Discover key insights SMBs should consider when considering freelancing for a job, project, or task.
In today’s economy, small-and medium-size businesses (SMBs) can achieve a competitive advantage through freelancing. Hiring freelancers or contract talent can help fill key skill gaps, balance staffing during busy cycles or low times, and more.
Although there is a large pool of talent available in the marketplace, business owners find it difficult to navigate all of the various freelancing sites and platforms, much less sort through the volume of freelancer profiles.
With the gig economy on the rise, an impressive number of freelancers offer a wide range of skills, backed by flexible schedules and reasonable costs. By 2020, Intuit predicts that 40 percent of the total U.S. workforce will be independent contractors.
Despite the growing number of freelancers, there is a huge gap in small business owners’ utilization of this talent. A survey by Manta reveals that small businesses have been hesitant to take advantage of the ever-growing pool of freelance talent because of the time required to find the right candidate. Closing this gap – matching SMBs with the right freelance fit - can help SMBs scale operations much faster.
Paige Brubacher, Director of Operations at ResultsResourcing, points out that many small business owners really aren’t prepared for the process of finding and recruiting the right freelance help. “They don't know how to hire the right freelancer. It’s all new to them,” she says. “Going through the process of finding and vetting freelancers can be really disheartening.”
For this reason, an increasing number of SMBs have turned to ResultsResourcing for its curated freelance staffing model.
The value is simple: ResultsResourcing helps clients get clear about what they really need (both skills and experience), and then invites ONLY pre-vetted freelancers to interview for the roles. This saves business owners immeasurable time and ensures that the right resources are not only a fit for the role, but a personality and culture fit for the business. This curation process frees the business owner to focus and on growing their business.
After the ResultsResourcing team determines that a freelancer has the right skills and traits for a particular job, they conduct a live virtual interview. ResultsResourcing narrows the choices down to a Talent Pool of 3 recommended candidates. Then the client conducts their own interview to make the final selection—knowing they’re selecting from only the best freelance professionals available for their job.
“We really want to get to know the candidates, to understand their personalities and their work styles,” explains Brubacher. “We ask them behavioral work questions. It’s an in-depth interview, to make sure their background, experience, skills and personality are all the right fit.”
“It’s really fulfilling when we get an email back from the client, saying this is the perfect person for their job.” she says.
For many clients new to hiring freelance talent, the biggest obstacle is the reluctance to hire someone working virtually. By opening up to remote arrangements, clients discover a larger pool of potential talent available across the country and are more likely to find someone with the specific skills and experience required.
Cost savings can also increase by leveraging a remote talent pool. A virtual assistant in a major city, for example, could command $50 or more an hour for their services, Brubacher points out. Someone in a different town, with lower overhead, could bring the same skills for a lower price point.
Brubacher points out one common challenge in hiring freelancers occurs when business owners try to find “the one person who can do everything, which often doesn’t work out.” Rather than attempting to find a single freelancer to handle all their requirements, a business owner is better off to “prioritize their needs and to break down jobs down into smaller, more digestible parts and find freelancers that specialize in the different areas.”
She adds: “It’s not realistic to think one person can be great at everything. You might have a family doctor, but for a heart problem you still need to go to a heart specialist. Helping people to break down the job to see what those smaller skillsets look like is super important. We work on this with our clients a lot.”
It’s also more cost effective! The rate for a generalist may be lower but the time to do the work could be longer because the level of specialized expertise in a specific area is missing. You get more for your dollar by breaking the job down to assign lower cost pieces to a generalist, and the specialized pieces to the expert who may cost more but gets the work done better and in less time.
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