Freelancers vs In-house vs Outsourcing In 2022

In the past decade, we’ve seen dramatic growth in freelancing. According to a recent report by Accenture, an estimated 32 million Americans now earn money as freelancers. This accolade is due to the rise of online platforms that have allowed individuals worldwide to work on their own terms and be in charge of their careers. Read the complete article and find out what is best suited for you- Freelancers, in-house or outsourcing?

Freelancers vs In-house vs Outsourcing In 2022
Freelancers vs In-house vs Outsourcing In 2022

In this article:

  1. Introduction: The Growth of the Global Freelance Market

  2. Everything You Need to Know About Freelancers, Inhouse and Outsourced Workers

  3. How to Choose the Right Fit: Freelancer, Inhouse or Outsource?

  4. The Benefits of Working with Freelancers- as per the study 

Introduction: The Growth of the Global Freelance Market 

The gig economy is a market where freelancers and contract workers dominate their respective fields to create a seamless process for consumers. The result of this is higher quality service. 

 Image source: Medium (global distribution of freelancers) 

Freelancing is an economy that began in 2009 when former New Yorker editor Tina Brown first coined the term. It refers to individuals who work as freelancers, contractors, or consultants on a contractual basis for organisations, usually working on short-term jobs or projects. 

The freelance market (gig economy) is proliferating and has surpassed the $1 trillion mark. In fact, a recent study by Upwork and Freelancers Union predicts that freelancers will comprise the majority (51%) of the workforce in the United States by 2027. This exponential growth of freelancers is due to the rise of freelancers and a decline in traditional full-time jobs. There has been a rise in the popularity of positions filled as needed in the recent past. This phenomenon is impacting not only the workforce but also the future of all companies. In fact, it is expected that by 2023, the global freelance market will grow to $455 bn USD [1]. India is also not far behind. According to a report by Payoneer, India is already the second-largest growing freelance market globally [2].  

Everything You Need to Know About Freelancers, Inhouse and Outsourced Workers 

Image source: Smarketa 

Freelancer 

Inhouse employees 

Outsource 

Definition 

A freelancer is an independent contractor who usually works for more than one client and earns fees on a project basis. 

 

Going in-house (or insourcing) is assigning a project to a permanent employee instead of seeking outside help. It’s an approach that is cost and time effective in the long run. 

Right opposite of in-housing is outsourcing when you go outside your organisation to complete a specific task. 

Way to approach 

Freelancers are self-employed and should be approached directly or through freelance job sites like Upwork. 

You can find them in your own organisation 

Usually, a hiring manager gets you to the right person. 

Cost of employee 

Cheapest of the three. 

The most expensive of the three is in-house since it requires a regular employee paid monthly. 

Outsourcing requires less time and money. 

Project choice 

Suited for temporary project-based jobs 

In-house employees have a long-term commitment.  

Is best suited for short term projects. 

Training 

The beauty of seeking talent lies in the eyes of the beholder. 

Can be trained and managed in house 

You get a trained team. 

Availability 

A freelancer hops from one job to another as soon as a project is finished. Therefore, if a company requires them to investigate a subject later, they may not be available at that time. 

They are fully dedicated and committed to the company they work for and are available when needed. 

Communication is often a challenge with the outsourcing agency. 

Data protection 

Data can be manhandled when working with freelancers 

Data protection is not an issue 

Data protection and misuse of data is a major challenge when outsourcing. 

 

How to Choose the Right Fit: Freelancer, Inhouse or Outsource? 

The process of finding freelancers can be difficult and time-consuming. When trying to hire a freelancer, many factors are worth considering, including the skill set, experience, availability, and price. Freelancers offer their services to clients through freelance job sites and their own websites and social media pages. If you want to hire a freelancer, you can find and contact them directly through email or phone call if they have a contact page on their website or social media account. Freelance job sites are also a great place to find freelancers with specific skillsets that you need for your business or organisation. They will also have a rating system so you know what other people think about the freelancer's work, which can be helpful if you don't know whom to choose.  

Also read: How To Cut Your Marketing Costs Using Automation In 2022 

 

The choice depends on the kind of role you seek an employee for. Depending on the business activity, the table below summarises the expertise of each [3]: 

Competency 

Freelancer 

In-house 

Outsource 

SMM 

Partially 

Yes 

Yes 

SEO 

Partially 

Yes 

Yes 

Designing 

Yes 

Yes 

Yes 

Content creation 

Yes 

Yes 

Rare 

Managing 

No 

Yes 

No 

Development 

Yes 

Yes 

Yes 

Client support 

No 

Yes 

No 

Advertising 

No 

Yes 

No 

 

The Benefits of Working with Freelancers- as per the study 

The great freelance revolution introduced the world to a whole new work concept, and the pandemic partially gave its flavour to almost all organisations across the globe. Many companies had to lay off their employees, and freelancing emerged as a new global norm. Marketing In Asia (M.I.A)’s data indicates that working with freelancers was beneficial for organisations compared to regular employees. 75% of the respondents said that the biggest perk of hiring freelancers was that it saved overheads. 85% of the respondents also noted that freelancers helped get the work done faster, and 56% also said that freelancing gave them access to global talent, which was otherwise impossible. 

Image source: MIA research report Optimising The Cost Of Digital Marketing For Businesses 

Cost optimisation, which was a significant concern for most organisations, was addressed beautifully by this switch. So much so that 78% of the employers said that they were willing to expand their remote workforce in the future.  

Image source: MIA research report Optimising The Cost Of Digital Marketing For Businesses 

Freelancers are free spirits who work on their own terms, in their own time but GET THE WORK DONE without somebody constantly overlooking their shoulders- a significant lacking in today’s corporates. The world is continually seeking responsible and accountable people, and this search is leading them to freelancers. 

To know more about other ways of cost optimisation and how marketing tools can help in the same, download the report. 

Endnotes: 

  1. https://flexiple.com/freelance,/freelance-statistics-and-trends-2020/#:~:text=The%20freelancing%20market%20is%20expected,double%20by%20the%20year%202028.
  2. https://pubs.payoneer.com/docs/2020-gig-economy-index.pdf
  3. https://unitedcode.net/blog/trends/outsourcing-vs-outstaffing-vs-freelance-20-things-that-you-should-know/