Date for your diary, Thursday 20th June 2019 marks National Freelancers Day, and independent professionals up and down the country will celebrate the fact that they boldly work for themselves. It’s estimated that there are over 2 million freelancers operating in the UK, and they’ve had their fair share of press recently.
The gig economy continues to be a key topic of conversation, and firms like Uber and Deliveroo, to name just two have come under scrutiny for how they treat the people working for them, it’s clear that the world of work is changing fast, and the face of employment is looking very different to what it did just a couple of years ago. With the growing confusion between employee and workers and the blurring lines.
So, how can you make better use of them?
You may be surprised but is it possible to harness talent on a more flexible basis and keep your reputation as a fair and just employer. And could you be missing out on some attractive business benefits if you’re sticking with what’s becoming a fairly outdated approach to talent, employment, and getting a good job done?
Let’s review a few things that you should be aware of…
First thing first enter into it with your eyes open, don’t just think it is a cheaper option as in the long term it probably isn’t. It goes without saying, we’re sure, but your relationship with freelancers should be very carefully managed. You might have fewer obligations from a legal perspective, but the reputation of your business could be on the line if you don’t get this right and you only have to read the papers so see more companies getting it so wrong. Now, there are unscrupulous business owners out there who have ruthlessly used the gig economy to drive forward questionable agendas, and it’s vital that you take steps to manage your employer brand and ensure that you’re considered to be amongst the cream of the crop when it comes to really getting this right.
Of course there is a flip side and you should also think about the potential pitfalls. Have you thought about how you’ll find the people who you really need? What exactly do you want them to do?, how long will you’re your require the services they offer? Being as clear as you can at the start will support you making it a success. Can you be certain that they’d be as committed to the cause as permanent employees would be? And how are your staff likely to deal with the transition towards working as part of a different kind of team? They’ll have their fears and concerns, and this needs to be managed. The one question you need to ask is do you really need a freelancer or will the role be controlled to such a degree that it should be an employee. All important questions to answer but at times difficult answers to find.
Finally, it’s important to recognise that there’s a wealth of talent available quite literally at your fingertips. Need a new website and some regular maintenance carried out, but don’t have the resources to hire a permanent developer? A freelancer could help. Looking for an extra pair of hands on deck during a busier period? Maybe a freelancer could fit the bill. Or struggling to find the skills you need in your local workforce? Yep, it’s very possible that a freelancer on the other side of the world could step in and deliver what you’re looking for.
About Louise in her own words
‘I am Louise Lithgow-Dicker the owner of Go HR. A Chartered Member of the Institute of Personal & Development for over 20 years.
I have worked across a wide variety of industry sectors in both UK and abroad. I use this wealth of experience to provide support to businesses which are facing demanding or difficult HR issues or who simply just need advice on the latest best practice procedures.
I am MCIPD qualified, MBTI Practitioner and NLP Diploma holder.’
If you would like to discuss an HR issue, her contact details are below:
Phone: 01628 702018