In years past, many businesses saw a quiet period during the summer. Projects slowed before the end of year bustle, clients were away or working on their own internal initiatives, and calls and emails practically came to a halt.
One thing that hasn't changed in the sunny months? It's still the peak holiday season. Whether your workforce consists of young Millennials wanting trips with friends or parents taking big family holidays, summer evokes the same thing: time to get away.
But, it can also result in a big gap in your workforce, particularly if holidays overlap, and it can put your business in real jeopardy.
If your office feels like Armageddon every year from June to September, we're here to tell you there's a simple solution.
Hiring freelance talent can support your workforce, your clients, and you. It can save you in the long run, support retention efforts, and make summer tick along smoothly just like any other time of year.
4 Big Benefits
Unlocking great freelance talent - even for a short period of time - can be hugely beneficial for your business. And in more ways than one.
1. The world is your oyster. The UK alone has upwards of 2.2 million freelancers in its workforce. That's a vast array of skills, experience and expertise from high-quality candidates you could tap into. And if your needs are more flexible, you could even turn to a larger, global pool of professionals. Win-win-win.
2. Quick availability, quick turnaround. If there's one thing freelancers are used to, it's speed. Many self-employed pros will happily plug into a business at very short notice, and whether you hire for a week, a month or even the whole summer, your freelancer will want to make a positive mark - meaning greater value and impact for you.
3. Supporting retention. We all know how much of a struggle talent retention is right now. The last thing your workforce wants is to come back from holiday to multiple fires they need to put out. Getting a freelancer will help avoid that eventuality, and alleviate additional workload (and stress) for those who aren't taking leave. Helping you now, and down the line.
4. Year on year. If you and your freelancer gel, securing support the next time you have a gap in your workforce could be that much simpler. You'll have many of the same benefits as hiring a permanent employee such as truly understanding your business, but without the same commitment or overhead costs. Helping your growth.
5 Tips for Success
Ok, so you're convinced. It's time to hire freelance support to help bridge that gap in your workforce this season. Only one thing left to think about: how exactly do you make it work?
1. Make the most of The Work Crowd. Our platform has a network of over 9,500 registered freelancers, offering a wide range of services and expertise, and from diverse backgrounds. Post your job, and let the talent come to you. Finding the perfect support for your business has never been easier.
2. Do the IT work for them. Make sure your freelance support has access to all the right files, folders and servers to avoid their first few hours (or day) being spent solely on making phone calls and getting "set up". If you're paying an hourly or day rate, it’ll be more cost-effective to handle that internally, and your freelancer will appreciate it. Trust us.
3. Schedule any onboarding calls. Whether it be for software, processes, client accounts or something else, chances are your freelancer needs context and background. Equipping professionals with the need-to-knows and good-to-knows will mean they can get moving right away, and you'll avoid a slew of questions later on. Or worse: poor quality work.
4. Understand IR35 - and complete it. Getting to grips with IR35, the Government's tax legislation for contract and freelance workers, is a big question mark for many businesses, especially after last year's reforms. It's your responsibility to ensure you understand and complete your declaration so this should be a priority for you ASAP.
5. The three 'F's. Flexibility, finance, feedback. Be open to negotiations, but communicate your expectations to put you both on the same page. Think about whether you're happy for your support to work flexibly or not, understand the fine details of their rates (say, if they're VAT registered or charge for expenses), and importantly, offer and ask for feedback. It's like any other business relationship. Clarity will go a long way.
You’ll know better than most people that the sooner you can prepare for a demanding summer period, the better off you’ll be - not to mention your clients and workforce. In fact, you could even use this summer as a benchmark to help you plan for next year’s holiday season. Look closely at holiday time, weak spots, tasks falling through the cracks, and make a note of them. 2023 you will be grateful.