How Tapping into Freelance Talent Can Help You Overcome the Labor Shortage

Our relationship with work has transformed over the past few years. Remote, hybrid, and flexible arrangements are here to stay, with the freelance workforce growing three times faster than the traditional workplace. By 2027, more than 50 percent of the U.S. workforce will be freelance.

As we continue to navigate a labor shortage, employers are broadening their talent pool by tapping into freelance talent. If you’re interested in creating a blended workforce by incorporating skilled freelancers, here are some reasons behind the shift to freelance work, the benefits of working with freelance talent, and tips for maintaining good relationships with freelancers.

Why Workers are Opting to Freelance

Autonomy and Flexibility

In the wake of COVID-19 and The Great Resignation, employees are reevaluating their relationship with work. Freelancing enables them to have a flexible schedule and gain autonomy over their careers

Diversified Income 

Highly skilled workers are increasingly not interested in working for one company full-time. Going freelance enables them to work part-time or on a contractual basis for multiple clients. 

Schedule and Location Independence

Freelancers get to determine their workload and select projects that are meaningful to them. Without the meetings and office time of a full-time job, freelancers can set their own schedules and work from anywhere. 

The Benefits of Hiring Freelancers

Expand Your Talent Pool with Specialized Talent

When employers open opportunities to freelancers, they can access a global talent pool to find specific skills and qualifications. Because of their expertise, freelancers are often able to deliver high-quality work on an expedited timeline.

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Effectively Manage Labor Costs

Hiring a freelancer allows companies to reduce overhead costs, such as onboarding and benefits, without sacrificing work quality. A freelancer can take on project-based work that doesn’t require a full-time employee and help build efficiency within the company.

Bring in a Fresh Perspective

With their diverse work backgrounds, freelancers can bring innovative ideas to their work. They become instrumental team members who can help companies think outside the box and change how things have traditionally been done.

How to Tap into Freelance Talent and Maintain Good Relationships

Rethink How You Organize Your Workforce

Start by thinking beyond the traditional 40-hour workweek and developing a business strategy for partnering with freelancers. Ask your team for referrals and review portfolios and testimonials. 

Retention is Key

Just like you would with a full-time employee, think about how you hold onto people. Treat freelancers equitably with your full-time workers. Offer part-time employee status, a competitive salary, and equitable, prorated benefits. Include freelancers in your team culture and provide onboarding and resources for them.

Maintain Strong Communication

Clearly delineate tasks with a job description, pay rate, hours expected, and skills needed. Establish a regular check-in to connect about projects and ensure freelancers have everything they need to be successful in their work.