

Many managers ask themselves: who should be assigned to these or other tasks (services) — full-time employees or freelancers? Of course, there is no universal answer to this question and can’t be. However, having weighed all the pros and cons, the manager himself will be able to make a decision, taking into account the established features of doing business.

The result of the company’s activity vastly depends on how organically and motivationally highly-selected web developers team will work.  Even little detail weights: starting from a successful search of new employees up to study coaching organisation and adequate approach for performance estimation development.

But the first thing each company has to deal with is to decide what type of the company matches with their business model — staff or freelancers.

*Little note: some day or other, successful freelancer will establish his own company and will pay great attention to team building.

Now let’s deep in details of freelancer’s working mode.

Of course, when you are looking for a new dedicated team to set and develop a project, the attractiveness of hiring a freelancer happens to arise. This path is the easiest and fastest way to complete HR’s task but what about business?

For customers, remote partnership looks beneficial from the first sight, as it has significant advantages from both professional, you can choose a specialist all over the world; and financial points with a view to getting 40%-60% pay-off. Most of the people want to work directly with a web developer.

Risks of working with freelancers

Absence of the сorporate culture

The relationship between a freelancer and a potential customer is partner, not subordinate. No commands — only accords.

Therefore, the control of the performance or services’ rendering is partially reduced, and the employer does not have an opportunity to call a freelancer into the office and say: «Please, also do this one more task…», and for the same money. Web companies do care about the development and education of their staff. But speaking about freelancer, working alone it’s really hard to find the right experienced person to ask for a piece of advice or discuss the issue with sitting near colleagues.

Many employers believe that since freelancers are not required to comply with the internal work schedule and other rules adopted by the customer; the level of corporate culture is lowered. And the «freethinker» living in the «average» freelancer generates «freethinking» in the work collective.

Poor сommunication channel

Communication is a background of interpersonal relationship,  the critical point in goals’ achievement, and an essential tool for knowledge transferring. Both a customer and a freelancer have to pay attention to the way of delivering information and its improvement not to miss any vital points in future. It’s a pity in practice it’s one of the weakest points in such kind of partnership.

Freelancer is a web agency in miniature: billings, contracts, sales are crucial activities he/she can’t avoid dealing with. And the most important is never-ending search process for the new projects. Hiring a freelancer, you have to know that eight working hours won’t be devoted to your company’s activity. Moreover, overtime is not the option, chronic fatigue will only be an obstacle to the project development.

Control loss

While speaking about the control retention, we are going to discuss four main problems, such as time, place, reputation, and security. Freelancers hardly adhere scope schedule. If you were a freelancer, could you work at home? Think a minute. Well, you won’t spend your time getting to the office but working at home it’s a challenge too. There is always a thing that will distract you from the project. Self-management is the quality freelancer has to bring up, it doesn’t rise by the wish.  No guarantee from their side to be present during conf-call meetings. Of course, remote workers can experience technical issues, here some of them: no Internet connection, laptop breaks down. But the truth is — freelancer do often hide on Skype or just disappear without any notification.

Next drawback is reputation. Remote contractors barely respect the corporate culture and company brand positioning. Frankly speaking, freelancers don’t even care about their own image. They are outside a real office life-cycle. Do you agree that working in a team only encourage and engage people for better activity? YES! Remote web developer or designer just focus on a task without taking into account the company image and prestige.

hat about motivation? The only incentive that drives freelancer for action is to get «financial feedback». Here is why they usually work on several projects simultaneously weakening the capacity of the project quality value. What does it mean? Freelancers are the first and the last stage of the project development. There is no post-production support. Then you have to consider — your project will be managed-supported to the detriment of somebody’s free time.

Security and Legal issues

Signing the contract with freelancer doesn’t mean the obtaining of full control under remote developer actions. You can’t be 100% sure in trustworthy of your employee. No guarantees about secret information revealing from the remote contractor side. Intellectual property will always be at risk if the company hires even one freelancer.

Nowadays, remote specialists ask for the prepaid basis. The statistic shows that as soon as money is in the bank account, freelancers get vanished!

Finally, we have described main problems which a customer can face while hiring a freelancer. Now the task is to find the right way how to secure the company and enhance the productivity.

While choosing a potential partner, remember: 

  • The company has a structure and rules to obey. Each member of the staff has his/her responsibilities and is under control. Performance of the employee can be tracked using specific applications;
  • The success of the future cooperation depends on reliability, accountability of the chosen company;
  • Workflow of the prospective company: a clear understanding of the primary tasks’ allocation and organisation of working activity.

Taking into account everything that is said above, at the bottom of the well-established business cooperation lies streamlined work process.

What does it mean «streamlined work process»?

After deciding to work remotely (“remote” is not to be confused with “freelance”), consider such points:

  • ask about the company working process and listen carefully how your potential partner describes their activities;
  • imagine future business hours and cooperation with a new collaborator;
  • manage such issues as supervision, changes implementation, reporting and notification in case something goes wrong;
  • think about adjustment and changes of the collaboration process (weekly meetings, a new way of reporting and appropriate application);
  • sign the contract and mention key points of the cooperation approach, reporting terms, modifications of conditions, and of course responsibilities. Bear in mind — contract development is not for the best but the worse days.

“Let people do what they need to do to make them happy, mind your own business, and do what you need to do to make you happy.”

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