Yes, you read that headline right. One of the largest companies in the world has more freelancers on its staff than full-time employees. Google’s workforce is now comprised of 120,000 contractors/freelancers, more than the number of permanent employees on its payroll, which was around 102,000. Google itself has stated that its main reasons for hiring so many freelancers include filling in for employees on leave, addressing short-term spikes in workload, and providing expertise it doesn’t have in-house.
This shift is certainly a sign of the times. The past year has shown both workers and companies the benefits and flexibility that freelancing can provide. New trends that were accelerated by the pandemic, such as flexibility in work schedules and the ability to work remotely, are expected to continue. In fact, projections forecast that 90 million Americans will be freelancing by the year 2028.
More and more businesses of all sizes have started to see just how valuable freelancers can be. By hiring flexible workers, they can tap into specific expertise exactly when and where they need it.
Who is Considered a Freelancer?
When you first hear the word freelancer, you may have one image in your head of someone who works flexibly, in a creative field, for multiple companies. While this is true, the term freelancer has expanded a lot over the years to include a larger variety of workers. Companies of all sizes continue to work with more and more freelancers to help them run their business across all types of job functions, diverse skill sets, and departments. This can include:
- Temporary workers performing specific tasks on a flexible basis
- Anyone who works as a consultant or independent contractor
- Event staff to support seasonal or peak-time functions
- Tech, IT, and web development consultants
- UX design, branding, content, and marketing experts
- Flexible data entry, admin, accountant, and HR roles
In other words, freelancers can be anyone who isn’t a permanent, full-time, 9-5 employee of a business.
How to Get Ready for More Freelancers
A few years ago, you may not have been thinking about the logistics of hiring and paying a more flexible workforce. However, as freelancing becomes a more popular career choice, and as businesses begin to utilize more freelancers, you’re going to need a way to efficiently manage and pay these workers.
Paying freelancers is much different than paying your full-time workers. They need flexible payments based on projects and assignments that happen on an as-need basis. Traditional PEOs like ADP, Paychex, Gusto, Tri-net, or JustWorks are built for full-time employees and don’t have the flexibility that you’ll need to manage and pay freelancers.
Instead, you’re going to need a freelancer management and payments platform. This ensures that you have one centralized platform and system of record where you can easily pay each freelancer, track spending, manage the work being done, and ensure that you’re compliant with all state and federal laws for each freelancer. By working with a payments platform that has been specifically designed for freelancers, you can make sure your business has the flexibility it needs while also making sure you are staying compliant on classification.
Ready to learn more about how AllWork can help you classify, onboard, manage, and pay your freelancers? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a demo.