Can't Afford More Staff? Why You Should Hire Freelancers Instead : North Texas Black Business Blog
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Can't Afford More Staff? Why You Should Hire Freelancers Instead

by Mark Courts on 08/19/19

This article is another one of the articles from our guest writer series. We are honored to share another article with you from guest writer Marissa Perez from I hope you find it informative. Thank you for visiting our site. Without any further delay:

Can't Afford More Staff? Why You Should Hire Freelancers Instead

Do you need more help at your business, but are hesitant to bring on new employees due to cost? Hiring employees can be expensive, and sometimes a business's labor needs aren't high enough to justify the cost. So what do you do to bridge the gap?

Benefits of Hiring Independent Workers

Freelancers and independent contractors are an ideal solution when you need extra hands on deck but can't justify expanding your staff. Instead of training your existing staff on a new task (and taking a productivity hit in the process), you can bring in a highly-specialized worker to get the job done quickly and to a high caliber.

Despite independent workers' high rates, you can also save money hiring them. That's because independent workers pay their own taxes and benefits so businesses don't have to. Most freelancers also work from their own office, so you don't need to invest in office space like you would for regular employees. Together, this can add up to big cost savings for employers. If you're not sure whether hiring an independent worker is worth it, compare the total cost of an employee to the freelancer's rate to decide.

Freelancers vs. Independent Contractors vs. Temporary Employees

The person you hire may refer to themselves as a freelancer or an independent contractor, but for the most part, these pros are the same. However, while people who refer to themselves as freelancers tend to take on project-based work, independent contractors are more likely to be brought on long-term.

Both freelancers and independent contractors are subject to the same IRS employee classification rules. In essence, in order for a worker to be classified as an independent contractor, they have to be in charge of how, where, and when they do their job, and the work performed can't be a key part of the business. If these standards aren't met, a worker is considered an employee, and employers must withhold income taxes and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on their behalf.

If your staffing needs don't meet the IRS rules for independent contractor classification, temp agencies offer a nice middle ground. Temp agencies screen employees for you, so you can skip the tedious parts of the hiring process and meet your staffing needs ASAP. While temporary workers are employees and can be treated as such, they're not your employees. As a result, bringing them on doesn't add to your payroll demands. Instead, you simply cut checks to the temp agency.

Tips for Managing a Distributed Workforce

For many business owners, the greatest hesitance when it comes to hiring independent workers isn't the cost, but how to manage them. When you hire permanent staff, you build a team that's committed to your business. And since they're on-site, it's easy to keep track of who's excelling and who needs extra guidance. With a distributed workforce, however, employers have to develop new strategies for managing their team.

This means turning to tech solutions that keep your staff connected no matter where they're located. Project management software is a great example: With software like Asana or Basecamp, your team can communicate about projects and track progress toward deadlines without needing to call a meeting every time. When you do have meetings, instead of trying to coordinate the entire team's schedule, use an automated transcription service to quickly convert audio to text. Send out the files to members unable to make the meeting as well as those who were there to ensure everyone is on the same page.

If paying independent workers hourly, you'll also need a way to track their time. Software companies have filled a need here too, with apps like Tsheets that let companies create schedules, track hours, and chat with remote workers all through one platform. Some project management apps like Zoho Projects and Wrike include time-tracking capabilities in their software.

Even with software costs, bringing on freelancers, independent contractors, and temporary staff can deliver huge benefits to your business's bottom line. However, saving money isn't the only reason to add independent workers to your team. When you have a big project that's outside your team's scope or a short-term surge in staffing needs, independent workers let you meet labor needs quickly so your business never skips a beat. In today's competitive business landscape, you can't afford not to use independent workers.

Marissa Perez is a co-founder and head marketing writer at She can be reached at:

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