When you need to deliver, the option of a freelance consultant can be more than a little tempting. It’s easy to see why so many businesses rely on them these days, particularly when customer demand is high and time is short. So, what are the pro’s and con’s of hiring a freelance consultant?
- You can easily hire someone to take on an urgent job meaning that you can work on your existing project without having to worry. This means you can take on extra work and extra work means extra income.
- If you get the balance right you can also make a profit from outsourcing your work by paying the consultant less than the client is paying you – added bonus – what’s not to like?
- As opposed to an employee or colleague you can choose which particular consultant you want to work with and choose someone who has the most expertise within that area.
- Freelancers are often much cheaper than a regular employee since their overheads are lower. Many freelancers work from home and being self-employed there are no legal obligations to concern yourself with. Unless they work with you in your office.
- You may find that freelancers are often more ‘creative’ in terms of any suggestions they might have, thus giving them the edge over regular employees. This relies on the old adage of ‘a fresh pair of eyes’.
- Freelancers can be available for any length of time to suit you – whether that might be just an hour or several days. You only pay for the time required, giving an advantage over an employee.
- One of the problems of recruiting a freelancer (especially one you haven’t used before) is how reliable they are and whether work will be done to your satisfaction and timescale. For urgent jobs getting the right freelancer is crucial, otherwise you might find yourself having to re-do work and pacify an angry client over deadlines. Not a situation you want to be in.
- Freelancers can be expensive, particularly the more experienced ones. Make sure you know exactly what to expect for your money and agree everything in writing before the project gets signed over.
- Since freelancers often work off site and on an irregular basis be aware they might not always share your company values or objectives. If these need to be reflected in the work you want doing, then always make it clear and provide a very clear vision of what you want your project to look like once completed.
- Any decent freelancer will be happy to sign a non-disclosure agreement or something similar to confirm that under no circumstances will they contact your client directly (unless specifically requested to). This might be for the purposes of protecting your business relationship with the client but is probably more important if you hold yourself out as having done the work yourself.
- Keeping absolute control of your project is imperative and again, it might be advisable to include a consultancy agreement clearly setting out what is expected and when.
Above all else, remember that any good freelancer will want you to recommend them to others so make sure you choose wisely to ensure you get a good experience for all involved.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, set expectations or request regular updates. Your reputation is yours to maintain – keep it safe.