Millennials and Freelancing: The Future of the Workplace?

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You’ve heard it virtually everywhere – Millennials hate the idea of a 9 to 5 work schedule. Not only does it keep us glued to a computer at some of the best times for grocery shopping, hiking, running errands, or even getting a haircut, it dictates how late we can stay out or how much craft beer we can drink the night before.

I know what you’re thinking. “Boo-hoo, poor Millennials. You have to be somewhat responsible and grow up.” Well, that attitude might keep you from hiring some of your best, and most productive workers, in freelance Millennials. Further, it’s a trend that is shaping the future of the workplace.

While I do work full time, I also have several freelance clients. And it is a dream of mine to be able to land enough freelance work to be able to step away from the traditional 9 to 5 and make my own schedule. Even if I work more than 40 hours a week, the perks of making my own schedule truly outweigh the time commitment.

Why it’s the future of the workplace

Have you considered taking on a freelancer or two? Here are a few reasons why you should consider it:

You can hire for a specific skill. Gone are the days where you have to consider a full range of skills. Need someone to do back end CMS entry (HIRE ME!)? Search for a freelancer who’s got past experience and a list of reputable clients to share with you. Want a content strategist? Those are out there and a lot of them are looking for work. One of the best things? If the task is something that can be done remotely, you don’t even really need to make sure that the person fits into your office culture (though you’ll probably still want to make sure they align with your mission and values).

You can stick to your budget. It’s actually theorized that nonprofits are the reason freelance work became a thing. A specific (often limited) budget for a specific project during a specific time frame defines the purpose of hiring a freelancer. Be up front about your budget constraints and be ready to communicate deadlines and expectations up front.

You can hire an expert. While I would hope that if you were hiring a full time position, you’d hire an expert, hiring someone specifically for a project means you don’t have time (or budget) to waste. Let your freelancers come in and do what you hired them to do. Let them be the experts.

You can hire (and tighten the belt) quickly. Freelancers are typically ready to get to work almost immediately. And they understand that sometimes, companies have to adjust their staffing based on business needs. However, you should still be completely up front about constraints and timing of potential layoffs, as well as any added needs.

Looking for freelancers now? Check out CauseEngine – a company that connects nonprofits to freelancers.

Do you have freelancers working in your organization? What are some of your best practices for hiring? Tell us about them in the comments!

About author

Kadi McDonald

No matter where she's worked, Kadi has successfully evaluated deep-rooted communications challenges and developed a plan to improve and simplify for the audience. She has shifted her professional life to one that allows her the flexibility and time to be dedicated to her passion projects. She develops and manages social media strategies for nonprofits, writes articles and blogs for a wide variety of clients and audiences, and consults on small marketing and branding projects for all types of businesses. She is a storyteller by nature and thrives in environments that crave authenticity and transparency. She works with multiple nonprofit organizations whose missions surround the ideas of community, compassion, service, and equality for all.