Freelance vs. Full-Time Developer

It’s difficult to know whether it’s the best option for your business to hire a full-time developer or…

It’s difficult to know whether it’s the best option for your business to hire a full-time developer or a freelance freelancer. To help you with your decision, we’ve compiled some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Everywhere you look, it seems like there are people hiring developers. From sandwich boards up and down main street to ads on Craigslist, Fiverr and oDesk.com. 

The question is: do you hire a full-time developer or a freelancer for your business or project?

Choosing between hiring a full-time developer and a freelancer for your business can be tough. There are many things to consider before you make this decision. We’ve provided some helpful information so you can make the best decision for your company.

How does a freelance developer differ from a full-time developer?

Freelance developer

A freelancer is not integrated into an organization. As a rule, they have more freedom and are less bound by an organization’s instructions. They usually work at their own discretion, but are of course responsible for the results. Goals have to be achieved, but the “HOW” is more up to the freelancer. The freelance developer in most cases is their own boss – this means they handle additional obligations such as proper bookkeeping, self-organized retirement provision and the tax return. 

Full-time developer

A full-time developer is an employee; and as such, he/she is bound by instructions or the employer. There is usually an employment contract and regular remuneration for work. Unlike a freelancer, a full-time developer might pay proportional contributions to pension, health insurance and have tax deducted from their salaries. 

Hiring a Freelancer vs. Full-Time Developer – What are the pros and cons?

  • Period of contract
  • Freelancer

As a business, you can benefit from the fact that you only hire freelancers for a temporary, often short period that you need him or her. It can be the ideal solution in unexpected situations such as a deadline that is suddenly pushed back, a large project, a member of your team who is absent due to (prolonged) illness or someone who goes on maternity or parental leave. Furthermore it can also be advantageous for startups not ready/capable of hiring permanent staff. Permanent employees are usually less easy to fire – both the freelancer and the client can quickly end the collaboration.

  • Full-time developer

A full-time developer is hired on a permanent basis, for comparatively longer periods of time. As an employer you have many obligations and would need to comply with various labor laws which often require lots of paperwork and agreements hence it is not as straightforward as hiring a freelancer.

  • Cost
  • Freelancer

A freelancer works the days or hours he or she bills. If a freelancer becomes ill during a project, those hours or days not worked will not be invoiced. Often a freelancer also works from home, which means that you save on travel costs and social provisions. Another big advantage is that as a client you do not have to pay a freelancer payroll taxes, holidays, or other benefits.

  • Full-time developer

As earlier said, permanent employees are usually more expensive because you are compelled to cover their salaries whether or not they work – for example, when there are no ongoing projects, during sick leave etc. Unlike the case with a freelancer, as an employer you have to make provisions for the workplace environment, onboarding, logistics, and other running costs in addition to pension, tax, and other contractual benefits you are expected to pay.

  • Skills and versatility
  • Freelancer

A freelancer is an entrepreneur and chances are he/she would understand your needs as a client much better. Freelancers understand the need for getting value for money spent, and invest in their craft which allows them to bring skills to the table that would not only meet your expectations but also exceed it so that you as a client can continue with your own work. They can effortlessly adapt to a new environment, quickly familiarize themselves with methods and procedures and are therefore operational more quickly. Because they are more likely to work for clients cutting across many different industries, they are usually well aware of the latest developments within the market, which means they are better able to come up with innovative solutions. 

  • Full-time developer

A full-time developer is less explorative compared to freelancers – their skills and knowledge are often adapted to their organization, department and industry. While they are adept with their roles, they are often thrown off when faced with challenges requiring versatility and out-of-the-box solutions.

  • Motivation
  • Freelancer

A freelancer knows he or she needs to survive in a highly competitive marketplace, so they are extra motivated to carry out every assignment well. Freelancers want to build as much reputation and social proof as possible for themselves and thus they strive to complete their tasks excellently while hoping this would win them follow-up orders. Time and again they have to prove themselves, if they don’t; potential clients will definitely go to another freelancer. As a hiring manager, CTO, CRO, or business owner, this is to your advantage.

  • Full-time developer

For many full-time developers, the sense of job security means they do not have to push themselves beyond delivering the bare minimum. It is therefore not uncommon that businesses would require the services of supervisors and employ regular appraisals in a bid to churn out good performances from their workers. As a business owner, this is extra work and cost you would rather not want to deal with.

  • Meeting deadlines

In terms of meeting deadlines, freelancers and full-time developers are not far apart. Freelancers are driven by profits and the fact they need to deliver to remain relevant, while full-time developers have in-house mechanisms that ensure they do not hold a project back.

  • Job Satisfaction
  • Full-time developer

Full-time developers are screened, interviewed, and trained based on their skill and other project or organizational requirements before they are hired. This means the chances of them fulfilling their roles is not left to chance which means they are more likely to deliver quality results time and again. 

  • Freelancer

One of the disadvantages of hiring freelance web developers is the huge amount of stress involved in finding a candidate that can deliver a satisfactory job.  The internet provides free access and with it, a lot of pretenders and inexperienced “developers” are parading themselves as the best. The result is loss of time and money for many unlucky clients. If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation, and in need of a top developer, there is an easy way out – we’ll explain that in the next chapter.

A fair and very objective approach to hire a top developer

Hiring good developers is hard. You can’t possibly know where to look, how to screen them or what to pay. The tech market is flooded with cheap freelancers and agencies that you’d rather not deal with. Believe us… we have both tried and failed. A lot. Luckily, we learnt our lessons.

Is there a better way? Where all the hard work is done for you – separating the chaff from the substance? There is!

Whether it is a freelance or full-time developer the ability to validate the skills of the candidate, review their portfolio, and match their experience to a hiring organization makes the difference. Get these right and you can be confident in your hire. This is where Hiremotely comes to the rescue..

Hiremotely provides you with the best of both worlds – the confidence and security a full-time developer with verifiable skills brings and the flexibility and simplicity of working with freelancers. Every developer on the platform has been vetted and undergone skill tests to ensure their claims so you can be safe in the knowledge you are hiring a top developer and for a low fee per hour that won’t cost you the moon just like working with the top freelance developers in the industry.

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