Freelancer vs. Employee – Which Should Your Business Choose?

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Freelancing is an increasingly popular form of “employment” today. Instead of tying themselves down to a single employer, specialists now prefer to have their own business, work on their own terms and manage their time as they see fit. These specialists pay their own taxes and health insurance independently, and this makes their lives easier as well.

Many businesses, in turn, often prefer to have their own specialist employees. Even if the volume of work they are needed to do is relatively small, these people are forced to spend up to a third of their workday at a desk. Some days all they have to do is play online, hoping to hit progressive jackpots and finally get out of the office limbo. They slowly become blase, and this shows on their yield, too.

Both variants have their advantages and disadvantages for businesses.

Having a full time employee has its advantages for a business. First of all, a full time employee is usually cheaper – paying a wage is most of the times below the hourly rates of a freelancer. Besides, the hired specialist is always at hand. A freelancer might be booked when his or her services are needed, but an employee is always ready to do the job.

There are downsides to hiring a full time employee, though. Aside from the extra paperwork a business has to file, there is always the competition that might be out to lure away their specialists. No matter how great a paycheck is, or how pompous a position, there can always be a better offer on the horizon.

Hiring a freelancer has its upsides and downsides as well. While freelancers usually work for a higher hourly rate, they are cheaper in the long run – no benefits, no salary, and so on. They also offer more flexibility. Firing an employee can be a burden, while in case of a freelancer it all comes down to never hiring him or her again. Freelancers – especially those with a long history in their specialty – are experienced, not needing any training to do their tasks.

The price you have to pay for all of the above is the lack of control over the jobs at hand. Independent contractors are not loyal to your company beyond the project they work on. They often work off-site, so you won’t be able to control them beyond providing them guidance. And the better they are in their field, the more often they might not be available – they can be hired by others, even your competitors. And sometimes you can’t hire the same one at all, and you are forced to look for another one.

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