Hiring Freelancers: What You Need to Know About the Extended Workforce

As your business grows and the world embraces the gig economy, the need for an extended workforce becomes more apparent. From project-based work to interim staffing, hiring a freelancer can be a great way to get the help you need without added overhead or commitment. But what are the pros and cons of hiring a freelancer? In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of your options and help you overcome the challenges they can present.

How are businesses using an extended workforce these days?

The extended workforce is becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes. An extended workforce is a group of employees who work outside of the traditional full-time, in-office model. This can include freelance workers, contractors, and temporary staff.

There are a number of reasons why businesses may choose to extend their workforce:

  • To save on costs: An extended workforce can be a cost-effective way to get the help you need without adding full-time employees.
  • To increase flexibility: An extended workforce can give you the flexibility to scale up or down as needed, which is ideal for businesses that are seasonal or have fluctuating needs.
  • To access specialized skills: When you hire freelancers or contractors, you can tap into a pool of highly-skilled workers from around the world. This can be a great way to get the expertise you need without having to invest in training or development for full-time employees.

To see an extended workforce in action, Google writes of their extended workforce: “We contract with businesses around the world to provide specialized services where we don’t have appropriate in-house expertise or resources…and account for the overwhelming majority of our extended workforce. We also contract with temporary staffing companies when we need to cover short-term leaves, when we have spikes in business needs, or when we need to quickly incubate special projects. Such temporary staff account for about 3% of our overall extended workforce. Finally, we obtain services from a small number of independent contractors, who comprise less than 0.5% of our overall extended workforce. In an era of specialization, flexible and remote work, global supply chains, and project-based work, this approach is widespread.”

The pros and cons of hiring a freelancer

Hiring a freelancer can be a great way to get the help you need without added overhead or commitment. But there are some things to keep in mind before you dive in.

Pros:

As we mentioned above, freelancers has benefits such as cost-savings, flexibility, and access to specialized skills. When you hire a freelancer, you can tap into a pool of highly skilled workers from around the world. Another pro of hiring a freelancer is that you can often get started quickly and with less red tape. When you hire an employee, there are a lot of onboarding processes and paperwork that need to be completed. But when you hire a freelancer through a platform like GreenLight, you can onboard workers in minutes and get started right away.

Cons:

One of the challenges of working with freelancers is you have less control over how they work and when they work. This is actually an essential part of what makes a worker qualify as able to be classified as a freelancer or independent contractor according to the IRS. Misclassification issues are a huge problem when it comes to hiring freelancers. Or it was until GreenLight created the world’s first AI-driven classification engine.

So, is hiring freelancers the right option for you? It depends, but the good news is that with GreenLight, you can hire anyone from all over the world and we’ll handle the compliance and payroll.

What are some tips for finding and vetting freelancers to work with?

When you’re ready to start looking for a freelancer or agency to work with, there are a few things you can do to make sure you find the right fit:

  • Define your needs: Take some time to think about the type of work you need done and what kind of help you’re looking for. This will help you create a list of criteria to use when vetting potential candidates.
  • Do your research: Once you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, start your search by asking for recommendations from friends and colleagues or trying checking talent marketplaces. Here are some of our favorite places to find top-tier freelance talent.
  • Check references: Once you’ve found a few freelancers you’re interested in working with, be sure to check references and reviews. This will help you get a better sense of their work style and quality.

Follow these steps and you’ll find great talent in no time.

How can you overcome the challenges of an extended workforce?

A freelancer management system that uses AI for classification, like GreenLight, can efficiently mitigate the compliance risks and headaches that come with the classification of your extended workforce.

We handle payroll, onboarding, benefits, risk mitigation, and compliance so that you have more time to benefit from your world-class team. We are an EOR operating in countries across the globe and growing rapidly, so your extended workforce can work from all over the world. Schedule a call with our team of experts today.

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Alex Steeno

Alex Steeno

Senior industry analyst, adviser of multiple hypergrowth agencies, SaaS, and tech-enabled service platforms, Alex Steeno regularly contributes insights related to industry trends, growth marketing, and management consulting.

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