What every company should know about hiring freelance developers

In the dynamic landscape of the Information Technology (IT) industry, a profound shift is underway – the rise of freelancing. Once considered an alternative work arrangement, freelancing has today become a dominant force, reshaping the traditional notions of employment and revolutionising how work is done. The future of work lies in freelancing, are you ready to discover it?

Freelancers are seasoned self-employed experts who believe in freedom-based contract work where nine-to-five, commute and designated desks matter no more. With statistics showing that over 50% of the U.S. IT industry workforce work as freelancers, it's evident that freelancing isn't just a passing trend. It's here to stay and take over.

Global companies such as Google, Uber and Wolt actively employ freelancers for various different tech roles, showing that working with individual contractors has become the new normal among successful companies. So what should you understand about the rising freelancing phenomenon and hiring individual contractors to your projects? Let us dig deeper!

Factors driving the rise of freelancing

The allure of freelancing lies in its flexibility, autonomy, and limitless potential for growth. Unlike traditional employment models, freelancers have the freedom to choose their projects, set their schedules, and work from anywhere in the world. This autonomy empowers them to pursue their passions, explore diverse opportunities, and achieve a healthier work-life balance.

Moreover, the IT industry is uniquely suited to the freelance model. With the increasing demand for specialised skills in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, data analytics, and cloud computing, businesses are turning to freelancers to access the expertise they need on-demand. Freelancers, in turn, capitalise on their niche skills and market themselves as indispensable assets in a competitive marketplace.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work practices, making freelancing an even more attractive option for both professionals and businesses. As companies embrace remote and distributed teams, they're increasingly turning to freelancers to augment their workforce, access specialised talent, and remain agile in a rapidly evolving landscape.

Huge opportunity for companies

As we explained in our previous blog post, it is worth employing freelancers as a part of a company's talent strategy. Firstly, with the help of external experts you can accelerate software development significantly. Bringing in new top class skills to the organisation speeds up the development processes and ensures faster time-to-market with high-quality code.

In addition, with specialised expertise you can fill skill gaps and enable development teams to tackle more complex and specialised projects. Employing freelancers also brings flexibility to your talent strategy as they allow you to quickly scale your workforce up or down as needed.

Moreover, freelancers often bring fresh perspectives and diverse experiences to the table, enriching the creative and problem-solving processes within organisations. Also, the seniority of freelancers can be beneficial for other team members from the perspective of learning – they can work as mentors and coach less experienced people in the team.

Challenges companies need to address

While embracing freelancers can offer numerous benefits for companies, from accessing specialised skills to increasing flexibility in project management, it also presents its own set of challenges that must be addressed to ensure successful collaboration. One critical observation we've made during our years in the business is that collaboration flourishes when freelancers are treated with the same level of consideration as the company's own employees. Consider at least the following key aspects when engaging freelancers.

Integrating freelancers smoothly into an existing team, particularly when working remotely, can pose challenges. Communication barriers, varying work styles, and unfamiliarity with the company culture can impede collaboration and cohesion. To overcome these hurdles, companies must prioritise investing in robust onboarding processes and leveraging effective communication tools to facilitate seamless integration and ensure freelancers feel valued and included. Clear and consistent communication of project requirements, timelines, and deliverables is paramount to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.

In addition, maintaining continuity and consistency in project execution can pose some challenges when collaborating with freelancers. Companies need to establish protocols for knowledge transfer, project documentation, and project handovers to facilitate a seamless transition between freelancers and minimise disruptions to ongoing initiatives. These may involve providing comprehensive documentation, conducting thorough briefings, and offering access to relevant resources and tools.

Finally, it's crucial for companies to prioritise safeguarding their intellectual property and confidential information when engaging with freelancers. This requires the implementation of robust non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and ensuring strict adherence to confidentiality protocols by freelancers. When clients work with freelancers through Thriv, they can rest assured that NDAs are always a priority.

Creating an ecosystem for innovation and collaboration

In conclusion, freelancing in the IT industry transcends being a passing trend; it stands as a transformative force reshaping the way we approach work. The reliance of major corporations like Google on freelancers and contractors underscores that freelancing is not merely a fleeting phenomenon but a fundamental shift in how work is organised and executed.

As we navigate this paradigm shift, it's essential to recognise the opportunities and challenges that come with employing freelancers. And work towards creating an ecosystem that fosters innovation and collaboration in the IT industry and beyond.

Ready to discover the future of work and hire freelancers? We at Thriv are happy to help you, just reach out to us and let's talk!

Klaus Puroila - Account Manager

Klaus Puroila