Much of the world is scrambling to adjust to the new normal of work, forced upon us by much of the world’s response to the pandemic. Many of you are looking for reasons to engage freelance independent consultants to add value to your business. For those without remote work already in place, the race is on to suddenly switch away from centralized workspaces while maintaining productivity to ecosystems infused with freelance independent consultants.
We feel that the traditional full-time employment model was walking dead even before covid-19 emerged. Using a freelancer Independent consultant to support core internal corporate teams has proven to be sustainable and cost effective, and a great way to stay fresh and innovative.
To this we will add, in these coronavirus times, it is also less risky from a health perspective to have teams dispersed and virtual, as opposed to being centralized and in close physical contact.
The business case for using a freelancer Independent consultant is clearly compelling for these reasons.
You can dive into the more granular aspects of determining the potential returns from such a decision by following a studied approach if you need to sway your own internal decision-makers.
1. Cost and Value
It’s quite common to hear the view that it’s more expensive to engage a freelancer Independent consultant than to employ a full-timer with equivalent skills. The opposite is the truth though, fuelled by most people unfairly comparing a freelancer Independent consultant’s fees directly with the pro-rata salary of an employee.
Why is this comparison unfair?
Full-time employees come with a plethora of extra costs (on top of salary), like statutory employer contributions, training and development, fringe benefits and perks, employer retirement and health contributions (when not included in fixed pay), annual and sick leave plus technology costs, equipment and physical office costs. The list is long.
Not to mention variable pay, which has taken on the guise of semi-guaranteed pay in most companies. Expectations related to variable pay in some companies have led to anything less than maximum pay-outs (associated with stretch performance) being considered a loss.
Big brands publish papers on what to do if your plans are underwater, reinforcing the perception that the only way is up.
When you engage a freelancer Independent consultant, you are not liable for any of these costs.
Also, freelance Independent consultants absorb the risks associated with irregular work patterns, and their rates reflect the flexibility that this affords you.
This allows you to balance the mix between fixed and variable costs, in order to keep overheads low.
After all, studies show that permanent employees operate at almost 50% capacity, most of the time and you probably also know that you don’t need all your workforce for 260 days’ worth of work every year – but you’ve committed to them in full-time employment.
The flexible freelancer market allows you to buy decades of experience by the hour, day, week or month and that’s what we refer to as ‘on-demand’. This is where the smart cost savings exist. With freelancer Independent consultant talent, you are not tied into long-term commitment and you can book as much or as little of a super-experienced expert as your budget allows.
freelance Independent consultants are also good value when compared with the fees charged by Big 4 or other consulting houses. Typically, a freelancer Independent consultant with 20 years’ experience and specialist skills charges rates proportionate to that of a lower-level consultant provided by these companies, while giving you the skills of a senior Partner or Director all the time, throughout the project.
Consulting firms use such senior skills on a “blended” basis, generally 10% of the project, with junior staff filling in the rest.
2. Robust and quick
It is easy and quick to contract with a freelancer Independent consultant. Since you are not making a long-term hiring commitment, there is no need to go through lengthy HR selection processes or wait for notice periods to end. You can make a fast selection with the assistance of an online marketplace (to provide greater assurance) and then kick your procurement process into gear.
No matter what your business challenge is, whether to prepare a tender or draft a bonus scheme, there is a freelancer Independent consultant out there who can help guide your team or do it on your behalf. Even if you have not yet finalised the skills you need for a project, you could engage several specialists for shorter periods to provide different perspectives on a challenge.
3. Independent and frank
Engaging freelance Independent consultants allows you to tap into independent free thinkers unencumbered by internal company dynamics, thus allowing you untainted, varied and “straight” perspectives to adapt to volatile and uncertain circumstances.
As objective outsiders, freelance consultants are frequently the people who ask the awkward questions, demand smarter answers and inspire breakthrough solutions.
Diversity fosters innovation!
4. Business continuity
Freelance Independent consultants love what they do and are not interested in climbing the ladder. They have a strong motivation to deliver results so they can get repeat business. This means they can be some of your most loyal brand ambassadors, and the ones who are still around to facilitate a transfer of knowledge from one internal manager to the next.
And as we are currently experiencing, they can be up and running while your regular team is still figuring things out or are making arrangements in the event of a crisis.
They truly can be your “plug and play” skills.
Your ROI from using freelancer Independent consultant talent is therefore multi-faceted, and when framed against the considerations listed above, is straight-forward and self-evident.
Now all that’s left is to find that Freelancer / Consultant / Independent Contractor who fits your working style and culture! There are many of these HR experts on One Circle – check them out.
Browse some of our consultant profiles and see if there’s anyone who looks like they could help you and your team through these challenging times.
One Circle is a freelancing platform for independent HR consultants.
Where businesses of all sizes can find coaches and HR specialist consultants across the entire HR spectrum with multiple areas of expertise. If you are a business and are looking to get HR projects done, virtually, consider signing up!