Using gig workers: Small companies looking to expand businesses would find hiring permanent remote workers from overseas more efficient and effective compared to using gig workers. While gig economy such as Fiverr, Upwork or Freelancer are very popular, the services provided are mostly simple, temporary and project-based. The short-term nature and narrow focus on the delivery is more suitable for start-ups that have yet established on the business direction or who they need. The gig services are however a mismatch for the longer-term objectives of small businesses with established processes and operations.
Gig economy offers many benefits to start-ups, which are reflected in its growing popularity as an alternative to full-time permanent employees. These benefits provide businesses more options, flexibility and control over their resources and expenses. For example, gig workers provide their services through gig platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork or Freelancer which offer standard contract protections and payment gateways. A client engaging a gig worker on these platforms will not need to worry about legal liabilities or the payment methodology. As the gig worker performs its service on a project basis, the client does not commit to continuous engagement of the worker and pays only a pre-negotiated amount of money. The platforms also gather other similar gig service providers and allow users to provide feedback and ratings so clients can make an informed decision with their chosen gig service providers.
However, gig economy has several other drawbacks that make its service less appealing to more established small businesses. Firstly, the reviews on the gig platforms are not true representation of the service providers’ quality of work. When the gig service provider fails to deliver the work, the client would most likely walk away from the project before completion without leaving a bad review. Furthermore, if you demand a higher quality compared to the standards of the reviewers, you will most likely be disappointed with the outcome. My own personal experience in engaging a WordPress website builder on Fiverr was an exact representation of the later scenario. Although the gig service provider was rated 5 stars from the reviewers, the delivery had been pushed back by 5 times, and the delivery sub-standard. Simple mistakes such as website not displayed responsively on mobile, and not following instructions showed a lack of care and focus on the work. In comparison, your own permanent employee is hired exactly to your standard, so you do not need to worry about quality of delivery.
Secondly, a permanent remote staff from overseas would work exclusively for you and you can give interactive feedback anytime, whereas a gig worker does not. A gig worker works as an independent contractor and often takes on multiple projects at once. The very good ones with many top reviews would have many clients after their services so you will need to queue and wait for them to become available. A gig worker would normally offer a few standard packages which include a fixed number of revisions for the work. The problem is such that you can only review the work at the end of each revision, and not during. So if the gig worker goes off in the wrong direction, the client will not pick it up until after the end of each revision. They normally work on several projects at once too, so they can fully utilise the off-time while waiting for client feedback. This often causes delay in response and lack of care in their work due to juggling too many different requirements.
Lastly, a permanent remote staff from overseas hired by you would share an aligned interest (assuming appropriate Employee Value Propositions are in place) and works in the best interest for your business. The better the work, the more the employee can expect to benefit from the Employee Value Propositions, which may include a combination of cash bonus, employee share scheme, salary increase or promotion. In comparison, a gig worker is paid by having projects completed, not by how well they are done. As long as the projects are completed to a level acceptable to the clients, they will get paid. This misalignment would cost the clients quality in the work commissioned to gig workers.
In conclusion, if your business is more established and has clear visions on its objectives and resources required, then permanent remote staff from overseas would be a more aligned choice of labour compared to gig worker. Although gig workers offer flexibility that may be convenient for short-term works, their short-term focus and check-the-box practice will prove a mismatch to your longer-term business growth. To find out more how your business can benefit from permanent remote workers from overseas, leave us a message here and we will be in contact for an obligation-free chat.