Job Boards, Tax Breaks, and Low Overhead: Top Tips for Hiring Freelancers

Photo by  Meo Baaklini   This is a guest post by: Tina Martin, creator of  Ideaspired

Photo by Meo Baaklini

This is a guest post by: Tina Martin, creator of Ideaspired

The hiring process is costly. Many employers lose both time and money during the application, interview, and onboarding process. In fact, researchers often argue that it is far less expensive to go above and beyond to retain employees than it is to replace them. But when it comes to securing talented, experienced professionals, retaining an employee isn’t your only option.

Choosing to work with freelancers and contractors can be a powerful solution for: 

  • Small businesses with low overhead.

  • Companies who need intermittent coverage for skills gaps.

  • Organizations who need coverage for one-off projects.

  • Departments looking for additional coverage while an employee is on leave.

If you have never worked with freelancers before, understanding how to start the process might be challenging. You have many options, so it’s important you know some tools and techniques. 

Enlist Job Boards

The world is full of self-starters and entrepreneurs maximizing off the gig economy. Use reputable job boards and staffing companies, like upwork, to help you save onboarding costs by finding skilled professionals who also meet your soft skill needs — reliable, good communicator, excels at time management and other abilities that make collaboration smoother. Job boards are also a good way to find a breadth of talent, from contract administrative assistants to help catch up on paperwork to marketing specialists to run a one-time publicity campaign. Many of these types of services conduct pre-screenings and have thorough submission guidelines so you are connected to a pool of talented, qualified professionals.

Take Advantage of Tax Breaks

Hiring freelancers has many important financial elements, but understanding the tax perks involved is one of the most important. For example, companies using freelance and contract workers are not required to pay unemployment and FICA taxes. Companies typically pay around 6 percent on the first $7,000 of income on each employee for unemployment taxes. The employer’s share of FICA taxes is a .2 percent Social Security tax and a 1.45 percent Medicare tax. These tax breaks for businesses — small businesses in particular — can really add up to meaningful savings. It’s important to follow the legal regulations for working with freelancers and contractors so you don’t get reprimanded for accidentally treating freelancers like employees.

Get the Most Out of Minimal Overhead

Hiring an employee is important when you need to have tight control over a position — and a bonus when you are looking to build investment in your company. However, if those aren’t priorities at this time, then employees might not be the right use of your budget. With freelancers and contractors, you can get a lot of work done with a little overhead. You won’t need to halt productivity to read applications, interview candidates, and onboard new hires. Plus, you won’t have to purchase any office equipment or technology. Freelancers and contractors are often required to supply their own equipment, from computers to software. However, if you use a subscription tool to submit and review documents or a project management tool for measuring progress, you will likely need to pay for their access. 

There are many benefits associated with hiring freelancers. Not only do you get access to high-quality talent, but you can also manage your needs within almost any budget. In fact, you may have an even stronger ROI in the long run when you consider the savings you pocket by not having to pay employment taxes, onboarding expenses, and purchase office equipment. That’s why it’s important to be strategic when you decide to bring a freelancer or contractor on board. Fortunately, you can hire a contractor to help with strategic planning

Rachel Melby