There are benefits to hiring an independent contractor for technology projects, but there are also some disadvantages. If your business has software development needs that aren’t being met in-house, you may be weighing your options. Should you keep searching for the perfect permanent employee? Should you send the work to an outside source? Weigh the pros and cons to make sure you’re getting the best value.
Why Companies Hire Freelance or Independent Contractors
Fifty-two percent of U.S. companies report difficulty filling jobs. Technology jobs require high levels of skill and experience, so finding qualified employees can be even more difficult.
While it’s great to have a knowledgeable expert on site at all times, sometimes they just aren’t available. You must consider the costs involved to continue the search.
Recruiting is expensive. Recruiters’ fees can be 20 percent or more. Your business pays high advertising costs and your staff must take time away from their regular duties to conduct interviews. Onboarding adds to your financial burden. Sometimes new hires require extensive training, and then they move to a new job not long after you pay for them to acquire new skills. If a new hire turns out to not be the right fit, you face a complex, time-consuming termination process.
When companies become fed up with the whole process, or are in a time crunch, they consider hiring an independent contractor for technology projects.
Should You Consider Outsourcing Software Development? Try this FREE Online Assessment tool to help you decide.
Pros of Hiring a Freelancer/Independent Contractor
Freelance or independent contractors can be less expensive than full-time employees
Your business pays only for hours invoiced. They provide their own insurance and supply their own office space and equipment.
Freelancers provide flexibility
During busy seasons, you have someone to do the work. When things slow down, you’re not paying salary and benefits for a permanent employee. If you decide not to use the independent contractor any more, you avoid the expense and potential legal trouble you would have with terminating a regular employee.
Independent contractors can be highly specialized
You don’t have to train someone to do a job when you hire an independent contractor who already has expertise.
Cons of Hiring an Independent Contractor for Technology
Freelancers are often working with multiple clients at once
When you need something, they might not be available right away. Your work may not get the attention it deserves if a freelancer’s other clients have urgent work, or pay a higher hourly rate.
Independent contractors sometimes claim more experience than they have
There’s no company backing up their work or standing by commitments they make to your business. It can be difficult to verify they have the skills they claim. If their work is sub-par, you’re stuck with a solution that doesn’t work. Referrals from trusted sources can help mitigate this risk.
Disrupted timelines cost you money
If your independent contractor’s workload increases, your project may get shifted to the back burner. Missed deadlines cost money.
Unless a freelancer is exceptional with communication, collaboration, and documentation skills, he or she will take everything they've learned with them when they leave.
Are you ready to discover which option is best for you when it comes to building your technology dream team? Check out this Technology Hiring Prioritization Tool. It will walk you through an assessment of priorities for your team – all the way from budget to communication preferences – and offer you a team expansion recommendation based on your needs.