Workana Report: Why do more and more companies and entrepreneurs decide to work with freelancers?

There’s no doubt that companies and organizations are increasingly deciding to rely on independent talent due to its many advantages. Almost a million projects have been posted just on our platform since 2012, and this trend has been increasing significantly.

According to our Workana Report 2019, 97.4% of the respondents to this survey firmly believe that the remote work model or freelancing will keep growing in the future. This trend can be explained mainly after the impact of technology over the last few years.

Actually, around 90% of clients have reported that technological transformation has already had an impact on work management, in whole or in part. Sometimes, this can be translated into projects or processes which are outsourced to independent talent.

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Clients from the freelance world

Some revealing data about our clients’ gender, age, origin and experience working with freelancers:

  • 65% of clients represent well-established companies. A third of them are privately owned or belong to independent entrepreneurs, and a small percentage of them are NGOs or governmental or state-owned entities.
  • A big percentage of our clients is just starting to experience their first freelance projects. In fact, 44% has been working with freelancers for less than three months, 39.1% from three months to three years, and only 7.5% can state they have been relying on independent talent for more than three years. We can arrive at two conclusions from the above: that this rise of remote work is quite new, and that it is growing at a very fast pace.
  • It makes no difference for about three quarters of clients to work with the same or with a different professional each time. Only 20% of them prefer to put up a fixed workteam and not change, as far as possible. Just in the area of design and multimedia there is a significant difference: around two thirds of clients try to work with the same freelancer all over again.

What clients need and want in the freelance world

These are the main reasons why our clients decide to rely on independent talent:

  • 42,5% say they have started working with freelancers because they needed external help in order to focus on business priorities, and just 13% have declared it had to do with usually lower operative costs.

Taking into account that the most important feature of a freelancer for clients is experience, we can conclude that they give priority to the best candidate, most skilled or specialized, and not to the lowest-cost freelancer, as some may think.

  • Clients also hire freelancers to complete the work of permanent staff, as well as to add new ideas and experience (38%).
  • At choosing a freelancer for their project, clients prioritize as follows: experience, time for delivery, fees, creativity and innovation, work style (project-based or hourly rate) and the ability to work in a team. That is to say that what matters to them the most is to make sure that work will be good quality and delivered in due time. 
  • Freelancers are mostly required from IT and Programming (46.8%). Then, Design and multimedia (24.8%), Translation and content (13.8%), Marketing and sales (11.9%) and lastly, admin support projects (1.8%). This means companies need a lot of expertise in technology issues to add to their work teams and stay competitive in the market.

In other words: “a planning is still to be developed for the incorporation of freelancers in the future of companies. This might be the result of specific needs (not yet identified) and there’s still a quite more ‘traditional’ look as regards the need of a permanent team (instead of a remote team).”

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Main challenges faced by clients hiring freelancers

As we’ve already seen, the inertial force of technological evolution is also the inertial force of freelancing. But there’s still a long way to go. Ahead there are challenges, gaps and ignorance which make it difficult for companies to take a chance on a quick growth and sustained, based on independent talent. The main challenges are the following:

  • Finding the perfect profile sought (46.8%). The most valued feature by clients is freelancers experience, so it makes sense that the main challenge is hiring independent talents with the necessary skills to complete the project, usually highly specialized.
  • Keep a fluent communication and good interaction (24%), and to a smaller extent, coordinating and managing remote work (13.8%).

Although 90% of clients say that technology has brought about substantial changes to their working style, and in terms of management, the biggest impact has had to do with resorting to remote work, 55% of clients think there’s still a lot of training and learning to do in order to fully incorporate this mode to the company.

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Advantages reported by clients at hiring freelancers through Workana

Clients are very thankful for freelancers’ contribution to their business, regarding innovation, experience and ideas given as from an external viewpoint, and which allow them to focus on priorities.

  • The main benefits that have been reported from hiring freelance talent through the social media are: big flexibility to add new talent, the promptness to find the right freelancer, the possibility to obtain more visibility for their projects and, finally, the possibility to know the profile of freelancers before hiring them.
  • In general, 60% of clients that use digital platforms to hire new independent talent are highly satisfied with those platforms. And in the case of Workana, the satisfaction percentage goes up to a surprising 86%.

If we refer specifically to the platform of Workana, the advantages our clients value the most are the following:

  • Receiving a great variety of bids through the same source (28%)
  • Having easy access to qualified freelancers (25%)
  • Making simple, easy payments (23%)
  • Being granted an escrow payment (17%)

So the question is…

Why do more and more companies and entrepreneurs decide to work with freelancers?

  • Because independent talent is just perfect to focus on business priorities and complete the work of the permanent staff with specific projects.
  • Because freelancing enables to add talent and fresh ideas fast and efficiently.
  • Because remote work platforms make it increasingly easier to find the perfect freelancer for you.

At Workana we are very happy to see that the results of our report show that we are on the right path, year after year. There’s still a long way to go, though.

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