The Bad Side of Hiring Project-Based Workers

One of the most common trends in the workplace—online and offline—today is hiring project-based workers or outsourcing. Project-based workers or contractual are people who work for a specific number of weeks or months until the task is finished.

While it can be the most ideal hiring scheme for many, there are also disadvantages of choosing this option for your job posting:

Picking the best candidates and making them stay

It’s no secret: really good VAs are in high demand.  While there are a number of applicants and VA hopefuls in marketplaces, of course employers want to select the best among the rest. When bosses get lucky and they hired a desirable remote worker for them, the next challenge is making them stay and be available for the upcoming ones.

One of the benefits of working as a project-based worker is the luxury of being a free agent. While this is a pro on the side of the worker, it can be a miss on the side of the employer. Project-based workers are not tenured and are not required to stay loyal to a single boss, a single company, or a single project.

Simply put, your company’s success is not really their main priority, which can be a problem down the road.

Job Hunting and Security

Project-based workers are always on the hunt for the next job. Since there is no such thing as job security in this industry, they are always on the lookout for their next booking or gig.

It’s not a bad thing for many. But some may experience unpleasant and unsatisfactory work because other project-based workers can be distracted while they finish their job.

An independent contractors’ job is to develop their business. You need to make sure they’re available on your schedule, not theirs. They may be great when they’re accessible, but be prepared with a Plan B if they’re not. Many companies recruit a team of freelancers, so they always have a backup.

Camaraderie and Miscommunication

If you’re looking to develop clientele, a freelancer might not be the best choice. In-house employees are aware of everything that’s going on in the company and can leverage that knowledge to your advantage when building relationships with clients. Freelancers don’t have that access.

What amount of time will you need to invest in training? If there is a long lead time for them to get up and running, using that investment on a full-time employee might be a better option. And if the position requires oversight, hire an employee. A freelancer might choose to perform the work outside of normal business hours when you’re not able to monitor their progress.

The Biggest Problem With Project-Based Workers

By far the biggest problem with project-based workers that most business owners don’t realize is the turnover. When you hire a project based worker, it means 100% turnover in your business.  It’s hard to run a business when people who work for you are turning over all the time.  It’s mentally draining and doesn’t really ever let you get things off your plate.

Hiring a full-time worker allows you to automate full tasks and systems over the long term.  It allows you to spend time and effort teaching someone because you know that teaching and training will pay off over and over again.  With a project worker, you can’t do that.  Any time spent training is wasted as soon as that project is done. Plus, it takes the same amount of effort to hire a full-time person as it does a project based person.


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