Should Companies Hire Freelancers or In-House Talent?
The pros and cons of hiring freelance developers are well-known to companies. Seekers of qualified and trained developers have to determine if getting a project done via freelanced outsourcing is worth giving up all control over the process, with the hope that the end-product will be completed according to agreed-upon specifications. This was how things worked prior to the pandemic, but lockdowns, building closures and fear of infection have since turned the normal on its head. Stay-at-home orders have blurred the lines between staff and contractors to the point where a fresh look is warranted. For companies needing tech talent, what is their best option in 2021?
First – Let’s Define “Freelance”
Tossing any word about eventually muddies its meaning, so let’s review – what is a freelancer or contractor? For a definition, we’ll go to the only source that matters (the IRS). A person is an independent contractor if the hiring company has the right to control or direct only the final work product. The process of getting the work done (i.e., the details of how services will be performed) must be up to the contractor. Techtonic provides an all-in-one, vetted solution and bears all risk for all talent deployed to customers. But let’s review why some companies hire contractors.
Benefits of Hiring a Development Freelancer
In return for giving up virtually all process control, companies enjoy the following benefits by hiring independent contractors:
- Flexibility – Why not spend money only when there is a project to be completed? Companies can hire on a per-project basis and avoid the risk (and expense) of taking on a new, full-time employee. This is particularly valuable for smaller companies without the resources of larger brethren, and for highly seasonal industries.
- Avoid “Upskilling” – Modern companies don’t need to be experts at everything. If there is an area (like app development) that is specialized, short- to medium-term and clearly outside of the company skill set, it often makes sense to “plug the hole” with a contractor rather than initiate a nationwide search for a highly skilled employee in a highly recruited discipline.
- Time – It’s tough to know where to begin on this topic. Let’s start with getting the ad written, approved and placed. Then there are interviews to schedule and conflicts to work out on both sides. How about creating/updating applicant testing, then assessing the various results. You get the idea.
- Cost – In theory at least, hiring a contractor to handle a specific project is less expensive than having an employee do it. Sure, contractors earn good hourly rates but consider the overhead and benefits that are removed from the equation when using a contractor. And did we mention companies won’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on recruiting placement fees every year?
Problems with Traditional Tech Project Outsourcing
On paper, this is as close to a slam-dunk as you get, but these are rare in the real world in which we live. It’s great to say that tech contractors provide flexibility, but what happens if everybody is looking for the same people at the same time?
- Tech help is usually not available on demand. When you get who you can get, when you can get them, flexibility is lost. And if the project can’t be staffed it doesn’t get done and business (and possibly reputations) are lost.
The issue with outsourcing projects requiring specialized knowledge is internal – why not help your existing employees enrich their skills and their engagement with the firm?
- Outsourcing doesn’t provide existing staff the opportunity to level up and learn new skills. This lowers morale and productivity and eventually leads to turnover.
The cost issue is not as clear as it may seem. There are dollar and cents costs, there are opportunity costs and there are human costs.
- A good software developer may earn $75 or more per hour in contract roles – compared to about $50 per hour for a $100,000 employee plus benefits. The costs for both are very similar, so why not hire and provide benefits, guaranteeing you won’t have to turn away business to your competitors.
Why the Techtonic Way is Better
The demand for tech talent is growing and will continue to grow. This is not a surprise to anyone paying attention, but there is one additional consideration in the freelancer vs. employee debate. For the past year, the working arrangements of both contractors and employees have become very similar, and it’s hard to say if things will ever completely go back to a pre-pandemic normal. The Techtonic training model takes a diverse, screened group of gifted individuals hungry for tech knowledge, provides 14 weeks of free classroom training, then nine months of working side-by-side with senior developers to engineer solutions for paying clients. This rigorous regimen assures a heightened skill level by using the most current tools and applications. For any company using traditional recruiters to find one (good luck) or more (dream on) good software developers, we invite you to contact us.
Techtonic solves your retention issues, delivers qualified talent and offers a unique guarantee. Our apprentices will surpass the expectations of any company in need, and we back up this claim with this pledge:
- If for any reason you are not satisfied with our developers after two weeks, we will replace them or refund your money, no questions asked.
We take the risk out of hiring tech talent. It’s your move.