Outsourcing A Little – Hiring Freelancers vs. Outstaffing
IT companies have long outsourced non-critical workloads to different contractors. Learn about the two most common outsourcing methods here.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Is there a safe alternative to hiring freelancers? How to find help for your project without giving it away? What is outstaffing and when you need it? Find out in this article.
IT services are the second most outsourced industry in the U.S. Moreover, the percentage of outsourcing in the total IT budgets of companies across North America is growing, especially in large corporations.
Why Is IT Outsourcing Growing?
In short, it is profitable to outsource your business to certain countries where the taxes and wages are lower. Many industries outsource their processes abroad.
IT services are especially suitable for outsourcing. Usually, such tasks are not mission critical and companies feel safer delegating them.
One simple example is application development, the most-frequently outsourced IT function in the U.S. and Canada.
Outsourcing also enables you to tap into specialized skills outside of your core business. For example, a web development company may need to outsource some functions like IT security or network operations.
What Is Outstaffing?
Outstaffing means a long-term indirect employment through a third party. Technically, it's like renting – you team-up with a developer from an outsourcing company without employing him directly. We also call it a “dedicated team” service.
Thus, outsourcing and outstaffing both describe the relationship between a client and an outsourcing company. The same agency can provide both services, just as we do. So what’s the difference?
In the case of outstaffing, the developer reports directly to you, not the employer. Your company doesn't have to outsource the function fully and you remain fully in control of the work you delegate.
In the U.S. this form of employment is called contracting. The terms and conditions of such service are bound by a contract between the hiring company and the outsourcing agency.
Outstaffing vs. Hiring Freelancers
Here is a breakdown of the key differences between using outstaffing services and hiring a freelancer:
Hiring a suitable freelancer is a very time-consuming process. Yes, you'll have more choice, and this is exactly the problem.
Once you post a job, get ready to be bombarded with dozens of automatic submissions as most candidates naturally hurry to apply first. And even when you sort out all of the obvious mismatches, you'll still end up with a tough choice between all the "unique experiences" and "best ratings."
Unlike an open freelancing platform, a reliable outsourcing agency can find you a suitable expert in a matter of hours. And if they don't have such a person available – they won't waste your time and will tell you directly.
With a surge of platforms like UpWork, hiring freelancers became easier. Such platforms assist with compliance for both sides and help choose developers that will suit your project better. However, such system cannot cover all of the risks.
Freelance platforms have no control over:
- Fake profiles. Unless someone reports a profile, there's no way to know if the information provided there is 100% true.
- Work process. Usually, there is also no contract that can save you if a freelancer doesn't comply with the requirements.
- Your confidential information. A freelancer can easily steal your data and ideas. You can lose the whole project if he decides to recreate it.
- Deadlines. Unlike a hired contractor, a freelancer can juggle several projects at once. This often results in missed deadlines.
- Long-term guarantees. Once you pay, your freelancer can easily disappear forever. Some do even before that, leaving incomplete projects behind.
When you work with an agency, they may have more developers than you currently need. This is great! When you actually need more help you can get it quickly.
For example, you have a web service that requires an urgent overhaul due to a framework update. Previously, you needed only 2 developers working on that service, but now you need 5. In this case, a quick team expansion is crucial to the project.
As an agency, we can also adjust the line-up of your dedicated team to strengthen certain skill sets that you need. You don’t have to waste your time looking for more experts all over again.
Of course, there is a limit to the number of available developers we can offer on a short notice. Still, scaling is possible and we are working on making it even more accessible to our clients.
Hiring a freelancer is usually cheaper than hiring a contractor from an outsourcing company. On the downside, you risk compromising quality and safety.
It is possible to protect yourself while hiring a freelancer. Serious freelancers often work contact-based as it also helps their own security. Some freelancing platforms also offer premium plans with additional protection features. However, this peace of mind also comes at a cost.
At Boost Solutions, we provide fully transparent outstaffing services without hidden fees. Our clients enjoy timely and flexible services without compromising legal protection.
If you need an outside IT assistance, small-scale outsourcing is totally an option. You can hire help in two ways: outstaffing, and hiring a freelancer.
Outstaffing is a faster, more expensive, but also safer service. You can hire a flexible dedicated team that will work for you remotely while you retain all of the control over your project.
Hiring a freelancer is slower, generally cheaper, but riskier. You will have a harder time finding a suitable candidate and scaling your team.
Published at DZone with permission of Liubomyr (El.) Kachur. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.