Marwan Abdelaziz is the chief executive officer of Ureed.com
What do these companies have in common? They have all shifted their models to be fully or 50 per cent remote, which means a global talent pool, increased productivity, enhanced performance and to top it all, reduced costs.
In the past, an office was considered the cornerstone of any business. Nowadays however, and thanks to the pervasiveness of various technologies, the idea of having an office is becoming more redundant and less essential. More businesses are shifting their operations virtually to leverage the benefits of having a remote workforce.
As the new remote norm emerges due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic situation, now more than ever, businesses are deviating from the traditional thinking that productivity is contingent upon set hours within an office environment. Instead, the new normal points to a direction for companies to adopt a 100 per cent remote model, or at the very least, outsource many of their business needs to freelancers.
...but first, why hire freelancers when you can have a more traditional full-time workforce?
Most well-established businesses struggle to embrace the change as it is more difficult to remodel their structure or change how they work. However, the reason why startups thrive in today’s competitive world is because they are flexible enough to work with freelancers.
In fact, freelancers can offer flexibility to your startup as they can work around any of your desired schedules. Since freelancers come from all around the world, you will find that most of them can easily adjust to your time zone. They can be your on-call assistance and are typically ready and available online. Additionally, as a startup still experimenting with talent and struggling with onboarding, hiring freelancers is usually a more fitted solution as they are already familiar with your industry and require minimal supervision. This is unlike a full-time employee who still requires your attention for at least three months until they’re familiar with your system, and let’s face it, as a business owner managing a startup, you are probably spread thinly and already being pulled in too many directions. As your time is being consumed up by accounting, operations, planning, budgeting and other management needs, it’s time to look at hiring a freelancer to allow you to get more things done and focus on your core business tasks.
When starting your own business, it is essential to keep your overheads to a minimum by ensuring that employee costs will not swallow up your whole budget. This is considered the main attraction of freelancers to business owners as their potential is proven when it comes to saving costs. Having a closer look at the cost comparison between hiring a full-time employee and a freelancer, employers are not entitled to paying additional costs to full-time workers including recruitment and training, taxes, fringe benefits such as medical insurance, paid vacation, equipment and office space.
Where to find the right talent
Having established the benefits of hiring freelancers for your startup, it is crucial to know where to find the right talent. Hiring freelancers can be a complicated process if you are not sure of the capacities of your potential candidates, their working hours, their previous experience and scope of work. That is why making use of freelance marketplaces such as Ureed.com can make it easy for your business to recruit your team of freelancers with ease, regardless of their backgrounds, industry or scope.
The platform gives you two options to recruit. On one hand, you can post a project then wait a few minutes until freelancers start sending pitches your way. A pitch includes a description of their previous and relevant work experience, the amount and the number of days to deliver this project. On the other hand, you can search for talent yourself – using skills, location or experience level as filters, chat with the freelancers of your choice and add them to your favourites list. That way, whenever you have a new request coming up, you just post a project and immediately hire them. Most marketplaces also offer several payment methods including bank transfers, credit card and Paypal to ensure hassle-free payments. For startups, deploying a fully remote recruitment process is guaranteed to help overcome the hardships of recruitment such as time and resources wasted and accelerate internal communication.
Communication expectations can leave an adverse impact on employer-freelancer relations. That is why communicating expectations and preferences is essential if you want to maintain a successful relationship with your remote team.
As a startup, you may not be fully used to remote onboarding or you may be doing it for the first time, this is why you need to build a comprehensive brief with all the necessary details your freelancer needs to know, all the files they need to have and all the project requirements.
Once hired, communication with your freelancer is also a key to success. It is important to keep all communication on the platform. That way, both your rights and the freelancers’ are secured just in case any issue arises.
Overall, it is critical to have a complete process during which employers and freelancers can set expectations and exchange information before working together. Finally, provide the freelancer with solicit feedback that could be useful for future projects.
It seems inevitable that we will be witnessing a movement towards remote working and hiring gig workers in the foreseeable future. Many business practices such as hiring full time workers will need to be cast aside to make room for new ways of operations. Therefore, it is essential for startups to adapt to such new change by leveraging on the services of freelancers especially post Covid-19.