Freelancers are a staple of the creative industry and the market for them has waxed and waned over the years. This is a short jaunt into how freelancers (contractors, temps) can add value and a quick look into the pros and cons.
Let’s start with the good stuff.
Freelancers can bring experience and skills that may not be readily utilisable in your existing team. The ability to bring in a specialist writer, producer, motion designer or illustrator (for example), enables your team to deliver to the next level.
Whether it’s the build-up to our festive and summer madness or annual report season, being able to scale up as required means you can get through the workload on time and create a release valve of pressure for your team. These freelancers can often be booked in advance as annual busy periods are always keenly anticipated.
While the market for the right talent can fluctuate, we are always meeting clever new candidates. When you are unable to find the right person immediately, bringing on a freelancer to allow workflow to continue is ideal. It’s not unusual either, for a tried and tested freelancer to become a permanent team member.
Project based freelancers
When larger scale projects and events are on the cards, bringing in freelancers to run specific areas or implement creative adds support for your team and security to the project’s deadline.
Maternity/paternity leave and/or extended staff holidays often leave a gap. Many freelancers are interested and available for extended contracts. They can be brought in early to ensure smooth handovers and onboarding. Being able to book a freelancer in advance, knowing someone will be away reduces the worry of how projects will flow in their absence.
Like any new hire there is always the risk that person isn’t quite right for the job. Addressing this as early as possible is the best way to mitigate too much over investment. Timing can often cause headaches. Availability of freelancers can vary and often career freelancers may choose to take longer projects or end up not being available for bookings due to a ‘better offer.’ This is where having a couple of options to fall back on if required is a good idea. Using freelancers who become 'regulars' can be invaluable too!
As much as possible, have a clear idea of timings, budgets and what you need from the freelancer. Ensure they are onboarded and have a clear internal contact and report. Set out expectations at the beginning – not just around the work but also around hours, breaks and other team nuances.
Using freelancers is hugely beneficial for:
· Cover while staff are away.
· Support for large scale projects.
· Outsourcing of specialist skillsets.
· Short term continuity of studio output.
We have extensive experience placing freelancers. Short terms assignments, last minute requirements, extended contracts. Creatives, project and client management resource, as well as strategists, digital marketers and content specialists. We’ve even had freelancers go into studios to make up head count during client visits! Let us know what your requirements are, and we’ll help you fill those gaps.