Would you agree that behind every great leader, is a great personal assistant? While leaders have the power and influence to make decisions that can affect the future vision and plans for a business, they’re not the ones making it tick. There’s another person that is an unsung hero who can provide support and assist across multiple divisions in a company and make sure diaries are planned, meetings are booked, research is documented and clients are greeted with professionalism. First impressions count and most people don’t walk into an office to be greeted by a CEO, these unsung heroes matter…
The battle for the consumer’s attention has never been harder fought than it currently is. The days of buying a print ad, an outdoor billboard placement or even a 30 second TV spot can no longer guarantee that customers will flock into your store, visit your site or buy your product. The increasing fragmentation of the media scene coupled with a growing resistance to even notice ads means that reaching your potential customers is now tougher than it’s ever been. People download their favourite shows and watch them concurrently with no breaks, they install ad blocking software in order to browse uninterrupted online and print circulations are falling fast. With thousands of companies using the same channels to reach the same consumers there’s an increasing need to cut through the noise and stand out. Enter content marketing.
While uncertainty brings opportunity, entrepreneurs in Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region have been skilfully sailing rough seas for decades and as the region continues to face political and economic turmoil, small and medium businesses are looking inwards for ways to grow while remaining agile.
Looking inwards means identifying opportunities to innovate whether in the introduction of new products and services, adoption of new technologies to streamline work processes or the way the business is structured to run the day-to-day operations. Operational costs associated with hiring and retaining top talent can burden a business and re-thinking your hiring strategy can lead to significant cost savings.
In the UAE, on-boarding a mid level employee at a freezone company can cost – at least – 43% more than bringing on board an independent contractor (or freelancer) to do the job. Not to mention the time invested to source, interview, hire and on-board someone which could take north of 3 months.
Regardless of the size of your business, agility and speed will give you a significant competitive advantage. There is always a bigger and better player out there and in a typical David and Goliath situation, businesses need to set their own rules to win the game. Instead of growing your full time staff, ask yourself: how can my business leverage the millions of educated experts from the MENA region who are online, savvy, hungry for an income and willing to work for me on demand?
*image credit: quotesgram.com
Hiring freelancers can offer your business a number of benefits notably:
1. Considerable Cost Savings: Whilst talent drives the business and is the reason behind a business’s success or downfall, the cheer costs associated with bringing full time talent can put a dent in your budget limiting your growth potential. In Many cases bringing in freelancers who are experts in specific industries and have amassed years of experience means getting work done at a fraction of the cost. There are no visa costs, no insurance, travel or housing fees, no paid holidays, gratuity payments, office rental. I think you get the picture.
2. Speed in Execution: With online marketplaces, you are able to access experts in various fields to deliver great work for you versus hiring a generalist on a full time basis. If you had to run a marketing campaign as an example, you can hire a graphic designer, a content writer, an expert to design and build your blog, an SEO specialist to put together a strategy for you, etc. in less than 48 hours! You can then go to market faster than your competitors.
3. Top Local and Regional Talent: The MENA region is awash with talent, our youth are our most under-utilised asset while the majority is educated, curious, online and available. Marketplaces can give you a choice to work with experienced talent or young graduates depending on your project needs. Whilst we continue to rely on experts from the rest of the world and pay a small fortune, you can now discover great local or regional talent that “get you”, live within the same timezone and will deliver great great work for you because their livelihoods depend on it!
4. No breakups, No Hard Feelings: What I find liberating about working with freelancers as a business owner is that unlike full time staff, there is no commitment, no long-term promises, no breakup and no hard feelings! Every project starts and ends and everyone moves on! Marketplaces provide you with a variety of options so you don’t have to be “stuck” with someone! You can negotiate rates and work with different people and then choose the people you trust and that add the most value.
If trusting the freelancers is a concern, then this is where marketplaces play a key role. Most marketplaces have a way of quality control whether through vetting, ratings, or other mechanisms.
At Nabbesh.com, we’ve introduced a thorough screening process where only the best go through and each freelancer goes through an interview with the Nabbesh.com team in addition to the reviews that they collect when they complete jobs with other clients. Another role marketplaces play is in the mediation support in order to ensure that the work is delivered up to your standards and as per the brief. Nabbesh.com for instance would hold the funds in an escrow account until the job is delivered. This creates trust and transparency and provides the freelancer with an incentive to deliver great work, their reputation and access to future jobs depends on it!
