When hiring someone for work that is not going to be done within your company, it can be hard to tell whether you should hire a freelancer or use an outsourcing company. What is the difference? Freelancers are typically individuals who provide specialized services on their own time while outsourcing companies have full-time employees who can provide many types of services under their direct supervision.
Many professional companies and people prefer outsourcing companies because there is a single contact person that can give you access to a wealth of services. When you go with freelancers, you will have to contact different freelancers for different services, which will not only make your Rolodex quite large but can get confusing and often leads to scheduling conflicts that cascade if anyone freelance misses a milestone that the others were relying on having completed in time. This becomes especially problematic if you have a lot of projects happening simultaneously.
Another reason why businesses prefer to use an outsourcing company is that it mitigates risk. If a freelancer gets sick or has some type of family emergency – that’s it – your project becomes delayed. Your work will not get done until they are better and back to work. However, if the person working on your product from an outsourcing company is ill one day, there is typically someone else there who can pick up the slack and keep your projects going full steam ahead. Thus, outsourcing companies tend to give you more complete coverage and usually get a job done faster.
Lastly, with freelancers, there is no surefire way to vet them. Sure, there are online review sites, and they may provide you with references before you hire them, but if you choose an outsourcing company, they have already gone through the hiring process. Thus, they know their employees well, and typically know that they are quality workers who will finish the job in a timely manner because they have a reputation to uphold. Hiring a random freelancer off Fiverr may sound like a smart way to save money until you examine all the unintended consequences and learn to leave those risks on the shoulders of an outsourcing company with shoulders broad enough to carry them all for you.