The business world is changing rapidly, and the landscape no longer looks the way it did even a decade ago. One of the key elements many people might notice changing is the increasing shift away from careers and into a freelance economy. In fact, recent studies show that as many as 33% of working-age Australians did freelance work in 2015. As our hallways fill with more and more freelancers, people may be curious about what exactly this freelance economy is.

A freelance economy is a situation in which jobs revolve around “freelancers,” individuals who, rather than having a long-term career, choose to remain self-employed and accept jobs on a project by project basis. These individuals may work with you for one project and move on. Alternatively, they may work with you on many projects over time. However, they are not an employee of the company in the full sense of the word.

So How Does It Work?

In many regards, the freelance economy is a win for all players. The freelancer maintains the flexibility to choose and direct his or her career as desired. At the same time, the businesses hiring these freelancers benefit in many ways. The most obvious benefit is related to time and cost. Whereas someone on staff may approach a situation from the mindset that they have eight hours a day and five days a week to fill up, a freelancer is goal focused. They were hired to complete a specific task or project, and there is no confusion about what they should be doing.

Similarly, with a full-time employee, you are paying them every day indefinitely, regardless of when the project is finished. You are also covering benefits such as health care, sick leave, and so on. Your freelancer, on the other hand, is paid for completing the project. You are not responsible for paying benefits. It is a simple exchange. There is no need for long-term contracts.

How Can I Be Sure What I Am Getting?

Many people wonder, however, how they can guarantee quality in hiring a freelancer. Unlike a full-time staff member, you do not have extended time to foster a relationship. Remember, though, every one of your staff members was once new. When hiring a freelancer, you will likely make many of the same considerations that you would make when hiring a full-time staff member. You will consider portfolios and recommendations.

You will engage in dialogue to see if your ideas for the project are a match. Unlike traditional long-term hiring, however, with freelancers, you have many options for feedback-based hiring. You can choose between localised freelancers, or you may opt for those further afield. More importantly, you have the benefit of utilising freelance “pools” or collective freelance organisations. Within these collectives, you will find several freelancers who can pitch for your job. You have options. Further, many of these allow businesses to rate their experience with each freelancer.

Think of it like the trendy driving application, Uber. When you request a driver from your Uber app and complete your ride, you are asked to rate the driver on a variety of categories. This ongoing rating system keeps drivers striving for their best and helps Uber, and you, select only the top drivers.

Freelancing in Action

At Sella, we successfully use freelancers to increase your business success. We use feedback and transparency to cultivate our select pool of quality freelancers. All you have to do is choose your target lead criteria and pick one of our freelance professionals. Our freelancer will then take your criteria and generate solid leads for you. You pay a reasonable project fee, and that is all. You are not responsible for additional salary or benefits. When the project is ended, that's it!

The freelance market will continue to grow. More and more of today’s talent is putting a priority on flexible time and focused skill sets. In fact, one recent survey found that 79% of Australian workers who were not currently freelancing were open to the idea. Just as many businesses, at the same time, are recognising the benefit of employing only what they need. Together, these factors guarantee the future of the freelance economy. As more and more people turn to freelancing, and as the subsequent quality data helps us refine our partnerships, this shift to a freelance economy is great news for us all.

To find out more about how Sella is utilising the freelance economy, check out https://sella.io/freelancer/