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The Reality of Freelance Work: What Hiring Managers Need to Know in the Life Sciences Industry

Posted on May 2023

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As a recruiter or hiring manager in the life sciences industry, you may have preconceived notions about freelance work for tech professionals. However, it's important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to these common myths. Here are seven myths you may have heard about freelance work and the truth behind them:

Myth #1: Freelance work is only for junior professionals

Freelance work is not limited to junior professionals. While some people may think of freelance work as an entry-level job or a way for new graduates to get their foot in the door, the truth is that freelance work is a viable option for professionals at all levels of experience.

In fact, many highly experienced professionals choose to freelance because it offers them greater flexibility and control over their work-life balance. Freelancing allows professionals to work on a variety of projects, gain exposure to different industries and technologies, and set their own schedules. It can also provide an opportunity to work with a variety of clients, which can help build a diverse portfolio of work.

Additionally, freelancing can offer a way for experienced professionals to transition to a new career or industry. For example, a senior software developer may decide to freelance in order to gain experience in a new programming language or work on projects in a different industry. By freelancing, they can gain new skills and experiences while still leveraging their existing expertise.

Myth #2: Freelancers are less committed than full-time employees

Freelancers are just as committed to their work as full-time employees, if not more so. Freelancers rely on their reputation and word-of-mouth recommendations to generate new business, so they have a vested interest in providing high-quality work and meeting or exceeding their clients' expectations.

Furthermore, freelancers are often highly skilled professionals who take pride in their work and strive to deliver the best possible results. They may be working on a project-by-project basis, but they understand that each project is an opportunity to showcase their skills and build their reputation.

In addition, freelancers may have more control over their workload and schedule, which can help them stay focused and committed to their work. Freelancers can often choose the projects they want to work on and set their own deadlines, which can help them maintain a healthy work-life balance and avoid burnout.

Myth #3: Freelancers are unreliable and hard to manage

Freelancers are highly motivated individuals who understand the importance of meeting deadlines and communicating with their clients. While managing freelancers may be different from managing full-time employees, it is not inherently more difficult.

In fact, managing freelancers can have some advantages. For example, freelancers are often self-starters who can work independently and take initiative to get things done. They may also have a more flexible schedule, which can allow them to work on projects outside of regular business hours and be more responsive to client needs.

Communication is key to effectively managing freelancers. Clear expectations should be set at the beginning of the project, including deadlines, deliverables, and communication channels. Regular check-ins and status updates can help ensure that the project stays on track and any issues are addressed promptly.

It's also important to establish a good working relationship with freelancers. Just like with full-time employees, building rapport and trust can help ensure a successful project. This includes treating freelancers with respect, providing timely feedback, and recognizing their contributions to the project.

Myth #4: Freelancers are not as skilled as full-time employees

Freelancers are often highly skilled professionals who bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to their projects. Many have worked in multiple industries and bring a diverse set of skills and experiences to the table.

Freelancers may also have specialized skills or expertise that are hard to find in a full-time employee. For example, a company may need a freelance graphic designer who specializes in creating infographics, or a freelance software developer who has experience working with a specific programming language.

Additionally, freelancers can be a valuable resource for companies that need to scale their workforce up or down quickly. If a company has a sudden influx of work, hiring a freelancer can provide an immediate solution without the need to go through a lengthy hiring process.

It's also worth noting that freelancers often have a unique perspective on projects. Because they are not full-time employees, they may be able to bring a fresh perspective or innovative ideas to a project that may not have been considered otherwise.

Myth #5: Freelance work is only for short-term projects

While freelance work is often associated with short-term projects, many freelancers work on long-term projects or even ongoing contracts. In fact, some freelancers have long-term relationships with their clients that span several years.

Freelancers can provide a range of services, from short-term project-based work to ongoing support and maintenance. For example, a company may hire a freelance software developer to work on a specific project for a few months, or they may hire a freelance IT consultant to provide ongoing support and maintenance.

In addition, freelancers can provide flexibility for companies that need to adjust their workforce quickly in response to changing business needs. If a company needs to downsize, they can simply end a contract with a freelancer without the need for a lengthy termination process.

It's worth noting that long-term relationships with freelancers can provide some benefits beyond just the work being done. For example, freelancers who work with a company over a longer period of time may become more familiar with the company's processes and culture, which can lead to more effective collaboration.

Myth #6: Freelancers are more expensive than full-time employees

Freelancers may appear more expensive than full-time employees on paper, but when you factor in the costs of benefits, training, and overhead associated with full-time employees, freelancers can often be a more cost-effective option.

Hiring a full-time employee can come with a range of costs beyond just their salary. Companies also need to provide benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. Additionally, full-time employees require onboarding and training, and require a dedicated workspace and equipment.

Freelancers, on the other hand, are responsible for their own benefits and equipment. They typically work remotely and have their own workspace and equipment, which can save companies money on office space and equipment costs.

Furthermore, freelancers can be a more cost-effective option for companies that only need temporary or project-based support. Hiring a full-time employee for a short-term project may not be cost-effective, as the employee may not be fully utilized once the project is completed.

Finally, freelancers can provide cost savings through their specialized expertise. They may be able to complete a project more quickly and efficiently than a full-time employee who does not have the same level of expertise.

Myth #7: Freelancers are only for small businesses or startups

Freelancers can work with businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large multinational corporations. In fact, many Fortune 500 companies rely on freelancers to provide specialized skills and expertise on a project-by-project basis.

Freelancers can provide a range of benefits to businesses of all sizes. For small businesses and startups, freelancers can provide cost-effective support and specialized expertise without the need to hire full-time employees. This can help small businesses scale their workforce up or down quickly in response to changing business needs.

For larger companies, freelancers can provide specialized expertise and additional resources without the need to hire additional full-time employees. This can be especially useful for projects that require a specific set of skills or expertise that may not be available in-house.

Additionally, freelancers can provide flexibility and scalability for businesses of all sizes. They can work on short-term or long-term projects, and can provide support on an as-needed basis. This can help businesses avoid the costs and administrative burden associated with hiring and managing full-time employees.

Our Freelance Services

At EPM Scientific, we understand the challenges that life sciences companies face in finding the right talent, especially for short-term projects. That's why we offer a range of freelance staffing solutions to help companies find the right talent for their projects, whether it's for a short-term project or a long-term assignment.

We work closely with our clients to understand their unique needs and requirements, and then leverage our network and expertise to find the best talent for their projects. Our team of specialized recruiters and consultants have a deep understanding of the life sciences industry and can provide top tech talent for your project needs.

If you're looking for freelance talent for your life sciences company, request a call back today from our contracts team. We can provide ongoing support to ensure that your project is a success, and help you find the right talent to meet your specific project requirements.