Should I hire full time designers, or should I freelance design talent to save overheard? What are the pros and cons to each?


I agree it really depends on what you are trying to achieve. It can take sometime to source the right person to do the job. I disagree that you should only outsource to a freelancer if you have a one off project. My designer is a freelancer and I have been using her for several years because I like her style and she is very fast and efficient so I end up paying a lot less for the work and there is usually very few edits.

I think that for any business it is worthwhile investing in creating a good relationship with any member of your team. If the work you required isn't a full time role, then hiring a freelancer makes a lot of sense because you can build a loyal and trusting relationship with them and therefore depend on them to deliver.

Answered 11 years ago

It depends on your business, the amount of design work you need done, and importance of deadlines involved

In order to keep this answer simple, if you have tight deadlines and at least 6 hours of design work estimated per day for the foreseeable future, the answer is hire in-house, if not, outsource.

Answered 11 years ago

Obvious things to Freelance
Logo design, branding and any kind of "brochure" website.
Early mock-ups / screenshots of your product.
Pros: Cheap and fast.
Cons: There is little time for building the kind of collaborative relationship that a designer needs to have with the client to really understand your full vision. It's almost never that you get work from a freelancer that you'll be 100% in love with.
Very little accountability: Their job is to build what you tell them to.

Obvious on when to hire full time designers:
When your product or service is already successful enough that there is a long backlog of tweaks, new things to design, etc.

When the work you got from freelance designers was enough to get you your first customers, investors, or funding of some kind, but feel you now need to take your design to to the next level before launching:

Pros: Full-time resource who will almost always be less expensive than a contractor (in billable time) given the number of hours they will be working.

Someone who is accountable to deliver what you need and whose work can then be measured and quantified.

Cons: Ongoing financial liability.
Recruiting: Hiring *great* designers is really difficult. They are more sought-after than technical talent in most markets.

Answered 11 years ago

As others have stated, this really depends on the particular needs of the project, but more importantly the ongoing pipeline of work once the initial delivery of the project has been made. if the runway behind the project isn't as big for a period of at least 4-5 months after the first delivery I would recommend avoiding hiring full-time. I would avoid the overhead and developer a relationship with a shop that has scalable resources (versus a small team or single freelancer who can only commit to responding to your work relative to how it ranks in total $$$ relative to their other work.) Generally speaking, from my experience, the % time of designers on a general project is relatively low compared to other assets or team members (all things being equal), so having a resource you can expand or contract would be the ideal solution (i.e. not going full time design hire.) The other option is to work with a shop or team that offers "dedicated" resources - which replicated the full-time accessibility of an internal hire/team member with the added flexibility of going month to month on their hiring with options to pause and then re-commence later. Happy to help in any way or answer any further questions!

Answered 9 years ago

Deciding whether to hire freelancers or subcontractors versus full-time staff can be a difficult decision, especially when working in a start-up environment or small agency. Your budget may be limited and finding a quality freelancer or employee is a time-consuming process. When a business needs additional resources to carry out specialized tasks, using a contractor could be the right decision. Freelancing is a growing trend and companies of all sizes aren’t shying away from taking advantage of a world full of remote talent. Let us look at the pros of hiring aa freelancers:
Pros of choosing a freelancer:
1. Lots of flexibility: Unlike larger, more established businesses, start-ups and small-to-medium sized companies tend to have more fluctuation between busy and less busy periods. This can make staffing needs difficult to predict. By choosing to work with freelancers and subcontractors, smaller firms can benefit from having extra team members during busier times and then cut ties when they are no longer needed.
2. Temporary filling a skills gap: Some projects require personnel with extremely niche or specialized skills, and this expertise may fall outside of the scope of a company’s regular employees.
3. Contractors are often cheaper: Compared with the expense of finding, hiring, and then providing a full-time employee with a salary, working with a freelancer or contractor can be a less expensive option.
Cons of Hiring a Freelancer:
1. Contractors are not always available: If a business has a regular and consistent need, hiring employees means that a company will always have the right person for projects as they arise. Additionally, bringing on an employee when there is a consistent need saves time having to constantly find qualified freelancers to work with. It is not always possible to use the same freelancer or contractor, even if the skills and expertise required are the same (e.g., they are busy with other client work, they’re on vacation, or they’ve been hired full-time by another company).
2. Communication and control can be difficult: Communication is not always as easy with contractors as it is with employees. For example, as a manager, you can visit an employee’s desk to ask a question or get an update on a specific task that needs to be completed ASAP. This is not possible with contractors or freelancers, and you may have to wait a few hours (or even a few days) to hear a response, depending on how quick the freelancer is to respond. Additionally, you do not have control over the process and the way things are done. With employees, you can review exactly how each task is completed and what tools are used. A freelancer will take your requirements and deliver a finished product. While this is an advantage for some, for those that like to have control over each function, going with a freelancer may not be the best route.
3. Using contractors can be disruptive: Contractors come and go; very few end up staying for the long-term and become part of a company. Most employers only hire freelancers and independent contractors on an as-needed basis for shorter-term projects. This constant rotation can be disruptive to the working environment and inconvenient for full-time employees. Plus, the quality of work that is delivered may suffer, and different contractors deliver work that varies in quality. If you want end-results that are consistent, then full-time employees are the answer.
Pros of hiring full time employees:
When you take on full time employees, they will work for you for thirty hours a week or more, any less would make them part time employees. The advantage of this type of relationship to the employer are:
1. They often feel pride in their position in your business. They get satisfaction out of being part of a team and working somewhere they feel comfortable and have job security.
2. The hourly wage for an employee is generally much less than a freelancer.
3. You know that you always have employees that you trust and can rely on when you need them. You can delegate tasks permanently which frees up your time to do the jobs that are important to you.
4. You do not need to continually train new staff on how you like things done.

Cons of hiring full time employees:
1. They generally expect benefits such as holiday, sick and maternity pay.
2. You will always have salaries to pay, even if your business is having a quiet period.
3. You will have specific payroll paperwork that is legally required.
4. You are responsible for your employees’ training and professional licensing requirements.

Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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