The number of people choosing to freelance is rising, as workers and businesses realise the benefits of contracting, says recruiting experts Hays in the latest edition of the Hays Journal.
There are many advantages to freelancing, for both employees and employers alike. An increasing number of workers are opting to freelance rather than taking on permanent roles due to the flexibility it offers, while businesses are attracted by the same flexibility.
“Freelancing is a very attractive option for many workers with key skills in demand. Moving from project to project allows people to be in charge of their own career” says Dean Stallard, Regional Director for Hays in Hong Kong.
“Businesses understand the true benefits of a flexible workforce too. It gives them the chance to quickly bring in certain skills only when they need them, whether that’s to work on a particular project, to cover annual leave or at times for peak workloads.”
For a business, having freelancers or temp workers on the books means they are able to budget on a project-to-project basis, giving them stronger control over their budgets since they only pay for the hours worked. Utilising the services of a temp or freelancer also ensures that permanent staff is not distracted from their core work.
While there are many benefits to having a flexible workforce, there are some risks that businesses must be aware of before going down the temporary or freelancer route.
“Businesses must remember that when they are making a short-term hire the freelancer may not be engaged with the brand and company’s values like a permanent employee is,” Dean added. “That’s why we suggest an organisation treats them like any other employee and as a part of the team. This ensures you’ll form a positive relationship, which helps to make them feel more at home in your business.”
Dean warns that it may also be necessary to educate permanent staff about what a temporary or freelancer’s hourly rate really means. “While a freelancer earns a higher hourly rate, they do not receive paid annual leave, sick leave or benefits.”
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