The Benefits of Using the Gig Economy to Outsource Work for Your Business

The gig economy took off in a big bad way when the professional world went online. Now it’s really easy for people to apply their talents to both physical and virtual jobs. Work when you want to, on the projects that interest you. It’s an enticing promise, but for employers, it’s fair to regard the equation with a degree of skepticism.

You spend a lot of time and money on recruitment. How much can you trust a stranger you met online? Are they going to be talented enough to deliver the level of quality that you demand?

In this article, we examine the freelancer landscape and explain how you can use the gig economy to cut costs and increase profit.

Do Freelancers Cut the Mustard?

It’s a fair question. How can you know that this person you meet on a freelancing platform can do what they say they can? While no transaction is completely safe, the gig-economy marketplace has ways of regulating itself.

For people dipping their toes in the freelancer waters for the first time, there are platforms like Fiverr and Upwork that take on virtually all of the risk. They serve as a middle-person between you and the freelancer, handling the money to ensure that you get what you pay for.

The structure of the gig-economy marketplace also works in your favor. Freelancers live and die on the strength of their reputations. They need solid references to keep getting jobs and will work hard to that end.

Ask the freelancer you are interested in about their references, and see if you can speak to someone who has worked with them in the past. A good freelancer will be all too happy to validate their credentials for you.

You can also start small. Consider giving your freelancer paid skills tests that verify their abilities to your satisfaction. Don’t worry, they won’t be offended. Experienced freelancers are used to that sort of thing.

Why You Should Hire Freelancers

Now you know how you can hire a freelancer, but what is the advantage to your business? Below we take a look at a few of the benefits gig workers bring to the table.

Cost Management

The gig economy makes it very easy to get good talent at a low cost. Having a resident designer on staff cost five to six figures just in salary, and that’s before you even start thinking about benefits. But when you hire someone off Fiverr or Upwork, you can get comparable quality for pennies on the dollar.

The freelancers are still well-compensated. They set their own prices and work on the projects that interest them. In supporting the gig economy, you put money in the pockets of small business owners while saving significantly on expenses.

It also just allows you to effortlessly bridge skill gaps within your existing team. Let’s say you are a marketing firm. You specialize in digital marketing. You have people that design pages, do SEO research, make sales, analyze data, etc, all working as full-time employees.

But you aren’t quite sure that’s the direction you want to go with your writers. You use them a lot, but there isn’t always something for them to do. You could keep one on the staff and pay them to sit idle, or you could hire out by the word, and pay only for what you use. Your team still has access to the writer’s skills any time they need it, but they don’t have to pay for work they aren’t using.

Greater Talent Pool

One of the nice things about using freelancers to bolster your business is that you can recruit talent from all over the world. When you staff a full-time position, you are typically limited to people who live within driving distance of your business.

Even companies who have made the switch to remote work at least try to make sure that they hire people who are living in comparable time zones. With freelancers, you are usually not limited by time or space. They can work anytime, anywhere to help you with your project.

This radically expands the number of qualified professionals you have to choose from.

Expand Your Bandwidth

Sometimes businesses bring in freelancers to help take on a bigger project. Perhaps you’ve landed an account that requires more hands on deck than you can spare. You can’t quite justify creating a new position just to handle this account, but at the same time without a little extra help, you will probably lose the client.

Freelancers are the solution. They increase your bandwidth in a way that is sustainable and scalable. As an added bonus, they are also usually able to provide you with great turnaround times, as the delivery date is typically a contract contingency. If you have a deadline, you simply build that into the contract.


Finally, freelancers are able to weave in and out of your business with minimal disruption. A full-time hire is an investment in the future. You spend thousands of dollars on recruitment and training. You stall productivity for months at a time in favor of onboarding in the hopes that the person you brought on will have a long-term future at your business.

Onboarding is important, but when an employee leaves prematurely the resources you put into training them go down the drain.

Freelancers are turnkey. They don’t need to know how to be part of your starting lineup. You brought them in to pinch hit and that’s something they can do without being asked twice. Not only does this save you time but it also reduces risk significantly.


Most people won’t be replacing their entire staff with freelancers (though businesses that rely primarily on gig workers are certainly out there, and thriving). However, if you can learn how to pick your spots, you’ll find that getting short-term help from the right people is a way to cut costs and boost productivity at the same time.

It does take a little bit of recruitment savvy to find the right people. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be thrilled to have access to a steady pool of freelancers to take on responsibilities at your business.

Andreew Deen