According to the Freelancers Union, freelancers aren’t just shaping the future of work, they are the backbone of the economy.
More than one in three American workers freelanced last year, contributing $1 trillion to our economy.
Most of them freelance by choice. Almost 80% believe freelancing is better (than traditional employment).
But not everyone cares for freelancing.
There are some definite pros and cons of hiring an employee.
Firstly, you have to offer them benefits (an expense to you if they sign up; most do), and pay for their time when they are not delivering value for you (holidays, sick time, when they are surfing the internet on your dime, etc.).
Secondly, those looking for employment might not align with your talent or timing needs. With the gig economy growing ever larger by the day, you have so much more access to talent now than ever before.
But if you are that way inclined, one of the benefits is that they’ll be available to work on whatever you need them to, for all of the hours that their employment agreement allows.
Believe it or not, determining whether you need an employee or a consultant to help you, often boils down to YOUR personality type!
Yes, you heard right.
Even though we’d all like to admit otherwise that we’re considering wider implications such as cost, benefit, tax implications etc., most of our hiring decisions are typically based on our own egos.
Are you a micro-manager or a leader?
To coin a phrase, if you are the type of person who must have “butts in seats” so that you feel you are deriving value (even though it is most likely detrimental to your own productivity & value), then you are probably a micro-manager.
Seriously ask yourself if you really have the time or need to micro-manage your people?
Is it valuable to your company, your own professional development, their capacity to add value to your team?
Alternatively, if you consider yourself a leader, you will likely put a premium on time & want to achieve specific outcomes by setting general direction and then enabling those smarter than you to “get it done”.
Consultants will typically have more experience & success (in the specific area you need help with) than you or your teams. To that end, they will help you to mitigate your risk, and for sure will tell you when things aren’t going so well; you are paying them by the hour, they have no incentive not to be proactive, especially if they value their productivity and want you to call on them again!
Employee or consultant, figure which you need (not what your ego tells you)! This Entrepreneur article does a good job of further helping you to think through your decision making.