Recruitment firm Hays conducted this recent analysis and used the data to compile six sharp ideas to put into practice when bringing freelancers into a workplace.
Unizo calculated that the number of active freelancers in Flanders and Brussels is increasing every year. Flanders has almost 136,000 freelancers, while Brussels has almost 32,000 - a 6.6% increase for Flanders and 5.0% more for Brussels than last year.
Some projects are urgent or require specific skills. When no internal employee has the necessary know-how, the use of freelance with the required skills can be useful, or even a necessity. An independent contractor can get to work quickly and complete projects in tight deadlines - a huge boon for any enterprise. Furthermore, this solves the issue of when a company may simply not have the time to set up a recruitment and selection procedure.
A company that turns to freelancers is able to develop a budget per project and acquire certain skills for a limited period, creating tighter and more efficient management of capital.
If the use of freelancers reduces the costs of internal recruitment, the daily wages of freelancers will probably be higher than that of permanent staff. There is no question that hiring freelancers is almost always a cost-saver in many situations, but this option can also prove economical in the long term as freelancers do not appear on the payroll during off-peak periods or once the project is completed.
Teleworking can further reduce company costs, and the industry has shown time and time again not to underestimate the role of technology in the growth of freelancers. Employers who need short-term reinforcements also have an interest in using social media to put the odds on their side.
The use of freelancers is not without risk, of course; sometimes it is more difficult to achieve the desired level of success in a project, either due to lack of familiarity with company goals, miscommunication, or otherwise. This may lead to some form of micromanaging, but the report suggests not sticking your head in the sand: independent contract work is by trade less committed to company brand and culture than internal staff, and it's best not to leave them on the back-burner lest a valuable or reliable freelancer decides the company is not worth their time in the future.
Last but certainly not least, and jumping off the back of the previous point: establish a positive relationship with freelancers. Put everyone on an equal footing, because after all, permanent employees and freelancers are all the hallmarks of any good organization. There should only been benefits in striving to involve freelancers in business objectives.