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Expert Freelancer vs Specialized Firm: Choosing Who to Work With

Expert freelancer, Imagine you are running a small event management company in Dubai. You have a team of five people who help you out with regular administrative tasks and with managing client relationships. You now want your company to grow and one of the identified strategies is to promote it via social media. But the thing is, no one on your team has the relevant experience or expertise to make that happen.

Recruiting a full-time social media manager would mean a significant increase in expenses in the form of hiring expert freelancers. And training costs, monthly salary, insurance, and other perks, and office space/supplies. It’s also not certain whether you will have enough work to fully utilize the skills of the social media expert and keep him/her motivated or not.

Expert freelancers like you can greatly benefit from what is known as the gig economy, an environment in which you have on-demand access to a broad pool of incredible talent, often via digital freelancing platforms.

Whether you need support with certain business functions, such as IT or Human Resources. Or want to implement one-time projects, such as app development. Working with a freelancer can be a win-win situation for both parties, in today’s world of stagnant incomes and the rising costs of doing business.

Once you decide to recruit a freelancer over a full-timer, the next step would be to determine whether an individual freelancer or a firm offering specialized services will fit the bill.

How to choose the perfect one for the job?

Before choosing either one to do the job, you will need to evaluate the following points.

Quality of Work:

Conduct an interview of expert freelancers and ask for work samples or a portfolio (if applicable) and a list of existing clients that the freelancer or firm currently works with. You can also speak to one or two of their clients and ask them specific questions, which would help determine whether the freelancer/firm is the right fit for your company/project or not. This way you can ensure that the selected candidate matches your vision.

Scope of Work:

Before hiring, determine the specifications of your project/task and whether a single person would be able to complete it within the required timeframe or not while delivering high-quality results. If the project is too big or requires expertise in too many areas. Then it makes sense to opt for a company that has a team of people with different capabilities and skillsets, or hires multiple freelancers. In other cases, it might be easier to manage and work with just one person.

Availability/Flexibility:

Availability might be an issue with a freelancer who is working solo and has several clients, as compared to a firm, which may offer a quicker turnaround time for completion of tasks.

Conversely, a freelancer may be more flexible in terms of timings and willing to work on off-days to meet urgent requirements as opposed to a company. Which will usually try to limit the requests received from clients outside of working days and hours. A freelancer may also be more open to out-of-the-box thinking. And tailoring solutions as opposed to following the set industry practices and playing safe.

Pricing:

Individual freelancers often charge less than a firm due to low overhead costs. However, if a project requires a variety of technical skills. You may have to hire multiple freelancers to complete the job. So it would be essential to compare if there are any significant cost savings in this scenario or not. You also need to ask whether the price includes any support or maintenance required after a project has been completed. For example, you may want to check with a freelance website developer or agency. Whether they will also help maintain a website, without any additional charges, after its launch. An individual freelancer may be more open to negotiations compared to agencies, which offer standard packages.

Time:

A freelancer will most likely deliver a project in a shorter period of time. While most firms have certain processes in place, for payments, approvals, etc., which increase their delivery time.

On the other hand, the expert freelancer may not be able to commit to a long-term project. Or may not be available for all your projects if he has several clients or decides to take up a full-time job. You may have to work with different freelancers, as a result of which the quality will not be consistent. A way out of this would be to sign a long-term agreement before handing over the reins to someone.

Conclusion:

In order to evaluate all these factors and reach a decision, it will be important for you, as an employer or hiring expert freelancer manager, to be very clear about the end result of any collaboration with a freelancer or firm. You need to know the scope of work, the budget. How rigid or flexible the timeline is, how involved your in-house team wishes to be, etc. And determine whether the freelancer or firm can meet all your requirements. Giving a detailed brief to the applicants can help avoid issues during implementation. In the end, the goal should always be to hire the best talent in the industry in order to achieve optimal results.

Read more here.

10 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Freelancer Over a Full-Time Employee

The Cost of Hiring the Wrong Employee in Dubai, UAE
Hiring a Professional Freelancer: Go Cheap or Go Smart?

Ayesha Hoda is a writer/communications specialist, with over 12 years of experience in various roles in the corporate sector and at nonprofit organizations. During the course of her career, she has worked as a graphic designer, copywriter, journalist, PR/Communications Manager and digital marketer. Currently, she is the Communications/Marketing Manager for a company based in Dubai,… More about Ayesha
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