More businesses than ever before are resorting to freelancers to fill their staffing needs in today's project-driven economy. A 2018 survey by SAP Fieldglass found that about 65% of senior executives at large and medium businesses said their external workforce is vital for operating at full capacity and meeting demand.
Of the 800 senior executives from some 12 countries surveyed, 66% said that freelancers are vital to increasing the speed to market, 60%, for managing costs, 64% for increasing organizational agility. And 62% of the executives said their external workforce improves their company's overall performance.
Online outsourcing has grown and will continue to do so. In a report, Mckinsey & Company says that the freelance market is growing so quickly that by 2025 it could add nearly $3 trillion to the global gross domestic product, an increase of about 400% from the current $750 billion.
Mckinsey & Company's estimate came before the pandemic. With the Covid-19 crisis in place, an increasing number of young workers worldwide seek more flexible alternatives to traditional employment.
"The number of freelancers on AnyTask saw a major surge during the first months of the global pandemic," said AnyTask CEO and Founder Richard Ells. "We've interviewed many of them and have found a vast majority are ages between 17 and 25 years."
Mr. Ells noted a clear indication on AnyTask that the pandemic was the cause for a notable increase in new sign-ups to the freelance platform launched in late 2019.
"Between March and May of this year, over 280,000 new users signed up to AnyTask increasing our userbase from 130,000 to over 410,000," he said. "This number currently sits at about 530,000."
Reasons why you too should be using freelancers
Freelancers are a bountiful resource of skilled services such as logo design, video editing, graphic design, computer programming, marketing, IT, and business consulting, but the opportunities are plentiful across many other sectors.
Also, freelancers offer businesses flexible access to unique expertise around the clock, as all leading freelance platforms have talented project-based workers worldwide, making them available all the time.
Thus, freelancers are usually there for you at short notice to fill the demand that your in-house team may not have the time to meet.
And freelancers are usually experts in their respective fields and can offer a service that nobody you currently employ may be able to provide. They are also not technically employees, significantly reducing the risk your company may incur.
Businesses will enjoy reduced risk because freelancers, unlike traditional employees, cannot collect unemployment. And suppose they are not delivering their job up to your standards and expectations. In that case, you simply find another one without having to go through the cumbersome and sometimes awkward process you go through when terminating a fulltime employee.
Another good reason to outsource work on freelance platforms is the savings factor. Freelancers do not get benefits, such as health insurance, social security, retirement benefits, and bonuses. Less in-office workers also mean less office space. Freelancers usually have all the modern equipment they require to carry out their job optimally.
Because freelancers focus on tasks they are good at, a company can avoid the hassle of supervising them.
"Freelancers have usually performed hundreds or even thousands of tasks for other people, so they know how to deliver on any given project quickly and efficiently," said Mr. Ells. "Because they work a task at a time, they turn in high-quality work to ensure they get repeat customers, excellent reviews, referrals, and, therefore, new customers."
Another good reason is reduced payroll responsibilities for freelance versus a full-time worker, which essentially means you do not have to worry about withholding taxes and other chores when enlisting a freelancer's services.
The benefit of hiring local talent
In a globalized world, more and more companies are doing business internationally. That means that they may require local talent and stand to benefit significantly from them. Local freelancers have a unique insight into the local culture, the customs, the habits, and language, and therefore can communicate better with your targeted audience.
Freelancers are very specialized professionals. Many of them have dedicated years to perfecting their skills. That means that freelancers are the best option if you're seeking someone with vast experience in their field. Many business owners and company executives share a misconception around freelance or remote workers.
"However, successful freelancers are proof that as an employee, you do not need to have a worker physically in the office to deliver excellent work," said Richard Ells. "Another good thing you may find with freelancers is that they are likely to know other freelancers with other skills you need."
Diversity brings different perspectives to your business and your projects, which is indispensable in a globalized world. Freelancers are people with different cultural and educational backgrounds getting to you the power of diversity worldwide.
A crisis such as the Covid-19 can transform our lives at the drop of a hat. Employment has been affected worldwide, with a loss of over 190 million jobs. But even when the economies are thriving, and unemployment rates are at record lows, small business owners face challenges when hiring employees.
So, why not do what businesses are increasingly doing and start resorting to freelance talent to help meet your operational needs, concluded Mr. Ells, who runs recently launched UK-based AnyTask.com.