Getting Giggy With It: 4 Things Employers Need to Consider Before Forging Ahead with a Freelance Hire

The gig economy. Solopreneurs. Side hustling. Free agents. Workforce 2.0. No matter what you call it, there is no doubt that the economy is in the midst of a huge shift in the world of paid work. In 2016, nearly 53 million of workers in America were freelance, which makes up approximately 34% of the workforce. That number is only expected to grow. In fact, research by McKinsey suggests that by 2025, the online talent platforms that connect freelance workers with companies could add $2.7 trillion to global GDP.

As technologies that connect freelance workers and employers evolve, it’s no longer just companies like Uber driving the on-demand labour movement. Robotics, blockchain, Bitcoin, augmented reality, and deep learning were amongst the top ten fastest–growing freelance skills in the third quarter of 2017, according to online freelancing website, Upwork.

But before companies jump onto one of the many online freelancing platforms to find talent for an upcoming project, there are some important things to consider.

How will your company make decisions about which work can be outsourced to freelancers and which might be better executed by an internal team?

Not every project is a good fit for contracting out to an independent consultant. Download our 5-Minute Outsourcing Assessment to start the conversation within your organization about which projects might be a good fit for a freelance solution.

How will your company determine which freelancers to work with?

Basing freelance staffing decisions on the proposed hourly rate alone can lead to disappointment. Reviewing work samples and asking for references from past clients will help you do a better job of determining the quality of the work you can expect from the person.

Could the freelancer’s proposed work arrangement be characterized by the Canada Revenue Agency as a personal services business?

It’s not enough for a freelancer to just say they are a freelancer. The Canada Revenue Agency uses a four-fold test to determine if the relationship between your company and the freelancer is an employer-employee-like relationship or a business relationship. If the relationship is deemed more like an employer-employee relationship, there could be expensive tax implications for the freelancer. Should that happen, it could impact the freelancer’s decision to continue performing work for your company. Share our 5 Ways to Determine Your Personal Business Risk with your company’s freelancers to help them understand what they can do to reduce the risk of being classified as a personal services business.

Who is responsible for training freelance staff?

Just because a person doing freelance work for your company isn’t categorized as an employee doesn’t necessarily mean that your company does not have any responsibilities when it comes to ensuring they can conduct the work safely on your behalf. Regulations vary by province, so ensure you have a thorough understanding and documentation in place to prove your company has fulfilled its legal obligations.

If you need contract or freelance staff, consider working with a recruitment agency.

Ian Martin’s contract staffing solutions can offer a hybrid approach that can bridge the gap between hiring additional salaried employees and getting outside assistance from independent freelancers.

Sure, you can find your own freelance candidate on sites like Upwork, but if you want to be sure that you’re getting the right person for the job, we can help. When you work with Ian Martin, our recruiters will help you hone in on the specific skills you need for the job so you get the right person more efficiently. They’ll also work to put your unique brand in the spotlight and leverage your company’s best attributes so you attract the top candidates for the job. Need someone for just a short while? In for the long haul? We’ll scale to fit your specific business needs.