Better for Betterment – Freelancers or Shared Resources
To choose in between a freelancer or a shared resource to become a satisfactory fit for the position and make one of them the “new best friend” the client must be conscious about who will definitely work with the project and do the work, be sure about the person’s skills necessary for it and their availability, have no doubt about how well the work will be done and how much to pay, how much to talk and how well to be understood.
So why hire a freelancer or any other from shared resources?
Price. The price of freelancers and shared resources is usually made by the services rates and reputation, and the rates for shared resources may reach ones of top-freelancers’. Shared resources are usually easy to get and can save the clients’ money as they pay for the time the resource works. But projects also matter much and, as a result, the prices for shared resources’ and freelancers’ services may also vary.
Quality. Quality must correspond to the requirements and be regulated, meanwhile a specialist’s technical and personal skills can make it even better. It is harder to achieve high quality with freelancers, as the client has to care about providing them with the culture, requirements for security and quality itself. Shared resources’ quality of work may also be different. The biggest problem is their engagement in several projects at a time that makes their attention divided. The poor management or its absence can also be the reason for quality decrease and the projects to be short-term.
Skills and expertise. Freelancers’ and shared resources’ level of expertise, as well as of reputation, can be different. A shared resource’s knowledge may be superficial and a freelancer’s – stronger. Shared resources may have less knowledge about business and feel less interest in it. A freelancer’s professional and soft skills are always in focus of a client and are this client’s concerns equally with the risks they bring to the client.
Control. Control should be a must for both freelancers and shared resources. But it should. In fact, control of freelancers is not so tangible because of lack of visibility, especially in cases if there are more than 8 people hired. There is also no control as to the nearest future situations or what will happen to the end result. The levels of efficiency are also vague in this case. The control of a shared resource could also be problematic as the client does not allocate their time or influence on their priorities of tasks and has to check it somehow via something as special systems for tracking hours or someone as a manager.
Commitment and dedication depend on the personalities hired. As the work of the freelancers is naturally individual, the level of their commitment and dedication can be lower in comparison with shared resources, especially if the project takes a short period of time. The speed of their response, reaction on hot-peak situations and meeting deadlines become the concerns of a client. The situation could be better with the shared resources but in case of presence of a good lead.
Availability. Caring about clients, projects and tasks by themselves as well as keeping their own hours make freelancers concerned and limited in availability. To lead to efficiency availability should be regulated and may need the right day-to-day management style, especially in cases of retasking. Shared resources’ availability is flexible but must also be regulated in order to maximize the quality of the services or products.
Security. Freelancers and shared resources keep to the NDA rules but legal pursuit in case of disclosure or leaving the project in the middle is almost unlikely. Nevertheless, security must be monitored and the intellectual property (IP) must be protected. Intellectual property theft could be probable in case specialists work for numerous projects from the same field at a time. The companies which share resources protect the IP better than freelancers as they clearly understand the risks they will face with its theft.
Communication is unavoidable. Freelancers usually keep it direct. It could be effective but painful due to the lack of communicative skills. Shared resources keep less personal communication as it goes via a lead but they cannot totally avoid it in any case. It may be for good but for bad as well, as new chains lead to the distortion of communication.
Written by Anna Kotliarova, marketing specialist