While the GiG economics continues to grow strongly and never before have so many freelancers (157 000) in Flanders, we find that many organizations are reluctant to work with freelancers. Unnecessary, we think, because freelancers represent, above all, an opportunity for the future. That's why we debunk the 3 most persistent prejudices about freelancers:
You can't blame companies. An hourly rate of 50 euros doesn't immediately seem like a bargain. But actually it is! Allow us to illustrate:
First it is often overlooked that the client does not have to pay social security contributions for freelancers. With permanent employees, these costs come on top of the cost of remuneration. In this sense, with the remuneration of one permanent employee, you can employ more flexible workers.
Second, the freelancer's plug and play principle ensures that the client only has to pay for the hours actually worked. "What you pay is what you get. This eliminates some financial obligations such as paying vacation pay and compensating for sick days. A freelancer arranges the systematics of his projects completely autonomously and thus plans his own vacation. Paying for sick days is also not included in the contract between client and freelancer.The state provides for the payment of sick days of freelancers after the completion of the carence period.
Third, a freelancer already has deskills and experience in his or her pocket to get the job done. The time-intensive and expensive process of employee training is avoided this way. In addition to the cost of the training, you also quickly pay extra for the hours the employee could not work. This is by no means a eulogy for not training employees, which is much needed, but cultivating expertise is a long and slow process that needs to grow. And that is precisely where the shoe pinches often in business. There is not always enough time to wait for expertise to develop. That is why outsourcing very specific assignments offers a real solution. Outsourcing means saving time, not quality.
Importantly, remember that the additional cost of a freelancer actually saves you a lot of other expenses. You may or may not consider it a bargain, but it's certainly not a cat in a bag.
While in Flanders we are moving more and more towards open business models, Flemish SMEs are still dealing with a lot of mistrust towards freelancers. This distrust usually manifests itself in the following areas:
In many cases, a freelancer needs access to confidential data. For digital marketers, think of social media passwords or for an HR manager, information about executive to worker compensation. Sensitive information that should not leave the room. Fortunately, there are legally valid documents that provide a perfect solution to that. The confidentiality contract, or non-disclosure agreement, ensures that it is specifically defined what information should be kept secret. This way, the client is reassured that their business information is in good hands.
Because a freelancer often works from home and thus there is little control, suspicion sometimes arises. The control hatch that is built in with permanent employees is missing with freelancers. In addition, employers (especially with very specific expertise) have difficulty assessing quality. Making an objective assessment is not always easy this way. Therefore, we recommend making good arrangements for transparency. Numerous free applications are available online to get more transparency in the work process. These project management tools can involve the employer in the progress of the assignment. But more important remains clear communication. Clear testing of expectations and objectives is a must.
Unfortunately, we still find too often that a freelancer is seen primarily as a "supplier." The great welcome policy that has been worked out for the permanent employees is not seen by the freelancer. However, it remains important that freelancers are socially connected in the organization to make the collaboration successful. The induction of a freelancer is a responsibility borne by two parties. With the right support, we see that freelancers do start to become part of a team, even if only temporarily. Admittedly, due to the temporary nature of the freelancer, there will always be a distance between the two parties. But that often has its advantages as well. As GiGHOUSE freelancer Katrien Tordeur in our blog post said:
"I don't need a strong bond with colleagues, which in the HR world is usually already not an obvious thing. As an HR person in charge, you are usually not part of the WhatsAppgcall among colleagues spreading the latest gossip.'"
As an outsider, a freelancer has an important signaling function. Fixed habits are hardly detectable by permanent employees. A freelancer who is only present in the organization for a short time looks through clearer glasses and can make better objective choices. "Not really being part of a team" is thus certainly not a negative.
We hope we have dispelled some of the preconceptions about freelancers. If not, GiGHOUSE is still here to continue to pave the way for freelancers in the future.
Looking for a flexible solution for your business? GiGHOUSE screens freelancers thoroughly and quickly matches the right freelancer to the right assignment. Hereby we take into account the right skills and a cultural fit with your company. Interested in a smooth cooperation with freelancers? GiGHOUSE puts you on the fast track.