Freelancing is becoming a more attractive career option for many different types of professionals, but particularly for professionals with in-demand skills like digital marketing, Web and user experience design and content creation. And for employers who are interested in taking on gig workers, it’s important to get the most out of this type of work arrangement.
“Freelancers can play a vital role on any team, but their success depends, in part, on a solid onboarding process,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Employers should introduce them to their new colleagues on day one, include them in staff meetings and check in regularly. The more comfortable and welcomed freelancers feel, the more likely they'll perform at their best and be happy in the role.”
The Creative Group surveyed advertising and marketing executives in particular to get their perspectives on the freelance creative talent pool. About 40% of respondents said the pool has grown stronger, and 58% reported their company does employ project professionals.
The research found that small companies (20-49 employees) rely most heavily on project professionals: 23% of their employees, on average, are freelancers. In comparison, about 8% of staff at large companies (1,000+ employees) are project professionals.
“As hiring remains competitive, companies increasingly turn to highly skilled freelancers to fill gaps on their teams,” Domeyer said.
Advertising and marketing executives also were asked to share their greatest challenge when working with creative freelancers. The top response was making them feel like part of the team (25%), followed by negotiating pay rates (22%). Finding skilled freelancers and communicating or collaborating effectively with them (19%) tied for the third most-pressing concern.
The survey was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 400 advertising and marketing executives in the United States.