Hiring a Freelance Writer Vs. Hiring a Contractor


When some companies need professional business documentation but don’t have an in-house person to write for them, they may choose to hire a temporary writing contractor via a recruitment firm, also known as a staffing firm. While using a staffing firm on the surface level may seem like a good option for your business documentation needs, you might want to thing twice once you understand the differences between hiring a qualified and skilled freelance writer vs. bringing on a writer from a staffing firm.

Why Businesses Choose Staffing Firms

  • To Test the Waters – Some businesses are still on the fence on whether they need to hire a full-time writer, need to contract someone part-time, or if they even need a writer at all.
  • To Save Money – Some businesses have the perception that recruitment staffing firms can save them money:
    • Lack of Industry Knowledge to Perform Interviews Appropriately – These businesses want to save money by eliminating the need to either learn what type of employee they need, or to hire an HR person who can do the interviewing in-house.
    • Avoid Health Insurance & Other Expenses – Naturally it costs a lot of money to on-board a new employees due to the various fees involved when bringing on a full-time employee on your staff.
  • Save Time – These businesses want to save time by contracting a company designed to find the perfectly skilled employee for the job.

The Drawbacks of Hiring a Staffing Firm Consultant

The disadvantages to employing a writer via a staffing firm

  • Illusion of Time Savings – Most businesses hire recruiters to find specific employees tailored to their organizations needs, however most recruiters do not take the time to both understand fully your needs as well as to completely read through resumes before contacting potential candidates. Many recruiters search for specific keywords in resumes and then contact the person with reading the resume. I myself get emails all the time for jobs like “Project Manger” because I put in my Technical Writing resume that I contributed to this person’s deliverables at a job I had. I am not a Project manager nor is there anything in my resume that suggests it. Yet they still contact me offering to put me in for a job I have no skills for.
  • Foreign Recruiter Spam Making it Hard to Find Qualified Candidates – Adding to this problem is the influx of foreign recruiters (site an example article) who tend to search databases Like Monster and Career Builder via keyword and then send mass emails to the resume holders they find on these sites. This is contributing to a downward spiral of mistrust among candidates and recruiters, resulting in less quality candidates being made available via these recruiters because no one wants to send their resumes to them.
  • Less Project Commitment – Let’s face it, employees of staffing agencies know that they aren’t making top dollar. Some can deal with this issue, but some actually let it affect their performance especially when they see the task at hand as something that is not fully tied to their portfolio.
  • Wait to Sift Through Candidates – Waiting to have the recruiter present the resumes to you can be as time consuming if not more than reaching out to qualified freelancer writers in your area. It is not u known for it to take weeks or months for a recruiter to find the right candidate for you if they don’t have a  good pool of candidates to fish from.
  • Buy-Out Fees – What happens if you fall in love with your writer and want to bring them on full-time? With a staffing agency you have to pay an additional fee that is typically a percentage of the overall contract in order to hire the person full-time. In the long run this means your organization is spending more than it could have by simply contracting a freelancer at the same rate they paid the staffing agency all along.

Why Choosing a Freelancer is a Better Option

  • Contract Length Flexibility- A freelance writer like myself will generally offer a better single-project contract and can produce them often faster when you contact direct rather than going through the red tape associated with finding a writer through a staffing agency. My projects don’t include a minim amount of time you must contract me where as staffing agencies might want you to sign for a few weeks to a year at a time.
  • Greater Commitment to the Project – A freelancer is going to have a more solid commitment to providing quality work because his or her name is on the project, rather than a recruitment agency. Also the potential for the resentment associated with knowing the writer isn’t being paid as much as the client is shelling out to the staffing firm is eliminated when you contact directly with a freelance writer.
  • Less Commitment for the Organization – Did you know that if you place a staffing firm employee at a desk in your office and provide supplies like pens and paper than in some states, that constitutes employment? You can be held by the same laws as the staffing firm that you might have thought you were exempt from. When you hire a freelance writer that works primarily remote you are exempt from being considered an employer to this person.
  • Greater Flexibility with the Project – Remember staffing agency employees are still employees, and are held under different laws than a B2B Freelance Writer is.
  • Potential Savings – When you pay a freelancer’s fee direct to them rather than a staffing agency. You may pay less for a freelancer wit the same or more skills than an employee of a consulting firm.
  • No Contract Buy-Out Fee – With some contracts through recruitment staffing agencies there can be a buy out fee added that the hiring company may have to pay to continue working with the contracted employee if they were to be brought on full-time. You an avoid such fees if you hire a freelancer that you later turn into a full-time employee.
  • Social Media Exposure – Freelancers love to show off their work when you let them (of course we always adhere to our confidentiality clauses). for some businesses this is an added bonus when marketing and branding can use a boost. Contractors brought on by a staffing agency feel less connected with the project and don’t often share their accomplishments. If you foster an environment where you allow contributors to share their achievements within your organization publicly, then freelancers will defiantly do this on their social networks and on their portfolio on their website. This means more branding and traffic for your organization.
  • Avoid Health Insurance & Other Employee Expenses – A B2B freelance writer is not an employee, so your organization still save the same amount of money as if it went with a staffing agency.

How to Find a Freelance Writer Faster Than Using a Staffing Agency

Well this one is an easy one, you have found a perfectly qualified freelancer writer on this very website! You can contact me any time to discuss your writing project no matter the size or intensity for the project. I have several writing samples you can review to see my style and niches. This is of course not the extent of my skillset so drop me a line and let me know how I can contribute to your organization’s success!