6 Freelancer Skills to Benefit Your Business

Business.com / Managing / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Progressive businesses know it’s important to embrace the latest technology performed by freelancers.

Progressive businesses know it’s important to embrace the latest technology in everything they do. Yet finding talented employees continues to pose a challenge. This is especially true of tech positions, which are harder to fill than ever. According to recent research, there are more than a half a million unfilled technology positions, making it even more difficult than ever for businesses to compete. If a company with a limited budget needs work performed, this puts it at a disadvantage.

Through the use of freelancers, businesses of all sizes can access highly skilled workers without committing to a top-dollar annual salary.

“One of the things we love about what we do is there are so many use cases for freelancers," Michael Solomon, co-founder of 10x Management said. "We have customers using our tech talent to build product, clear technical debt, vet full-time hires, knock out all the items their internal teams will never have time for, solve a specific problem where they don't have internal expertise. The list goes on a lot longer.”

Here are some of the most specialized skill types that are available in contract workers.

Software development

The toughest thing about being a software developer is that the “hot” programming languages seem to change every couple of years. Currently, employers are looking for Java, SQL, and Javascript, among others, but that could change as more professionals undergo training. Keeping those skills up to date takes effort and additional expense, which is part of the reason in-demand software developers command such high salaries. By hiring a freelancer, businesses that need help with short-term projects benefit from that expertise without adding the overhead of adding headcount.

IT security

Businesses of all sizes face the threat of attack, especially with so many connected devices. It’s important that businesses stay current on the dangers they face and find specialists who can protect them. For additional safety, businesses shouldn’t rely solely on cloud providers to keep them safe. Occasional security audits by a qualified professional can find weaknesses in a company’s infrastructure that could leave them vulnerable to attack.

Usability testing

User experience is crucial, whether a brand manufactures products or creates software to promote its services. Experts recommend getting five user opinions on a product during development. Freelancers are ideal for user testing since businesses can access a variety of opinions on a temporary basis. Businesses on a smaller budget can opt for smaller user testing teams, but the most informed insight a team gets, the more accurate the feedback is likely to be.

Data Analytics

With enough data, businesses can make fully-informed decisions that lead to results. While there are many tools available to help professionals gain insight into online activity, sometimes businesses need specialized datasets. In those situations, it doesn’t make sense to pay approximately a $60,000 (or more) salary for a full-time analyst. Freelance data scientists can extract the information necessary to plan an upcoming campaign or study a particular product’s sales, providing services only when a business needs it.

Graphic design

New businesses need logos, business cards, and websites, leading to a need for a talented graphic designer to handle everything. Even after its founding, though, a business occasionally needs designs. Whether it’s a social media ad, a postcard, or a logo update, it’s important to have someone trustworthy to handle the work. It can help to have a freelancer who is willing to provide designs as needed at an affordable rate, rather than having to constantly shop around for new talent. Even businesses that use do-it-yourself tools to design and update their websites can benefit from an expert designer to maximize their site’s usability.

Marketing strategy

Consulting work is always ideal for freelancing since businesses merely need someone to come in and provide advice. Leaders can choose from specialists in content, social media, and business growth strategy, among other types of consultants. The right contractor will have experience in the field while also being up-to-date on the latest techniques to engage customers. Businesses should carefully research any strategist before committing to work together to ensure they’re getting the right fit for their own personal goals.

When businesses need specialized skills, freelancers are the perfect option, especially for tight budgets. By identifying the role they need to fill and knowing how to find great contractors, businesses can accomplish their short-term goals without committing to full-time worker salaries. Over time, a company could build a stable of reliable, affordable professionals who can help them remain competitive.

 

Photo credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

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