Should I Hire Design Freelancers or Staff? - Uncertain Times Compound the Conundrum
An uncertain outlook in the marketplace - is it the new-normal? or simply a transient state? - often spurs an assessment of the fundamentals of a business. In the realm of in-house product development and marketing this may be an examination of the budget and schedules of upcoming releases. As fervent supporters of creative work, we at Coroflot, of course argue for centering and protecting design roles in operational planning - and leveraging them, building momentum for sailing into improved conditions. To do so, the work of innovation and communication must go on! But in this macro-environment of uncertainty how do you make that happen? You are going to bring on hands to stoke production! ... perhaps to build permanent capacity - full-time staff! ... perhaps conditionally - freelancers! The following is a checklist of pros and cons for each - read through, pick some points and make the case for your chosen approach to hiring designers.
Pros of hiring freelancers:
- Flexibility: Freelancers can be hired on a project-by-project basis, allowing the team to scale up or down as needed.
- Fresh perspective: Freelancers can bring new ideas and perspectives to the organization's projects, helping to keep the work fresh and innovative.
- Specialized skills: Freelancers can often bring specialized skills or expertise that may not be needed on a full-time basis.
- Lower overhead costs: Hiring a freelancer can be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee, as the company does not need to provide benefits or pay for training and development.
Cons of hiring freelancers:
- Lack of long-term commitment: Freelancers may not have the same level of investment in the team's long-term success as full-time employees.
- Difficulty in building a team: Working with a rotating cast of freelancers can make it challenging to build a cohesive team and maintain consistent quality across projects.
- Limited availability: Freelancers may not be available when needed or may be working on other projects, leading to scheduling conflicts.
Pros of hiring full-time employees:
- Greater commitment: Full-time employees are more likely to be invested in the success of the organization and may be more willing to take on additional responsibilities or contribute to company culture.
- Greater collaboration: Full-time employees can collaborate more closely, yielding more robust outcomes.
- Consistency: Full-time employees provide consistency in terms of quality and culture, as they are working together day-to-day.
- Ability to train and develop: Full-time employees can be trained and developed to fill other roles or take on additional responsibilities as needed.
Cons of hiring full-time employees:
- Higher overhead costs: Full-time employees come with higher overhead costs, including benefits and training and development expenses.
- Limited flexibility: Hiring a full-time employee means committing to a long-term relationship, which may be difficult to adjust if the team's needs change.
- Potentially limited skill set: Full-time employees may not have as specialized a skill set as a freelancer, leading to gaps in the team's capabilities.
- Potential for burnout: Creative roles can be demanding and may lead to burnout among full-time.
As this list attests to, the age-old question of freelance or staff is legitimate -there are strong cases to be made on either side. The ultimate decision will rest on your operation's specific needs. Navigating toward a robust ecosystem of in-house and freelance resources is, in our opinion, the ideal goal. Let us know what you think.
Photo: Luke Jones