Give Your Business A Competitive Advantage By Hiring Freelancers

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?
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*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 support@nabbesh.com or reach us on +97143209172.

 

New technology changes the working day, offering a strategy for more jobs in the Middle East

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This blog post originally appeared in the World Bank’s Voices & Views: Middle East & North Africa on 3/28/14.  The original post can be seen here: http://blogs.worldbank.org/arabvoices/new-technology-changes-the-working-day-mena

It’s no secret that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has the highest youth unemployment rate in the entire world: nearly 30% according to the International Labour Organization. Over one in four young people have no viable means for economic prosperity, and sadly education is no guarantor of a job. Despite these bleak statistics, a recent survey commissioned by Qatar’s telecom giant, Orredoo, suggests that young people still have hope of a great future, fueled in large part by the innovations of the 21st century. The challenge is to innovate technology and alter our way of thinking about work to motivate MENA’s youth.

Technology Enabling Prosperity

This is a pivotal moment, one of tremendous historical and technological change, as well as overwhelming challenges for the region. The hope technology brings, however, is a potential game changer, both economically and for regional stability overall. The World Bank recently published a study highlighting the economic opportunities of accelerating high-speed internet access. The authors of this study note this region would look significantly different if more women and young people had access to high-speed internet. For while technology is only a means to a better life, and not an end in itself, using it effectively to further economic prosperity and job creation is critical.

What MENA’s Youth Want

A new report, “New Horizons: Young, Arab and Connected,” commissioned by Ooredoo, surveyed more than 10,500 young adults in 17 countries across the region, and found that 9 out of 10 young MENA citizens believed that Internet access could help them fulfill their hopes for a job. This study also found that for young people lucky enough to have jobs, 45% of them are not doing what they would like to do. While it might be easy to dismiss this, when considering the unemployment statistics, motivating youth effectively to contribute to the economic good of the region is important in gaining the most out of this region’s best assets: its young people full of hope and promise.

Redesigning Work: Beyond the Traditional 9-5

Perhaps it’s time this region takes a hard look at the way we work and redesign a path moving forward that takes into account both the emerging technologies and the way this current generation–which accounts for approximately one third of MENA’s population of about 340 million–views the world. A report by Aruba Networks on “Gen Mobile” found that half of the survey’s participants of youth aged between 18 and 35, work most efficiently outside of the traditional 9am-5pm working hours, and also want more flexible work. Harvard Business Review’s blog also discusses this emerging trend: the 20th century work schedule was not the first work schedule, nor will it be the last.

An Emerging Trend: Independent Work

Throughout the world, working independently and the concept of freelance work has become much more popular: it is estimated that within the next six years 40% of Americans will work independently. Deloitte recently conducted a survey of Millennials, a term used to refer to people born from the early 1980s to around the 2000s, which found that 70% of Millennials want to work independently. A new way of work that taps into the technology this generation has grown up with, and gives a sense of autonomy, which behavioral economists deem important, could give this generation in the MENA region a better sense of self-determination and overall wellbeing. Although there is currently an ongoing debate about the pros and cons of independent work, research suggest that when people are given autonomy, health and wellbeing improve.1

Although the idea of independent work is still a relatively new concept for the modern Middle East, a peer-to-peer economy is as old as the Silk Road: merchants directly exchanging goods and services. Today’s roads are now virtual, driven in large part by the Internet. In a world where technology continues to change almost every aspect of our lives, it is now contributing towards a more hopeful future for this region’s youth.  The challenge is to re-imagine and rewire ourselves for 21st century work not based upon an outdated construct from a past era, but rather one that taps into what some economists recognize as basic human motivation.

1 Valery Chirkov, Richard M. Ryan, Youngmee Kim, and Ulas Kaplan, “Differentiating Autonomy from Individualism and Independence: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective on Internalization of Cultural Orientations and Well-Being,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84 ( January 2003); Joe Devine, Laura Camfield, and Ian Gough, “Autonomy or Dependence—or Both?: Perspectives from Bangladesh,” Journal of Happiness Studies 9, no. 1 ( January 2008).