The day that you decide to take your business to the next level by outsourcing tasks to skilled online workers is an exciting day for a business owner. After all, freeing up your time to focus on the strategic growth of your company will undoubtedly increase your profits and expand your business. So this day is cause to celebrate!
But you may also have some uncertainty and fears about hiring and delegating business tasks to others. One of those fears may be in the investment you will be making to hire help. Of course, you want to get the most for your hard-earned dollar, but you also know that you do not want to sacrifice quality for a few bucks of savings. Your customers, clients and the business you have created are important to you.
So, how do you know what freelancer rates you should be paying to get high quality work at an affordable cost?
Considerations for Freelancer Rates
The freelancer rates that you will end up paying for online workers will vary based on several different factors. Each of these factors should be considered when determining what freelancer rates you are comfortable with.
The freelancer rates you should expect to pay will vary based on the experience level of the online worker. The more experience a freelancer has (background, job history), the higher the freelancer rates will be. There are several questions you should ask yourself when considering how much experience you’d like to hire.
Do you already have systems, structures and processes in place to aid a freelancer in his or her work?
How much onboarding are you willing to give newly hired workers?
How much management and oversight are you willing to provide? Freelancers with less experience will (almost always) consume more of your time because you will have to oversee their work to ensure it is of the quality you desire.
How critical are the tasks that the freelancer will be performing? If you are hiring for less critical tasks (administrative, etc), you may not need as much experience. However, if you are hiring a freelancer to build your website or handle critical client interactions, you will likely want a worker with a higher level of experience.
The freelancer rates you pay will also vary based on the location of the worker you hire. Online workers who reside in the United States of America will cost more than freelancers who reside outside of the United States. There are several factors you should consider when choosing to hire US workers versus non-US workers for your business needs.
Are you open to working through communication barriers? When you hire freelancers from a different country, you should take into account the possibility for communication barriers. Language differences can cause a lot of headache between a freelancer and business owner, especially if the freelancer is expected to communicate with your clients and customers or write copy for your company. Misunderstandings and frustration is a potential. Many freelancers are bilingual and amazing communicators, so don’t let this consideration stop you from interviewing candidates from outside your country.
Are you willing to handle cultural differences? Sometimes, cultural differences can cause issues when hiring freelancers. Do your research on the candidate as well as the cultural background to ensure that any cultural differences can be handled in advance.
Are you available to communicate at times convenient to a new worker? Time zones can be a challenge, but if you are a bit flexible, there are many creative ways to communicate around the clock. Technology has certainly made it easier to communicate around the world.
Would your business benefit from around-the-clock operation? Hiring a freelancer from another country can be a great benefit if your business would benefit from operating around the clock. If you hire online workers in different time zones, not only will you benefit from lower freelancer rates, you’ll also have work being done while you sleep!
Skill set is a huge factor when it comes to freelancer rates. The tasks you are hiring for may require a highly specific skill set or perhaps the tasks are simple enough that all a freelancer needs is a computer and internet connection. If you are hiring online workers to run advanced computer programming or calculations, for example, you should expect to pay higher freelancer rates than if you are hiring online workers to manage your calendar and email. If you desire to hire online workers who can manage projects and other freelancers, you should expect to pay higher freelancer rates.
Determine exactly what skill set you are looking to hire. How specialized is the skills set? How much formal education is required? Are there any certifications required? The more advanced or specific the skill set, the higher the freelancer rates.
What Freelancer Rates Should You Expect to Pay
There will be a lot of variability for freelancer rates, even beyond the factors explained above. Depending on where you hire freelancers, how the freelancer values their work and if you pay by project or per hour, freelancer rates will vary. There is no one size fits all pricing structure.
There are many online hiring platforms that you can find skilled online workers to help grow your business. Each platform will have its own payment structure and model. Most of these platforms separate their model into different levels based on the factors outlined above (experience, location, skill set).
FreeeUp, for example, offers skilled online workers at various freelancer rates. They break up all skill sets based on three levels of expertise. They also offer freelancers in each category that are both US based and non-US based.
1. Lower Level Workers – Lower level workers are perfect for clients with systems and processes in place, but they may require some level of onboarding.
2. Mid Level Workers – Mid level workers have a higher level of experience, but they may need specialized onboarding.
3. Expert Level Workers – Expert level workers are the highest level of talent. They can run projects and manage a group of lower and mid level workers.
FreeeUp wants their clients to know they are getting a good deal on freelancer rates. They have done their homework and ensured that the platform is both highly competitive and fair to their freelancers.
FreeeUp has provided the following general guideline for freelancer rates. As a business owner, you can use this chart as a reference when it comes to how much you might expect to pay for freelancer rates in 2017. The chart is broken down into the most commonly desired skill sets required for online workers and provides a price range for both US workers and non-US workers. The price range varies on the desired level of skill set and experience.
The amount of money you spend on freelancer rates will vary depending on many factors. Always consider your budget, level of expertise and experience required as well as the location preference of your online workers. Spend some time getting clear on the type of person you’d like to join you, and then invest the time to find the right person at the right price point for your business. When you hire the right online workers at the freelancer rates you are comfortable with, you will be able to sit back and enjoy the growth of your company.
Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship. She writes a blog, Engineered Motherhood, for working mothers who need help balancing career growth and time management.