What is a freelance worker?
Individuals can choose to become freelancers for a variety of reasons. Maybe they work as full-time freelancers, or maybe they’re just trying to earn some extra cash on the side. Maybe they’re stay-at-home parents looking to earn some additional income to support a family. Maybe they’re in-between jobs. No matter the reason, freelance workers can be beneficial for almost any company. And a survey done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2005 reported that independent contractors made up approximately 7.5% of the U.S. labor force.
Types of freelance workers
Independent contractors: The job description of these workers is defined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as follows: “A general rule is that you, the payer, have the right to control or direct only the result of the work done by an independent contractor, and not the means and methods of accomplishing the result.” In sum, you pay them to complete a specific job function and they choose how they would like to go about it.
Help Agency Workers: These freelance workers are typically classified as temporary and are paid by a help agency.
On-Call Workers: The BLS defines these freelancers as “workers called to work only as needed, although they can be scheduled to work for several days or weeks in a row.”
Contract Firm-Provided Workers: The BLS defines these individuals as “workers employed by a company that provides them or their services to others under contract and who are usually assigned to only one customer and usually work at the customer’s worksite.”
What do freelance workers do?
Some businesses choose to hire freelance workers to complete projects that don’t necessarily merit the work of a full-time employee. These types of projects may include something long-term, or they may be geared more toward a labor-oriented task. Common types of freelance work include blog writing, web design, computer programming, office administration and consulting.
How do you hire a freelance worker?
Before you dive into hiring a freelance worker, you need to be familiar with the field and have a specific idea of the type of person you are looking for. Although you aren’t hiring a full-time employee, you still want to be sure that the job you are requesting is done as you would expect. If you know people who may be in-between jobs, see if they would be interested in doing some freelance work for your company. But, be careful when hiring relatives or close friends as these relationships can cloud your judgment and sometimes hurt your business. If you are not comfortable hiring a person whom you already know, there are many websites that allow companies to post jobs and freelancers to apply for them. Examples of such websites include FreelancerRatings.com, Elance.com and iFreelance.com.
Don’t forget to draw up a contract
Even though this is not a permanent employee, the contract between the freelance worker and company is very valuable. The contract must describe, in specific detail, the job that you are hiring the freelance worker to complete. Also, if this person is providing you with an item of their own creation, be sure to specify who owns the rights to this product upon its completion.