Freelancer vs. in-house: How to find your dream team for growth

3rd February 2022

Delegation isn’t just a vital skill for proper project management. In your SME with limited resources or high expectations, the ability to align your team’s skills and processes can be the difference between success and failure.

But how do you create the ultimate team that is productive, cohesive, and ready for online growth? Let’s take a look.

Staying in your lane of genius

As a small business owner, entrepreneur, or manager, it can be easy to assume that you’re needed everywhere. In oversight positions, you will often be called to be a jack of all trades – or at least have enough understanding in most areas where you can assist your team. Even then, it’s important to recognize that you come with your own skillset, experience, and perspectives.

As important as it is to understand adjacent lanes, you still have your lane where you excel. That’s where the bulk of your labor should be dedicated because that is where your contributions can have the best impact on the rest of your team.

If it feels like picking a focus area can open up gaps in other parts of the team, good. The point is to hire or find the support that can fill those gaps, not to stretch yourself so thin that your impact is lost in the process. Stay in your lane of genius and excel there. Set an example for your team. Your support structure should allow you to do this while also offering oversight capabilities where needed. 

Know when to hire the experts

But if you’re being an expert in your lane, how do you fill those gaps? The first step is to not rush into hiring. Assessing your current team now will save you time and money in the long run. Work on positioning your current team to optimize their skills first, and see what’s missing. 

At this point, your budget will partly dictate your best course of action, but we’ll break that down a little further below. But if you know the expertise you need to bring in, then you’ll have an easier time recruiting for them.

Some things to consider when assessing your team?

  • Is there a position I need to fill in-house or can it be outsourced to a freelancer?
  • How much time does a new expert need to spend engaging with my team?
  • Is this a remote/work from home or in-office position?
  • How long do I need this position filled for?
  • Do I need to hire for a single project/campaign or a long-term basis?

The answers to these questions should inform your best course of action. They’ll also be enough to help you compile a shortlist of viable candidates in the recruitment process. Of course, the final step is always the interview. 

The answers to these questions should inform your best course of action. They’ll also be enough to help you compile a shortlist of viable candidates in the recruitment process. Of course, the final step is always the interview. 

Photo source: Alex Green, Pexels

When all your candidates have roughly equal and exchangeable skills on paper, you need to find the best fit for your team in terms of profile, personality, and perspectives. This is why it’s important to start with a team assessment. Every team works best with balance. 

You want hires that complement the existing structure while positively contributing something to it. That said, you can go in a slightly different direction if what your team needs is an alternative perspective – or someone with experience in an adjacent field with skills that transfer. A diversity of talent is essential to team cohesion and balance.

Freelancer vs. full-time hire

So, should you hire someone in-house or outsource to a freelancer? Again, that depends on your team’s needs, but here’s the case for either.

A freelancer is perfect if you have a limited budget and only need someone to perform a limited range of functions. Freelancing works best when you want contributions from someone with a highly specialized skillset that adds to a project, but would otherwise not be needed for regular operations. If the work is ad hoc, hire a one-time freelancer or negotiate a retainer. Remember, you can always hire them as needed, and the more work you do together, the better the dynamic will be.

In-house hires should be for positions that you absolutely need to fill out full-time. This can be due to the number of hours required or the number of tasks that will fall under their duty. Full-time hires also work best for positions that interact a lot with the rest of the team. You’re investing in someone becoming a part of the team structure and building relationships. 

What do you have the budget for?

Again, your budget will dictate a lot of what you can do. Freelancers are easier to budget for in that you only need to set aside resources for a negotiated rate. You’re only paying for the services you get, but you are missing out on team dynamics, relationship building, and long-term integration. 

That’s what full-time hires are for. Still, you need to work out if those traits are worth the investment in a full-time salary. The diversity of your projects might mean it works out better to hire freelancers as and when you need them. That said, a full-time position can still be a worthwhile investment if you’re looking to scale up or strengthen the operational structure. Freelancers exist outside of that structure.

Finding the right freelancer

Finding the right freelancer is a matter of planning and recruitment. Freelancers tend to grow in niches, meaning you should seek them out when you’re looking for a highly specialized skill.

Unlike a full-time hire, you shouldn’t focus too much on a freelancer’s resume. The key to hiring the right freelancer is looking at their portfolio. If their body of work aligns with your needs, then you’re on the right track.

Have a freelancer already and want to know more about how to write a brief for the work they will be doing? Take a look at our Metigy Learning Article on writing a brief.

Aligning automation, AI, and support

Of course, in the digital age, you’re not only relying on labor. Automation and AI have played a huge role in digital transformation, helping teams complete tasks faster, streamline admin, and manage large datasets. We took some time to explore three  AI-driven marketing strategies and you can read about them here

Cloud-based technology platforms, like Metigy, have centralized communication and information sharing, making teams more effective. They’ve also allowed many freelancers and even full-time workers to be just as productive working remotely, opening up hiring opportunities that were previously limited by geography.

It’s in your team’s best interests to use these technologies where possible. Some even fill the gaps that might have otherwise required a new hire. Think of technology as part of the team. It’s a tool that empowers and supports the team that uses it. 

Ultimately, that’s what a dream team is all about – optimizing while removing the obstacles that lead to bottlenecks in communication, management, and the work itself.

Bringing in a tool like Metigy can help you utilize the resources already available to you and your team. Metigy opens the door to powerful AI-supported digital marketing, making it easier for you to reach your customer. Take a look at our plans, and get started for free here.

And if you need content created quickly and don’t have the time to hire or find a freelancer, then take a look at Metigy’s Creative Services! With Creative Services you can create graphics, photos, videos, and more all within the one platform.

Leave a reply?

Your email address will not be published.