There are no limits to what freelancers can offer. If you’re looking to build a website, a new mobile app, create compelling marketing collateral, grow your brand on social media, develop great content for your blog, translate documents, hold a memorable company event, test a new market or just implement a crazy idea you’ve always had, you can do so today with incredible speed and at a fraction of the cost of allocating full time staff to the job.
Talent is abundant and with advent of technology, you can now access thousands of freelancers on demand. Time to change the way you on-board talent and give your business a competitive advantage.
For more information on how Nabbesh.com can help you, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or reach us on +97143209172.
THIS MAP SHOWS NABBESH FREELANCERS DELIVERING WORK ACROSS THE GLOBE
We’re a team of passionate individuals building Nabbesh.com, the Arab world’s largest freelance marketplace, giving you access to 100k+ talented individuals. Our diverse network delivers great work for top companies and entrepreneurs.
Lama Fleifel is a PR executive at Pencell Public Relations & Event, Beirut. We spoke to Lama about her experience in outsourcing work to freelancers – Fleifel shares with Nabbesh:
On being an engineer, and a freelancer, all at once
Freelancers can help you grow your company faster. You will focus on service quality and better resource allocation rather than HR and employee training. Freelancers eliminate the traditional HR costs such as benefits, onboarding and training and general productivity loss.
Hire task-focused labour
Many companies grow slower or fail because they spend their early resources on employees and HR-related expenses. Some business managers prefer to stick to the traditional organizational structure by overstaffing their companies. Other successful rapid-growth companies prefer to divert their focus to their bottom line first and value creation for their customers.
Ask yourself – Do I need to a hire a full-time marketing graduate and train them (time friction) to use basic photo editing tools? or is it more cost effective to hire two overqualified freelancers who can finish their assignment in less time and ultimately deliver value (good logo, frequent social engagement) to my customers? Do idle training hours contribute directly to my core activity as a business?
Thanks to freelance jobs marketplaces such as Nabbesh.com or other competitors in other markets, you can fill in a vacant position or a specific task or a project in the same day. Extended HR services such as assisted recruitment will choose the best talent for your tasks.
Focus on long-term strategy, & execute faster.
One of the reasons some managers hire full-timers (sometimes too many) is that they rely on their specialized team to figure out their own mini-strategy within the broad company strategy. This is especially true of small businesses and startups. The truth is not every new hire has the ready capacity to understand the business or growth model they work within. It is best not to hire people to think for you. If you’re short of cash, you are not hiring the most qualified talent in the market, but someone who understands the requirements of the job. That’s not enough to outgrow your competitors before they drive you out of market.
You can choose to outsource non-core tasks and focus instead on strategy and execution. Hire talent for competency and not presumed necessity. A popular Silicon Valley saying reads: “hire people who are more qualified than you are.” At least, your team won’t be at fault when you fail to execute your strategy or grow. You will know where to grow.
Freelance job marketplaces offer easy tools to vet freelancers’ skills and professional precedence with on-website rankings and social profile spaces. Nabbesh’s assisted recruitment services will shortlist highly skilled talented for prospective employers semi-manually and algorithmically. This is how Nabbesh scales its own business.
Allocate freed resources to core activity
Throwing the appropriate cash or resources at your core activities will help you scale your business faster. You may choose to free cash from marketing and allocate it to direct sales because it directly results in more revenues. Thanks to task-focused freelancers, you won’t have to give up on marketing fully, but rather hire people who execute the same job tasks at lesser HR expenses.
You may want to spend more on marketing or customer satisfaction only when you acquire new customers. Spend less and do more. This is how freelancers can help you grow your company fast and stay on the competitive edge.
The author of this article is a remote worker. You can hire Ahmed for your job by inviting him to send a proposal.
Finding great talent that understands your needs is one of the most challenging tasks an entrepreneur faces on a daily basis.
Hiring freelancers is brilliant for temporary projects and testing new ideas when you’re growing a business. Freelancers can relieve labour constraints to do more without committing your company’s revenues to new full-time salaries. They can execute specific tasks while you focus on plans and strategy – sounds great, yes?
