Benefits of using Freelance Consultants / Trainers for your
What are the benefits of using a Freelance
Consultant / Trainer for your next project?
Companies are often wary of employing freelance trainers when setting up
a new project or contemplating a 'roll out' operation or ‘change'
scenario. There are however distinct advantages to using freelance as
against permanent resources, and some of these are outlined as follows.
Although the initial costs (hourly/daily rate) of freelance trainers may
seem expensive, this has to be set against the fact that there are no
costs of in house benefit packages, no pensions commitment, no payment
for holidays or sick time etc.
Also, the cost is fixed, purely for the term of the contract, and can be
budgeted into the overall project. Once the project (and contract) are
completed, there are no ongoing employment costs or costs of redundancy
Often a client does not have the requisite expert skills in house that
are required to produce training quickly and effectively for a new
project or roll out. It is often more cost effective to employ a
freelancer who has these skills, than waiting for existing employees to
gain sufficient depth of knowledge and expertise.
However, as part of the freelance contract, the client should arrange
that the freelancer transfer those skills required to permanent
employees for ongoing maintenance of the project after the contract has
3. Focus on the project
Permanent employees often have their own personal priorities. They are
concerned with day to day 'office politics', enhancing their career and
promotion prospects etc. Combine this with time spent on company
activities, such as meetings etc. and in most companies the actual
applied working time of the average employee is only about 50% of their
time at work.
Freelance workers have no interest in company politics, career chasing,
internal meetings etc. and tend to focus 100% on the project they are
working on. The freelancer has a fixed deadline, i.e. the end date of
the contract and will normally always ensure that the work is completed
to the project milestones.
A freelancer is only as good as their last project. They tend to gain
employment mostly by referral and it is in their interest therefore, to
always do as good a job as possible on each project. There is no
advantage to the freelancer in spinning out the project unnecessarily,
as this would reflect on future opportunities.
This means that you tend to get 100% commitment throughout the project,
as a freelancer will tend to avoid all distractions and try to complete
the project ahead of milestones where possible. After all, there is
normally no 'overtime' pay for the freelancer and therefore no advantage
in making the work last any longer than necessary.
5. Project planning
Normally, a freelancer will commit to a project without provision for
vacations or other time off. This makes it easier when setting up
project plans and milestones, as the potential of employees requesting
time off does not have to be factored into the project plans.
6. Desire to work
The freelancer does not have the comfort zone of permanent employment
and is hungry to work.
Their motivation is normally extremely high and does not require any
external stimulation, as is often the case with long-term permanent
7. Up to Date Skills/Qualifications
The freelance trainer has to compete in a constantly changing
marketplace for contracts of varying requirements. For this reason they
tend to constantly update their skills and certifications to attract
work from customers. You will often find that freelance trainers have
one or more of the following qualifications - IITT, CIPD, ITOL, ISMA or
ECDL as well as accreditations from relevant vendors, and they are
constantly updating them in order to secure contracts. This gives you
recognised quality that you have not had to finance.
8. Work force motivational factors
Using an external expert consultant can demonstrate to your work force
that the company is committed to adding value to their personal
development. Using internal staff does not always create the same
feeling that the company is willing to spend to increase employee
Using an external consultant can provide more freedom of expression and
opinion by delegates during the training sessions. Your delegates will
feel less constrained by internal company politics and restrictions when
discussing things with an external consultant, who they do not perceive
as part of the ‘company machine'. This can lead to much more open
discussion and participation by delegates, which can greatly enhance the
effectiveness of the training.
9. Wide ranging experience and fresh ideas
Invariably freelance consultants, by the very nature of their work, will
have worked across a wide and varied cross section of industries and
organisations, in both the private and public sectors. They can provide
valuable ‘real world' experience and ideas that your staff may not have
knowledge of, due to having to focus on their normal day-to-day
occupations. This can be invaluable during times of change and can
promote a sense of ‘thinking outside of the box' by delegates and staff
that they have contact with.
So, if you are considering a new project, roll out or change scenario,
think carefully about how it will be resourced. In many cases, you will
find the best solution is to use freelance resources to complement your
Adapted from an original article by John Roberts,
Director of JayrConsulting Ltd. ( www.jayrconsulting.co.uk ) and
modified after valuable input and critique by co-members of TrainerBase
( www.trainerbase.co.uk ) .
John Roberts is a Freelance Training Consultant and Director of
JayrConsulting Ltd. (www.jayrconsulting.co.uk)