Benefits of using Freelance Consultants /
Trainers for your projects
What are the benefits of using a Freelance
Consultant / Trainer for your next project?
Companies are often wary of employing freelance trainers when
setting up a new project or contemplating a 'roll out'
operation or ‘change' scenario. There are however distinct
advantages to using freelance as against permanent resources,
and some of these are outlined as follows.
Although the initial costs (hourly/daily rate) of freelance
trainers may seem expensive, this has to be set against the
fact that there are no costs of in house benefit packages, no
pensions commitment, no payment for holidays or sick time etc.
Also, the cost is fixed, purely for the term of the contract,
and can be budgeted into the overall project. Once the project
(and contract) are completed, there are no ongoing employment
costs or costs of redundancy etc.
Often a client does not have the requisite expert skills in
house that are required to produce training quickly and
effectively for a new project or roll out. It is often more
cost effective to employ a freelancer who has these skills,
than waiting for existing employees to gain sufficient depth
of knowledge and expertise.
However, as part of the freelance contract, the client should
arrange that the freelancer transfer those skills required to
permanent employees for ongoing maintenance of the project
after the contract has finished.
3. Focus on the project
Permanent employees often have their own personal priorities.
They are concerned with day to day 'office politics',
enhancing their career and promotion prospects etc. Combine
this with time spent on company activities, such as meetings
etc. and in most companies the actual applied working time of
the average employee is only about 50% of their time at work.
Freelance workers have no interest in company politics, career
chasing, internal meetings etc. and tend to focus 100% on the
project they are working on. The freelancer has a fixed
deadline, i.e. the end date of the contract and will normally
always ensure that the work is completed to the project
A freelancer is only as good as their last project. They tend
to gain employment mostly by referral and it is in their
interest therefore, to always do as good a job as possible on
each project. There is no advantage to the freelancer in
spinning out the project unnecessarily, as this would reflect
on future opportunities.
This means that you tend to get 100% commitment throughout the
project, as a freelancer will tend to avoid all distractions
and try to complete the project ahead of milestones where
possible. After all, there is normally no 'overtime' pay for
the freelancer and therefore no advantage in making the work
last any longer than necessary.
5. Project planning
Normally, a freelancer will commit to a project without
provision for vacations or other time off. This makes it
easier when setting up project plans and milestones, as the
potential of employees requesting time off does not have to be
factored into the project plans.
6. Desire to work
The freelancer does not have the comfort zone of permanent
employment and is hungry to work.
Their motivation is normally extremely high and does not
require any external stimulation, as is often the case with
long-term permanent employees.
7. Up to Date Skills/Qualifications
The freelance trainer has to compete in a constantly changing
marketplace for contracts of varying requirements. For this
reason they tend to constantly update their skills and
certifications to attract work from customers. You will often
find that freelance trainers have one or more of the following
qualifications - IITT, CIPD, ITOL, ISMA or ECDL as well as
accreditations from relevant vendors, and they are constantly
updating them in order to secure contracts. This gives you
recognised quality that you have not had to finance.
8. Work force motivational factors
Using an external expert consultant can demonstrate to your
work force that the company is committed to adding value to
their personal development. Using internal staff does not
always create the same feeling that the company is willing to
spend to increase employee skills.
Using an external consultant can provide more freedom of
expression and opinion by delegates during the training
sessions. Your delegates will feel less constrained by
internal company politics and restrictions when discussing
things with an external consultant, who they do not perceive
as part of the ‘company machine'. This can lead to much more
open discussion and participation by delegates, which can
greatly enhance the effectiveness of the training.
9. Wide ranging experience and fresh ideas
Invariably freelance consultants, by the very nature of their
work, will have worked across a wide and varied cross section
of industries and organisations, in both the private and
public sectors. They can provide valuable ‘real world'
experience and ideas that your staff may not have knowledge
of, due to having to focus on their normal day-to-day
occupations. This can be invaluable during times of change and
can promote a sense of ‘thinking outside of the box' by
delegates and staff that they have contact with.
So, if you are considering a new project, roll out or change
scenario, think carefully about how it will be resourced. In
many cases, you will find the best solution is to use
freelance resources to complement your existing workforce.
Adapted from an original article by John Roberts, Director of
JayrConsulting Ltd. ( www.jayrconsulting.co.uk ) and modified
after valuable input and critique by co-members of TrainerBase
) . John Roberts is a Freelance Training Consultant and
Director of JayrConsulting Ltd. (www.jayrconsulting.co.uk)
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