An employee or a freelancer, who to choose

An employee or a freelancer, that is the question! Many entrepreneurs ask themselves this question. See this blog post, in which I’ve gathered the pros and cons of both forms of cooperation.

An employee or a freelancer, who to choose

I invite you to read the post, that will help you to make the best decision when it comes to choosing the contractor of the project or IT support for your company. An employee or a freelancer, that is the question!

Welcome.

Many entrepreneurs, sooner or later, face a dilemma which way to go in the context of IT. Hire a full-time employee or delegate tasks to a freelancer? There is no single answer to this question, so I decided to take a closer look at the pros and cons of both solutions.

However, before we get to the heart of the article, think about whether you have for sure so much work that the person employed will have things to do. If not, don’t even read further – hire a freelancer! First of all, you will save a lot of money and, secondly, a bored and not developing employee is a bad employee.

Okay, let’s come to the point!

An employee

Pros

Commitment. The biggest advantage of an employee is that he gets emotionally involved with a company and a team. He participates in company events and face to face meetings. Obviously, you can invite a freelancer to the corporate outing for bowling, however, it is easier to build a relationship with an employee. Especially, if you work in the office.

Availability. You know, when an employee is available for you. You can plan the work of the team much easier. With freelancers, it can be different, because you may not be (and probably you won’t be) his only client. An employee is available from 9 am to 5 pm, which makes things much easier.

Identification. Full-time workers are much more identifying themselves with the company than subcontractors. And if we assume that they are happy employees, this is very good PR performance for the company. In particular, when it comes to future recruitments.

Cons

Obligation. No matter if an employee will have something to do or not you'll have to pay a salary at the end of the month. An employee sells you his availability, knowledge and experience, but occupying his time is your duty.

Costs. A salary is only one of the costs, you have to provide the employee with a workplace. Desk, chair, computer, water, coffee, etc. Moreover, such an employee may want a contract, which will be for you a much bigger cost than if you delegate the work to a freelancer with the economic activity.

Benefits. In the case of IT, we’ve got the employee market – at least we have had until a pandemic, so employees had demands on employers. It may happen that in addition to the salary and a workplace, you will need to provide various perks such as: funding for learning foreign languages or sport cards.

A freelancer

Pros

Flexibility. Freelancers often enable flexible employment. When and how much you need it. Obviously, everything is within the limits of the contract, but it gives a certain comfort. You use the services and pay only when, in fact, you need the input of the person.

Profit. As I mentioned, you pay only for the work performed by the person, not for 8 hours, that a person sits out in the office. This is a really big plus, because if you delegate something to a freelancer, you probably also make money on it. As a result, you avoid situations in which, although the company has not made any money, the employee still needs to be paid.

Experience. Freelancers are micro-entrepreneurs, so their knowledge and experience go far beyond their main area. They are, for example, programmers who can configure the server or people with social media experience who learned the basics of the graphic program and can create simple graphics.

Contract. A freelancer will probably settle accounts on the basis of the contract, which will be more financially profitable for you. Although this will not be the employment contract, in a B2B contract you can also stipulate issues like a period of notice or hours of availability.

Cons

Availability. Probably you will not be the only client of the freelancer, so there may be situations that you will have to wait for your turn. You have to count on that and keep this in mind, when planning works or promising something to your customers.

Crashes. It may happen that your client will require something urgently from you and a freelancer will not be available. You know exactly, when a full-time employee is there for you, but a freelancer will never guarantee you availability immediately. Of course, there are some ways of dealing with this and response time for each situation can be included.

An employee or freelancer

As I mentioned at the beginning, this is not an answer to the question, of whether an employee or a freelancer is a better choice, but only my subjective opinion for both variants. Therefore, do not be persuaded by the fact that one of the solutions has more pros or cons. Everything depends on the situation and opportunities of your company. And this article is just to help you make a decision.

The choice between an employee and a freelancer often will depend on the type of project. It may happen that your client will require regular meetings with the executive of the project. In such a situation, it is safer to assign this project to an employee.

Unfortunately, the conviction has become a reality that a freelancer is a “free” agent. And by free – many people think – the one that cannot be trusted. Who, if he finds the time, may one day do something and it is not quite clear how much money he will take for it. Those days are long gone, freelancers are trustworthy and all terms of cooperation are simply regulated by a well-written contract.

If you have your own pros and cons to either of these forms of cooperation, share in a comment! :)

Michał Molenda

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Michał Molenda

I'm working for over 13 years as a web applications programmer. In my software house, I and my awesome team serve companies from all over world as an external IT department.

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Michał Molenda

Michał Molenda

I'm working for over 13 years as a web applications programmer. In my software house - Code Apps - I and my awesome team serve companies from all over world as an external IT department.

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