Five reasons you should bring in a freelancer rather than hire a new member of staff

With the demise of The Pool not so long ago, the once successful online magazine, there have been many conversations about the risks of being a freelancer, and the struggles that we face.

But as us freelancers will tell you, it’s not all doom and gloom, and actually for those of you in permanent employment, we freelancers offer something very useful.

Here are my top 5 reasons to bring a freelancer in when you get busy and need some help, rather than hire a new member of staff:

Experience - Freelancers do lots of different projects in a range of sectors. Since I’ve set up my business I’ve worked with local government, the civil service, in education, with charities, in healthcare, and with small businesses who do all sorts. I’m not stuck in a rut, doing the same job for years. Freelancers bring the benefit of that experience to you. And we also have lots of contacts, so if there’s something we can’t do, we usually know a woman who can. Or a man.

Flexibility - Freelancers offer flexibility. We’re used to it, it’s how we work. We are there when you need us and, when it’s quiet, we can disappear.


Speed - While I’m not saying all freelancers are quicker at doing the job (although I’d like to think we are) the very fact that we’re not tied up with the admin and bureaucracy of working in a business or organisation, managing staff, finance and legal and procurement (I speak from experience here!) means we are free to do what you need. And we’re also more likely to work outside the 9-5 to get the job done.

Value for money - Despite what you think are sometimes high day rates, we’re cheaper than your average employee. We’ve usually got low overheads, you don’t have to cover our pension, sick or holiday pay, and, if we’re not VAT registered that can keep costs lower still. And think about it, if you pay for the people you need when you really need them, it’s a much more effective use of your money.

Happiness! - Well I can’t speak for *all* freelancers here, but we’re usually a very happy bunch to work with. Give us a project and we’ll be pleased to see you, especially if we work from home alone a lot. We’re also less likely to get bored, as we’re not doing the same thing day in day out, so we’ll bring new insight into your work, and a positive approach.

And finally … We also usually own pets as we’re home a lot. If you can, get your freelancer to bring their dog with them to meetings, it’s a winner for everyone.

Cleo the Birdsong Consultancy office dog, under my desk

Cleo the Birdsong Consultancy office dog, under my desk