How much can you save by hiring a Freelancer vs an employee?

How much can you save by hiring a Freelancer vs an employee?

Finding good employees is difficult in general.

There are lots of overheads for full-time employees. If you are a small agency and not confident of continuous work. Adding full-time employees can increase your risks.

Could you be saving money by hiring a freelancer?”

Then you have a project come in, which has a fixed length. Hiring a freelancer may look expensive in the short term whilst your paying them.

Once the project is complete, you can “fire” them as easily as you hired them.

Freelancers cost us more, but are lower risk.

Hiring the right freelancer. Allows you to hit the ground running, executing a project faster.

Depending on the region / country you operate in. Here are some of the overheads for employees to consider:

  • Training
  • Paid sick days
  • Paid vacation
  • Dental / Health plans
  • Office rent
  • Equipment (Computer, Desk, etc.)
  • Cost of hiring employees
  • Insurance
  • Payroll / accounting / taxes costs for an employee

A freelancer may have a higher hourly rate in the short term. However over the longer term, using freelancers should save your company money.

Certain regions and countries may also limit the length of time a freelancer or contractor can be employed. Before they are considered a full-time employee.

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What is the minimum amount of time I should charge as a Freelance Web Developer?

Your clients are calling you, emailing you, sending in small requests…

Can you change this? Can you change that?

Sometimes the changes are so small, barely 5 minutes that you feel guilty for charging your “valuable” clients.

Well you shouldn’t feel guilty! You are in business and you are selling your time and your clients are likely consuming your time with small requests if you don’t have a minimum amount of time to charge them.

So yes, yes you should be charging a minimum amount of time for almost all client engagement.  Make your clients aware, ideally up front and in your contract of what that minimum is, so that there aren’t surprises when they receive their invoices.

Always consider the amount of time it takes to read their emails, answer their calls, discuss / consider their request, find the place to make the changes, test the changes in multiple browsers, publish the changes and then respond or get back to the client, as well as tracking the time spent and creating and sending the invoice.  All in all, even though the actually technical change may take a few minutes, by the time you’ve done everything else, it could easily be an hour of your time that has gone by if not more.

If you don’t have a support contract or monthly retainer, I recommend that your minimum amount of time to charge is one hour.  Your client also knows your hourly rate, so they know the minimum charge to expect when they engage you.  This will help make the client think about what they are going to request, before they request it and consume your time.

Often in work places, I’ve found the human interaction takes many orders of magnitude longer discussing a change that is required than the actual change itself.  So track all that additional time and charge your client appropriately.

Looking to hire a PHP developer, then test them out!

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If you are looking to hire a PHP developer, then test them before an interview, in the interview, or if you are unsure about hiring a new freelance developer, test them with a small project first, minimize your time and risk and save yourself potential headaches in the future…

You can get cheap shitty programmers anywhere.

PHP is great, has been around for years and is easily accessible and widely used, but that means there are a lot of developers / programmers out there who are “experienced” in PHP and available at amazingly low rates.  So unless you really want bargain basement code, give them a test!

You should of tested them before you hired them.

Some companies that have hired me and have never tested me technically or otherwise, I’m always surprised by that!

One company I applied for made me go through 4 rounds of testing. The companies with the shitty developers don’t test the people they hire.

Amazingly a significant percentage of people will buy a car without test driving it!  It might be different if you are hiring a car from a trusted company like Avis, Budget, etc.  In the same way if you are hiring a person through a recruitment agency or trusted company you will assume they are up to scratch and have been checked over at least.

I test all hires with a few decent programming challenges and i only let them use pen and paper.

If you don’t test them out first, you could easily end up looking to hire someone else to fix their mess of code.  Often that can mean re-writing lots if not all the code, pushing your project back even further along the time line.

Usually because people hiring don’t know code.

If you really don’t know code, do you have another developer already on staff who could easily help you with some relevant technical questions or a quick test? I’ve seen this before where non-technical managers, don’t involve existing staff to hire new technical staff!

Try before you buy and test before you hire!

So test them verbally, online in a video chat, in person, written test, computer test, find a way!