Freelancers versus Employees: The Difference

August 17, 2009 at 9:55 pm Leave a comment

One might think that there is not much difference between a freelancer and an employee because at the end of the day, both complete the tasks assigned to them and get paid for the work they do. However, there are some major differences if we look closely. The differences include from the method of hiring to method of interaction, costs and much more.

1. Hiring

The hiring process in case of freelancers is usually fast and cost very less. Whereas, hiring an employee costs much more in terms of both time and money. While hiring an employee one may spend time and money reviewing resumes, running  background checks and following various interviewing process. On the other hand hiring a freelancer is usually very fast. The client reviews the portfolio, exchanges emails, couple of phone calls and the freelancer is hired. Most of the times there is no face to face conversation during the hiring process.

Once an employee is hired, he needs to trained, take care of HR paperwork. An employee is always given some time before he starts working. This is not true for a freelancer. A freelancer is expected to be productive from day 1 in most of the cases.

All the above differences are for one simple reason. A freelancer is hired for relatively shorter term whereas an employee is hired for a long term.

2. Costs

Freelancers most of the times are little expensive than full time employees. But if you are willing to outsource your work to freelancers in countries like India, Russia, Ukraine, etc., they can be dead cheap. Its very important to remember that a full time employee is far more costlier than his pay check. The company does a lot more for its full-time employees, like, providing equipments and office space to work, health insurance, bonuses and other benefits. None of these applies for a freelancer. A freelancer has his office and uses his own equipments for work.

With all these points in mind one will find that a freelancer costs much lesser than a full-time employee and the quality of work is far more superior.

3. Getting the work done

While there is a definite need of a manager for a full-time employee, freelancers don’t need any one to supervise them. They know their deadlines and know how to meet them. Freelancers have their own work culture and know how to complete the job. The employer saves a lot of time and money by hiring a freelancer because they don’t really need to supervise the freelancers.


So these are some major difference between an employee and a freelancer. However, its very important for the employer to know when to hire a freelancer and when to look for a full-time employee. Things to terribly wrong when a freelancer is hired to work on something which requires a full-time employee. A freelancer is always on the receiving end whenever any thing goes wrong.


Entry filed under: Freelancer. Tags: , .

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