An eternal question: freelance, in-house or outsource?
Sometimes a decent IT product costs like a new Range Rover.
And knowing that a lot of people wonder whether the product is worth it. If they do think it is, they immediately start being suspicious as for its actual cost and for the chance of being cheated.
Ok, Range Rover was a bit too much of a comparison. Of course, not all the IT products will cost you a pretty penny. But still such products constitute relatively big financial expenses and every client tries to implement the budget in a wise way. So, what’s best? To entrust your project to a company? To employ a team or a single-player? Or to involve a freelancer?
Let’s look at pros and cons of all the three options.
You’ll be surprised but at the end of the day you’ll get the same budget. From the outset it may seem that freelance will save you a bit of money, though.
How come? A mature company with a big portfolio of completed cases will estimate the scope of tasks and the efforts required for their completion.
Those who have been afloat for a while and release the projects on a regular basis, will ask the right questions and get a proper reply from the client as for the anticipations and business-targets. That means they will be able to calculate the resources needed for getting the project done.
A freelancer is likely to ask for a smaller remuneration which is likely to be getting bigger in a while. Especially, if you’ll have to involve a few more specialists which happens quite often, to be honest. Freelancers tend to take on the task they are not able to deliver fully or on time. Obviously, it has anything to do with all the freelancers. But the precedents exist. So, if you want to work with a remote independent employee, I suggest applying a comprehensive approach. That means to check the score of an employee and carefully listen to the word of mouth. It is a powerful thing and one of the most reliable criteria of any employee’s level of responsibility and efficiency.
Full-time employee is not a silver bullet either. It may be favorable for a large-scale project as for support. But regular staff for the development of a product doesn’t seem like a sensible idea. A strong team of inhouse specialists doesn’t come cheap and worth the expenditures. But having just one seasoned developer in your “team” is a better idea. And I’ll tell you why exactly.
Everybody misses deadlines, no exceptions.
And both parties are to blame – the client and the performer equally. Pure human nature as it is. We all think we can do better and quicker – either to give the technical requirements or to complete them.
But freelancers abuse in missing the deadlines much more than any other employees. Sometimes they drop of the radar without any warning and sign of distress. Especially those very young and immature who suddenly realize they are incapable of finishing the task.
That’s why before you make your choice with a freelancer N., you’d better look for his reference. And here is how. Check the score of your potential employee on the online labor market. The lower the score in his profile, the lower the level of credibility.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always mean that the one with the perfect references and score will not let you down. And quite often it has nothing to do with their devil-may-care attitude. That only means that a small project is not on his priority list. So be ready to be late with the project if you embark on cooperation with a freelancer. To be on the safe side, you know.
By the way, in terms of deadlines the inhouse staff will be your best choice. You keep control of the situation, check their workload and fill the gaps in it. Thus, there is almost no chance for any misunderstanding as with the person from the outside.
Control and moods
The company would be always the most loyal. Any reasonable business knows that your positive feedback brings new clients and brings you back in time of need. Sure enough, we have to strike for golden middle here. Texting “fix this here and now!!!” may be omitted or lost while the specialist is on another business meeting or is busy meeting someone else’s deadline.
A freelancer can opt for snoring even in his working hours or enjoy the sunset over the waterfall somewhere in the mountains with his phone off.
The staff is always on duty for you and is only busy with the tasks you need. Even now. On condition that they know how to solve this or that issue.
You need to understand and differentiate between the statistics and each individual case. A huge lot depends on some personal traits of managers and company owners working for you, or on the commercial integrity of a freelancer thinking over a long-term cooperation with you. Or on the dedication of your inhouse-colleagues.
So, the main thing here is to choose the right person. And the question of how and where this person will do the task should not be among your concerns.
Any kind of cooperation will be successful and fruitful if both parties stick to the long-term commitment.
It encourages timely completion of the tasks and creation of a quality product while tuning on effective communication. The responsibility is the basis of your labor contract. So, if you get total indifference and carefree attitude to the project, there will be no results in the long run.
The indicator of a long-term commitment for me is the list of quality questions asked by a performer. If a person asks professional questions and gets into details before taking on a project, that is a sign of a professional competence. Of course, it’s not the rule and it’s still better to check the person’s profile together with completed cases just in case. If there are none, you only have your gut feeling and the reviews of your performer’s professional activity to rely on.
Why am I tackling the quality questions? Because the one who doesn’t get involved in a project straightaway, will not do this later after you go into business together. A person may not have any mean intent, it’s rather indicative of those who are young and incapable of appraising their own potential regarding the complexity of the project. Whatever the reason – it is the business that suffers.
Conclusion: look for a specialist who’s ready to undertake a long-term commitment with full responsibility and provide a decent product. It is a surefire win-win since your joint effort and result encourage the strengthening of reputation and mutual trust for any ensuing project.
Hope that my confessions will help you to make a choice.