The gig economy has grown steadily in the past few years and is projected to keep growing in the future. Creative industries are among the ones with the highest number of freelancers (33% of workers are self-employed), and e-learning is no exception.
With the normalization of remote work and the talk of recession, we should expect to see even more professionals pursue freelance opportunities.
It’s also a well-known fact that when recession hits, Learning & Development teams are among the first to be impacted by layoffs. This doesn’t mean that companies’ training needs decrease, they just have to meet them in a more sustainable way.
Hiring freelance talent is a part of the solution.
In this short article, I’ve outlined some of the many benefits of working with freelance Instructional Designers and E-learning Developers.
1. It’s cost efficient
When you hire a freelance instructional desinger, you only pay for the services they provide. Since freelancers cover their taxes and insurance, you can get the work done while saving on the costs of full-time staff.
2. It’s flexible
Freelance instructional designers usually work on a per-project basis. This means you only use their services when you have extra workload or a specific request. You don’t need to worry about keeping them busy during downtimes or lining up projects for them, as you would with in-house staff.
3. It’s leaner
Due to the nature of their business, freelancers are always looking for more efficient ways to do their work. They may also skip some of the time-consuming internal procedures that are mandatory for employees. For you, this means higher delivery speed and a streamlined process.
4. There’s less administrative burden
Freelance instructional designers are responsible for the finance and admin aspects of their operations. This helps you save resources on administrative tasks and gives you more time to focus on strategic problems.
5. You have access to a broader pool of skills
Sometimes a project may require skills outside your team’s skill set. Since upskilling takes time, it may be best to hire outside help. When you work with freelance instructional designers, you can tap into a broader pool of skills to find the right mix for your project.
6. You don’t need to worry about equipment and maintenance
Freelancers operate like small businesses, so they usually have their own equipment and software. When you work with a freelancer, you don’t have to think about the costs and logistics of providing these yourself.
7. You save time onboarding
When a new person joins your team, they need to go through onboarding, before they become a fully contributing employee. This can take from a few weeks to a couple of months. You won’t have that concern with freelancers, since they are used to working on multiple projects with a number of clients and can get up to speed very quickly.
8. You can hire globally
Hiring a freelance instructional designer from across the border or even the ocean, is much easier than recruiting full-timers internationally. You don’t need to set up a local legal entity or deal with the specifics of national law, because the freelancer takes care of this. Plus, most freelancers work with clients across the globe, which makes them culturally sensitive and highly adaptable.
9. You don’t need to worry about training
Freelancers know that to remain competitive, they need to take care of their own professional development. So, unlike employees, they won’t require a professional development plan or budget from you. In addition, freelancers are basically business owners and natural self-starters, which means you don’t need to manage them. Quite the opposite – you are their client, so they are expected to manage you and the work they do for you.
10. You get a one-person team
Most freelance instructional designers specialize in one thing, but are usually pretty good at a number of related skills. This allows them to provide an end-to-end service or product. If the project at hand requires a skill they don’t have, they usually know another freelancer they can partner with.