Even as hybrid teams made up of full-time employees and freelancers are becoming more and more common, freelancers are still treated differently from their full-time peers. Because freelancers work with different employers simultaneously, there is a misconception that freelancers are not as committed to a project. As a result, they are not valued in the same way as W2 employees. But is that truly the case?
To get to the heart of the matter, we put the question to you.
Freelancers bring their A-game
A common refrain from managers and coworkers was that freelancers know they’re only hired for one project at a time. So they bring their A-game to increase their likelihood of being hired for another project. Nicki Sciberras of Miss Marketing writes, “In my experience and opinion, the contractors have invested more in the business than a lot of the team members. Their reputation is tied to the work they complete and the results they produce.” And because reviews play such an integral part of the selection process, Nicki believes that freelancers know it’s in their best interest to keep their clients happy.
Marc Bromhall, founder of Storage Buddy, wrote to us to discuss some of the techniques he uses with his freelancers from South Africa. By clearly communicating the deliverables needed and including bonuses in his contracts (two techniques we’ve written about to help you retain your freelancers), his freelancers have earned higher customer service satisfaction scores than his full-time employees.
An independent contractor from the Philippines named Noriel earned high marks from his employer Joey Randazzo, founder of SEO Groth Partners. Joey told us that their company had been challenged by a client’s old-school web platform. “But being the rockstar that he is, he read dozens of articles and watched YouTube tutorials to overcome those obstacles. 2 days ahead of schedule, he delivered the project. The client LOVED it.”
Freelancers bring specialty skills for special projects
One of the most popular things we encountered was how grateful employers and managers were that they could hire someone to do exactly what they needed.
Jordan Fulmer of Momentum Property Solutions hired a freelance video editor from Italy to edit the video on his company’s homepage. “There is no way we could have put together something that looked this profession,” he told us. And he’s not alone. Isabella Williams, senior editor and marketing strategist at RRP Jewelers, told us that a freelancer they hired helped them earn their reputation while completing his work faster and with more expertise than they could in-house.
Freelancers bring fresh perspectives
Freelancers by the very nature of their work are like bees cross-pollinating flowers. And while they may have NDAs to follow, they’re also exposed to fresh business practices and techniques while working on client projects. Therefore, they’re always filling their knowledge with the latest trends and approaches that they can apply to their next assignment.
“One of the freelancers we hired for a marketing project found that our marketing process was unnecessarily slow,” writes Teri Shern, cofounder of Conex Boxes. This freelancer went above and beyond by formulating a business plan that helped them improve productivity and streamline their process.
Freelancers with the right attitude can impact the team positively
Sometimes a new perspective can be something as simple as a refreshing attitude.
Marilyn Gaskerm, founder of TruePeopleSearch, had great things to say about an independent contractor from India who single-handedly increased their website traffic by 5%. “The best part about this freelancer, though, was his attitude — he was readily available, open to criticism, and he had such a positive and friendly attitude that we couldn’t possibly afford to let him go after this one job.”
Mike Lucas from FastCapital360 holds a favorite freelancer, Troy, in high esteem. Not only is Troy the go-to writer for quick turnaround, Mike writes, “I picture Troy as Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) in Batman Returns. He sits in the dark in his study, quiet and reflective. But when someone fires up the Bat Signal, Troy’s ready to pounce.”
And finally, a positive attitude by one freelancer can have an exponential impact on others on the team both full-time and contractor.
June Escalada, co-founder of PhotoshopBuzz, told us about a fellow freelancer she worked with when she was a freelance copywriter. “This freelancer had a real passion and excitement for getting the job done effectively and efficiently, and that attitude was contagious. She approached the gig as if it were her own business, and I really took a lot from that. Not only did this approach make the clients happy, but it also resulted in high-quality work that effectively accomplished the project goals.”
The turning of the tides
It used to be that freelancers were perceived as extra hands to help “pick up the slack” by managers. But the face of the modern workforce is changing, and freelancers not only bring finely-honed skills and unique approaches, they also bring valuable insights to completing projects. Since reviews and word of mouth serve as main sources for their next assignments, freelancers are highly motivated to turn in A-grade work.
If rock-star freelancers are part of your hybrid team and you’re wondering how you can retain them, check our post on the seven ways you can retain your contractor talent.
If you want to expand the use of domestic and international freelancers but the compliance paperwork and payments fees are roadblocks, Liquid’s got your back. We can help you contract, manage your independent contractor roster and make payments to them where ever they are located. We support payments to over 175 countries.