What jobs should freelancers do?
It is usually advised not to hire freelancers for a job that would have been otherwise filled by a full-time salaried worker. Throwing too many tasks at a freelancer (even if adequately compensated) without including them in team strategy and team dynamics will lead to bad synergy. Be specific about the nature of the job and level of commitment you require from your freelancers.
Don’t hire freelancers for core jobs you cannot absolutely do or don’t know much about especially if the job is complex. It’s essential that you and the newly hired freelancer speak the same language (figuratively) and can meet on specific task accomplishments. Instead, hire for jobs you can do, but don’t have time to. Your knowledge and experience with the job will help you set specific goal metrics for the new freelancer and ultimately cut a fine a line between failure and success. In other words, you will know if you hired the right skills to fill the right job. How much did it take to get the job done? What problems did you run into? The feedback and observations you will make will help make better recruitment choices once you’re ready to expand your team and operations.
How to write a stellar job position
Keep it short
Freelancers are constantly looking for new jobs and more revenues. Make it easier for them to grasp the job responsibilities and your business model by writing less and saying more. Do include specific tasks to be fulfilled, goals to be achieved and a brief line about the company (product, size, industry…). If you’re looking for answers for a problem of yours, ask for a proposal. Put it up front. The applicants won’t miss it.
Add the right skills
When posting a job position on Nabbesh.com, we will ask you to add skills that will help us direct you towards the best talent on our platform. This feature will help us categorize your job description to attract the right talent for your business. Vague skills will result in a flood of applications.
This is the most important section of your job position. Be clear about the nature of the job and the results you’re looking for. Discourage unqualified freelancers to apply or screen applications with a specific question they all have to answer. Other screening questions are previous relevant experience and previous sample work. Set approximate goals to introduce your freelancers to the work ahead of them.
There are multiple ways going freelance can empower young people. Whether you are looking to fill up your free time with a couple of challenging tasks or break the routine that has been dictating your life, a challenging freelance project can make for an exciting experience whose lessons could stay with you forever.
The financial benefit
I don’t blame you if when you say, see, hear or read the word “job”, the first thing you think of is “how much?” We all work to make money—at least the vast majority of people. The flexible nature of freelance work and the fact that most projects are short-term could lead to a freelancer being paid higher rates than those a full-timer would be receiving for doing the same exact job. Looking for freelance work might be your best option if you’re a university student looking to make some pocket money while still having some extra time to do homework, read, or go out with friends. While some worry that freelance might not be a stable prospect in the long run, a bigger number of clients—and more projects—can ensure an almost-stable flow of income. Perhaps one of the best advantages of being a freelancer is the fact that you usually don’t have too many expenses — make sure to inform the client beforehand if you need to go to the field, travel, or buy material, and make sure to make sure they will cover the expenses. Starting to make money at a young age leads to financial independence, and the latter not only liberates you, but also empowers you.
Developing skills before you hit the marketplace
Although you might choose to go exclusively freelance and never have to spend time in an office ever again, you might also decide to accept a full-time job offer at a certain point. Regardless of the professional direction you deem fit, it is crucial that you start working on acquiring and developing basic skills so that when you hit the marketplace, you do so running. Freelance work can complement your studies in a way that classes and professors can only talk about—theoretically, for the most part. Marketing yourself as the right person for the job, agreeing with clients on the terms and conditions of a task, delivering, reviewing and finding quick, effective solutions to overcome daily obstacles are all activities you would have to do on an almost-daily basis while freelancing your way through the pre-career phase of your life. More know-how and a set of social skills is bound to empower you, maybe not overnight, but most definitely somewhere down the line.
Staying ahead of the curve
Competition is fierce out there. It’s a cut-throat job hunt that could leave many scarred for life, especially if you’re one of those people who get their hopes a bit too high a bit too fast. Although you will most probably be scanning the market for entry-level positions upon graduating from university (or high school if you’re too eager), all employers will ask you to submit both a CV and a cover letter, and they usually expect neither to be blank. Being a freelancer is in many ways similar to doing an internship at home. Only difference is: you would actually be doing work! By the time you decide to apply for more senior, higher-paying positions, you would have managed to learn and achieve more than your peers of the same age.