ASK HR: Why aren’t employers keen on hiring freelancers? - Daily Nation

ASK HR: Why aren’t employers keen on hiring freelancers?

Thursday January 11 2018

A girl typing on a laptop.

A girl typing on a laptop. Companies adopt different approaches for handling their employment contracts.  Photo/BANG SHOWBIZ

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Q.I am a writer, and I have been applying for freelance writing positions with various local companies.

My experience has largely been discouraging. I have noted that most companies prefer in-house writers to freelance writers. Why are some

companies hesitant to take on freelancers? After all, we cannot all be employed, can we?


Companies adopt different approaches for handling their employment contracts. Some prefer full-time contracts for their employees, while others adopt a blend of full-time and part-time contracts, largely based on the nature and demands of their business.

Many companies take the view that it is easier to cultivate an organisational culture and a sense of belonging with full-time employees than with part-time employees with whom they have limited interaction.

These social considerations could partly explain the common corporate instinct to tether staff on short leashes and the misgivings concerning freelancers on whom a company has less control and inclination to invest in, especially for the long-term.

Emerging generational and economic trends have however chimed the knell for a labour market increasingly characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work.

The current reality of people changing jobs several times during their working lives is arguably a natural part of the evolution that has bred the gig economy, an environment in which temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.

Furthermore, in this digital age, greater workforce mobility is effectively unyoking jobs and their locations, thereby creating an increasingly fertile environment for freelancers to find jobs around the world and employers to find talent from a global pool.     

Companies are embracing the tide of the gig economy by building their cultural readiness, the lack of which in part suffocates the growth of freelancing.

For now, if you work to enhance your writing skills and rise to the top of your trade, you will command the level of attention that allows you to have a voice in discussions on employment terms with the companies that you approach for work.