Everyone must have, at some point in their lives, heard of the term “freelancer”. This is defined as someone who works on various projects via a contract, day rate or hourly rate, for instance, over the year. There are different types of contracts that freelancers choose to place their clients on depending on the type of work that is needed.
One of the common things that bring freelancers together is their focus on attaining jobs from different sources, on their own. Different from permanent contracts, and full-time jobs that many companies hire their employees on, these individuals can work as and when they want to, as many hours a week as they like and in whatever niche they choose to. Many have specialist skills from engineering to coding and camera work. Find out more about these here
Difference Between an Employed Staff Member and a Freelancer
There is a vast difference between being an employer of a company on a full-time contract basis and being a freelancer. We look at a few of the common ones below:
The Length of a work contract: these individuals are contracted for a specific time and work. Staff on the other hand are typically contracted full-time and permanently.
The Pay: while staff are paid on a monthly basis, most commonly on the same date each month, freelance workers get paid per job. They can charge their clients per hour, per day, or word for instance.
Their Tax: they would normally submit a tax return every year by themselves or through their accountants. While employees and staff members of a company get their tax and other items such as pension or National Insurance: https://www.gov.uk/national-insurance (if you’re in the UK) deducted automatically from their monthly salary.
Their Equipment: in most cases, staff use the company’s equipment while freelancers tend to use their own.
Sources of work: Lastly, finding their work is key to being an “outworker”. However, those working inside an organization get work given to them as projects and tasks every day.
Jobs One Can Do as A Freelancer
As an individual who is looking to go in this direction, you have a choice of a few different jobs you can undertake successfully. Some of the below are included in this list:
- Financial support (e.g. bookkeeping)
- Graphic designer
- Marketing, Media & PR
- Writing, editing & proofreading
- Data entry
Hiring a Freelancer
Often companies prefer not to hire a full-time employee and opt to get someone who can work flexible hours and on individual projects on an ad-hoc basis and pay them per project. It’s a lot more convenient and cost-effective for them. But when you want to hire a videographer, for instance, there are a few things you should keep in mind before choosing someone to help you out.
First of all, the best way to find one is through doing an online search. For instance, if you go onto Google, yahoo or Safari and do a search for one, you will get various results of individual freelancers’ portfolios or databases that they are on which you can sign up for and begin to hire the person with the skills you are looking for. A few that tend to pop up include Guru, PeoplePerHour, Upwork.
Each will offer its rates so a discussion beforehand is advised. Always make sure to hire those who are experienced and have a good track record. Sometimes you may want to hire one that is just starting to give them a chance at your work and they would often charge less than experienced people. It all depends on personal preference.
You could also tackle it in a different way and advertise your job or project on a website such as a job site and see what responses you get. Using a professional network is also another way that can help you find the right person for the job, and often organizations keep the same person for a long time as and when they get new projects.
Interview the prospect initially to find out a bit about them and ask them to send you examples of their work similar to what you’ve got on offer. This procedure may be somewhat different from that of when hiring an employee but the underlying reason would be to see if they will be a good fit for your company culture and if they will be able to work well with you. One good way of testing them out is to give them a task to do to see how well they do.
Hiring anyone for a specific job may be different from the next. For instance, when hiring a cameraman, you would normally ask them for videos they have done as their most recent work to see how well they shot the scene.
If, however, you are looking for someone like a content writer to help you with some pieces of blogs or social media posts, you would need to ask them for published works or send them a content writing task to complete according to specifications. Each will differ from the other.
Once you manage to choose the right candidate for your projects, always make sure you get all the all necessary documents and have everything in writing. Often companies get them to sign a non-disclosure agreement if it is information they deem private. In addition, make sure the payment terms and conditions are sent to them to acknowledge as well as the rate they are charging so there is no confusion going forward.
Let the journey begin of working with your first ever freelancer!