While the USA seems to have a good grasp of the concept of hiring freelancers, it’s still a largely foreign concept in the UK – especially outside the creative industry. This is starting to change though, with the economy improving and companies looking at what options they have with hiring. The question is, should they bring someone in full time, or hire a freelancer by the day?

So, why would you hire a freelancer over an employee?

Being paid by the hour or day makes us more productive

When you’re paid by the hour or day, you’re a lot more conscious of the work you’re producing. Knowing you have a day to turn a project around is likely to lead to more efficient results than passing a project to an employee who has a dozen other things to do. Essentially, we’re there to get the job done – not lose hours in meetings, dealing with colleagues or on Facebook.

Short term work makes us more focused

In most roles, an employee will get to a point where they start to lose interest and coast a little. Freelancers tend to work on a short term basis, so we’re fresh and enthusiastic to a project – then move on to the next client/project once the job is done.

We can bring an expert approach

Freelancers tend to have a specialism, so you can hire one in to offer consultation on a particular topic. For example, you may want to train your employees on how they should be using social media from a business point of view. Bringing in a freelance social media consultant for a workshop means you’ll have a team of more savvy employees – for the cost of one day of freelancing.

It could be cheaper than hiring someone

While freelancers are by no means cheap (or shouldn’t be), it can still be a cheaper option than hiring someone. For example, hiring in a freelancer for a couple of days a month could cost you £600 – but hiring a PR full time would undoubtedly cost you more each month. Plus the employee is paid by the month – while the freelancer is paid by the work done.

You’re not limited by location

Buffer recently wrote a great post on why having a remote team works well for them. Hiring a freelancer means you’re not limited to the candidate pool in your local area, so you could end up with a team that is more experienced and higher skilled.

We’re self-improvers

Good freelancers will constantly be learning and teaching ourselves new skills. After all, the more skills we have, the more valuable we can be.

Know of any other benefits to hiring a freelancer? Tell me about them in the comments.