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Why do some Employers fear Freelancers

Like it or not, the gig economy, on-demand workforce or insert new buzz term, is here to stay.

Every day, new startup businesses are emerging and employers of all sizes are noticing the benefits that come with hiring a contingent workforce. Though many are opting to split the difference by blending (hiring a mixture of workers), the freelance community “has grown by 5% in the last 10 years and accounts for 34% of the workforce”, according to Ellie Martin & Melissa Thompson of Newsblaze.com.  This is great news for independent contractors but many employers are still afraid of the instability and insecurity that comes along with hiring them. But if freelancers opt to understand why some employers fear them, perhaps both parties will be able to benefit in the end.

 

 

Freelancer Freedom

Oddly enough, the same reasons many employers are drawn to freelancers are why they often times are afraid to rely on them. Independent contractors seek the freedom and flexibility that comes with working for themselves. They can focus on what they excel at, be more efficient and work when they are the most productive. Additionally, the money an employer can save by hiring freelancers for specific projects when it’s most beneficial to do so, is a huge incentive for business owners of all sizes. But there is still an uncertainty about relying on specialized workers long-term.

 

Employers seek stability and dedication from their employees. But sometimes, when a freelancer is unhappy with a project, it’s a lot easier for them, compared to traditional employees,to walk away from a situation they deem undesirable. It’s empowering to be able to do so, but if freelancers aren’t careful it can limit their overall desirability. Of course freelancers shouldn’t ever sell themselves short, nonetheless, they should be malleable to their client’s needs. By showing dedication and sticking with the toughest of worthy employers, this presumed fickleness attached to freelancers will begin to fade and employers will garner more confidence around the contingent workforce.

 

 

Confusion about Classification

Many companies like Uber, for example, have taken advantage of the independent workforce and/or would be employees. They save tons of money by classifying employees as independent contractors, even if they work full-time hours. This seedy behavior has lead to State and the Federal governments getting involved. Another unintended result from this is that many would be freelancer clients are becoming weary of hiring contingent workers. They are confused about how to go about fostering relationships with workers who can’t be told what to do in the traditional sense and are fearful of what to do when a short term job becomes a long one.

 

There are many on-demand platforms that help clients make sure they are working with freelancers fairly and accordingly, but various fee’s coupled with finding the right workers can be costly and time-consuming. However, if done correctly, the rewards can outweigh the cost. Moreover, there are also WIP (Work in Progress) services that can monitor the number of freelancers a business has employed, helping them avoid the costly mistakes in classification. Unless an employer knowingly “misclassifies” their employees, for monetary gain, there needn’t be anything to fear.

 

 

Bad Seeds

 

Just as there are employers who take advantage of freelancers. There are freelancers out there who give the community a bad rap. Some freelancers set their rates too low while others are trying to get rich quick. When a freelancer sets their rates too low, client’s tend to think this is the norm or worse they fall prey to incompetence and mediocrity. Freelancers also pay because qualified workers often have to work for less than their worth in a competitive marketplace. This encourages fickleness and hinders loyalty for all parties involved.

 

Freelancers who take advantage of small businesses by charging insane rates, or those who quit unexpectedly are also a part of the problem. Freelancers need to conduct themselves as professionals and avoid the potential pitfalls that come with being a contracted worker. On-demand platforms are riddled with subpar workers and outsourced leeches. If freelancers want to be taken seriously, said platforms can be beneficial for starting relationships but real success comes with stepping up your game and doing things yourself. A successful track record along with a professional and realistic demeanor can sooth the greatest of fears.

 

 

It’s here to stay

There are too many benefits associated with the gig economy for weary employers to stay at bay for long. Though there are still many issues that need to be worked out, lots of freelancers are thriving and many employers are jumping on board. Misclassification, confusion and leeches will always be a part of the system and some employers will probably never get with the times. But as we continue into what has been called “the next industrial revolution” a little fear is to be expected. Besides, nothing worth having is easy and when it comes to success we should run towards what we’re afraid of.

Image sources: ngcareerstrategy.com, dojoblog.net, videohive.net, naldzgraphics.net, freelancecrunch.com
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