The expert economy is thriving and for organisations looking to propel their business to new commercial heights, freelance talent has never been more plentiful or accessible.

The use of talent platforms has grown by more than 30% in emerging economies. Moreover, 40% of businesses across sectors expect that gig workers will become an integral part of their workforce in the near future.

Talented freelancers with specialist skill sets are on the rise. For companies willing to embrace their talents and dive into the expert economy with full force, great rewards await.

But, when you’ve found a freelance expert that not only makes a great cultural fit but delivers consistent results, how do you know whether to make your professional relationship more permanent. And, will an official offer upset your current working dynamic?

Here we look at how you can spot the signs and consider offering an invaluable freelance expert an official role at your organisation.

Let’s get started.

Freelancer to full-time employee? Spotting the signs

Before you find yourself in a position to even consider progressing your freelancer relationship, you’ll need to know how to source the perfect talent for your projects. Our guide to picking the perfect freelancer for your business will help you on your journey.

Once you’ve started to work with a freelance expert more than once and things have started to gain momentum, you should look for these three key signs to consider whether it’s worth considering offering something more permanent.

  • Cohesion: If your freelancer works well with your team, delivering projects collaboratively, offering a more permanent position could prove valuable. Talent, consistency and reliability are somewhat of a given (otherwise you wouldn’t be working with your freelancer on a frequent basis)⁠—so, if you find that your freelancer fits in well with your team both professionally and socially, this is a positive sign.
  • Longevity: After you’ve worked on your freelancer on a few projects, sit down and look at your mid to long term business plans. Consider the value your hired talent has already brought to the table. Have you identified additional interpersonal strengths or skills that you could develop and utilise? Do you feel that your freelancer has the attributes or ideas to help steer your company towards its ultimate commercial aims. If you’ve answered yes, maybe it’s time to have ‘the chat’.
  • Passion⁠: Naturally, your freelance expert will display passion for the projects they’re working on and what your business essentially But, during your journey thus far, have they shown an increasing interest in your company’s values, services or products? Has their knowledge base expanded? Are they inquisitive about your organisation and what it stands for? If you believe this to be true, they could make a valuable permanent asset.

What to do next…

If you’ve spotted the signs and you feel your freelance expert could make an invaluable member of your team, it’s time to make the big decision.

The first thing to consider is: even if your freelancer has displayed the three key attributes mentioned, you can still work with them long term without making things permanent. But, remember⁠—there’s no middle ground here, you must make a definitive decision.

If you want to remain working on an indefinite contractual basis, you should express an interest to your freelancer, asking them if they would be happy to work with you on long term freelance basis, updating contracts and renegotiating payment rates to ensure everyone is satisfied. You could also invite your freelancer to social events or occasions where you see fit, they are an unofficial part of the team, afterall.

But, if you feel you’d like to take the plunge and offer a more permanent position, approach your freelancer and see if the arrangement suits them. If they’re happy to progress the relationship, carefully negotiate terms, involving your HR team. Ensure everything is signed, sealed, sewn up⁠—keeping your existing team members in the loop at all times to maintain transparency.

If you have landed yourself a brand new permanent employee, there is certainly room for more freelance talent. There’s always a project that needs a niche skillset or a professional gap that needs to be filled⁠—so start searching.

We wish you the very best of luck and if you have any tips of your own, please feel free to share them with the Alifery community by leaving a reply.

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