To find out how the international trade in software development services is changing, Digital Journal spoke with Sebastián Siseles of Freelancer.com. Siseles is the Freelancer International Director.
Digital Journal: What are the attractions for outsourcing software development?
Sebastián Siseles: The attraction of hiring freelancers to develop software for most small businesses and startups is that in most cases because they are starting out don’t have the funds, the stability or the reputation to attract the best employees for traditional jobs. Therefore, freelancers are the ones who offer the solution – not only are they an important resource, but they also provide their expertises in temporary projects.
Companies can also choose from a powerful talent pool as there are candidates from all over the world available for hire. By hiring freelancers businesses can achieve their goals at a reasonable price and more importantly, they can employ independent workers on a demand-driven basis.
Today there is a global crisis in the labor market. Business around the world are having trouble locating the best employees because there is a new generation of workers (millenials) who are entering the market . Millennials rather than joining the traditional job market are choosing what companies they want to work for and for how long.
On top of this, they prefer flexible work schedules which will allow them to work from alternative places (such as home, co-working spaces and coffee places) or to even travel while they work. There’s a shift from working per hour to working per objectives. On-demand work is the new tendency.
DJ: Are there any arguments for keeping some development in-house?
Siseles: I think that the core business of a company should remain in-house, especially in more mature enterprises. Startups may hire freelancers for every single task, but when it comes to large companies, it would be wise to keep in-house employees for those tasks which concern the core business of the company. Collateral tasks, not daily tasks, can easily be freelanced.
DJ: Which types of companies does this appeal to?
Siseles:SMEs, startups, organisations of any kind (even NASA uses Freelancer.com), and corporates from anywhere around the world can choose among millions of freelancers – 28 millions nowadays registered in Freelancer.com – who have the skills required to get the job done without undertaking the expense and commitment of hiring full-time employees. Any job that can be executed online can potentially be done on our platform.
Startups and small businesses are particularly attracted to hiring freelancers, which means they are able to expand geographically to find the workers they need. In other words, a company can select the best candidate for the position regardless of his/her location.
Another perk of hiring gig workers is their competitive prices. Companies are able to get the talent they are looking for a reasonable price. This doesn’t mean they are paying less to an online talent, just that they are eliminating unnecessary intermediaries in the working relation.
DJ: Are there cost savings for businesses?
Siseles:Companies that hire freelancers have an advantage: they get the talent they need quickly and at a competitive cost. By hiring freelancers online, startups and small businesses are able to get work done by professionals at a more reasonable price than by hiring someone full-time. As the relationship with the company and the freelancer grows they can ultimately become a valuable asset to the team and can be called back to work on different projects within the same company.
However, this doesn’t mean that freelancers are not making money, on the contrary gig workers have the advantage that because they mostly work in short term projects they are able to bid on more jobs. There are cases of freelancers who make a month’s salary in just a short few days. It all depends in the hard-work and dedication that they put into it.
DJ: Which areas of the world are hot spots for software development?
Siseles:Software developers can be found all over the world. However, the top four countries with the most freelancers that offer this skill are India, the United States, Pakistan and the Philippines.
DJ: Are there any security risk to note with this type of outsourcing?
Siseles:There are always risks when hiring employees whether they are gig workers or full-time employees. But, when working on a platform like Freelancer.com you have the benefit of having a recruiting team available 24/7 that can guide employers to choose the most reliable freelancers we have in the platform –trusted, proved and at a competitive price. The recruiters’ main job is to assists users find the most suitable freelancers for the job based on the freelancer’s reputation and skills.
It is important that companies look for more than just the bidding price. The freelancer’s reputation is just as important, reason why companies should also be checking out other consumer reviews and the freelancer’s portfolio.
DJ: What services does Freelancer provide?
Siseles:Through the platform, employers can hire freelancers to work in areas from software development, writing, data entry and design right through to engineering, science, sales and marketing, accounting and legal services. Any member can post a project, whether a short or long-term job, and choose from skilled freelancers who offer their various rate quotes and time estimates to complete it.
In a companion article, Sebastián Siseles discusses the business model and history of Freelancer.com. See: “Q&A: How Freelancer is helping transform business relations.”