Admation Blog

Hiring freelancers: the pros and cons for your ad agency

Posted by Jodie Byass on Dec 7, 2016

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It’s common practice for ad agencies to hire freelancers to get them through a busy period or to meet a deadline on a major project. And while there are many benefits to contracting work out, there is also a downside to this practice. 

Here we weigh up some of the pros and cons of hiring freelancers.

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The pros of hiring a freelancer for your ad agency.
1. Specialisation
The beauty of hiring a freelancer is that you can find someone who has specialised skills for a particular project, skills that might currently be lacking in your pool of staff.
2. Flexibility
Freelancers work for themselves and, therefore, can dictate their own hours to work around your schedule and deadlines. You can also scale up work for freelancers or scale down depending on your own needs.
3. Adaptability
Freelancers are used to working project to project and so they have the demonstrated experience of hitting the ground running and working diligently to complete a project.
4. Trust
If you’ve worked with specific freelancers in the past then you know that their work is of a high standard, and that they deliver on brief and deadline.
5. Independence
While you’ll no doubt want to be check in with your freelancer to ensure they’re on track, they’re used to working independently and so they don’t need to be micro-managed.
6. Affordability
Hiring a freelancer means that you have a start and finish date for paid work unlike a staff member whose salary is ongoing.

The cons of hiring a freelancer for your ad agency.
1. Over-reliance
There’s nothing better than bringing in a freelancer to get a major project over the line, but neither do you want this to become the norm. If your ad agency is constantly running behind on projects, then it would be more beneficial to review your operations to see where your projects are getting snagged. Perhaps you need to consider implementing approval workflow software.
2. Expenses Not Foreseen
Top freelancers charge a hefty hourly fee, which is fine for a short-term fix or for a major project that has budgeted for such. Nonetheless, when freelancers are not factored into the budget, they will eventually eat into your profits.
3. The Great Unknown
There will come a time when the freelancer you know and love is not available for work, which leaves you having to hire someone you don’t know. This means you are taking a risk hiring a freelancer who may not get what you do or be proficient at delivering work.
4. Less Control
As freelancers often work from home, you can’t check in as regularly as someone on staff. This means you don’t have quite the same control when you contract work out.
5. Losing Clients
There’s nothing worse than investing time into building a relationship with a client to have them run off with your freelancer. It can and does happen. Always make sure you write up a contract with your freelancers to protect your ad agency from this happening.
6. Lack Lustre Work
At the end of the day, freelancers don’t have the same investment in your ad agency as people on staff do. This could potentially result in your freelancer not understanding your business to the same extent or not putting in 100%.

Next week we’ll take a look at how you can get the best out of hiring freelancers for your ad agency.