Freelancers: why small businesses should hire talent online

Sebastian Siseles talks to about the benefits of hiring freelancers online rather than through a traditional agency.

The competition for talent is hotter than ever, with a widening skills gap expected after Brexit.

However, solutions to small business owners’ problems may be found online, and it can be cheaper than the traditional route.

Sebastian Siseles, director of, explains why he thinks you should go online for your freelance workers.

So, why should small businesses hire freelancers online?

The only way I think small businesses can challenge the big players in this creative economy is by having the best talent working for them.

And of course, if you think of the best talent, you think of traditional businesses or traditional labour. But if you’re thinking of hiring them the conventional way, you’re competing in a non-equal battle with the big guys.

The solution – the best way to do it – is to hire freelancers. Maybe you don’t need freelancers for the core business, but they’re good for the collateral things that a business needs to work.

They’re not necessarily freelancers in the neighbourhood or in the country, either. They could be anywhere in the world.

With a freelancing service you’d have access to a million talented people rather than the ten or 15 found through an agency.

Plus, by using a freelance service you have a necessary intermediary to make sure the employer and freelancer stick to the terms and conditions.

How will it impact business finances?

Let’s say that you wanted to refresh the image of your current business. Traditionally, you have one or two options.

A local agency would find good local designers but if you hire a creative agency, you have to pay all the overheads. You’re also paying the designer at the end of the day for working on your project.

If you go directly to the designer, without needing to pay for all those overheads, the price you pay is way lower. The money for the gig worker is the same, or even better, than going through an agency.

But even though they can be hired for a fraction of the cost, you will still need to hire them at a competitive price.

You should look for knowledge and experience from your freelancers and ask previous employers for feedback if you can – this will minimise the chances of failure from your freelancer.

Which sectors have the most online freelancers?

With the nature of young people using this technology, you see a lot of programming talent, or people who create websites and develop apps. Now it’s expanding into marketing and communications.

What’s in it for freelancers?

With all this progressive technology, our habits and relationships have changed, and work is no exception.

When I was young I was delivering my CV to companies by hand. The way I thought of work was that you go into an office and do 9-5.

Millennials joining the workforce have been born and raised using a computer. They say that most of the things being asked of them could be done from home, working for different employers.

Young people want to go freelance because they want to travel and don’t want the structure of the traditional working day. They want work-life balance, spending more time with family and friends.

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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