As your small business grows, you’ll come to a point where you’ll need to outsource tasks. However, not all companies have a budget to cover additional employees, especially when you consider the added costs of salaries, training, and health insurance. Luckily, hiring freelancers is a cost-effective option for many businesses. Thanks to the many job boards in the gig economy these days, you can find a qualified professional at a fraction of the cost.

More companies are hiring freelancers and temporary contractors to help with daily tasks and short- or long-term projects. Here are some ways your company can find, interview, and hire qualified workers to help you reach your goals.

Decide What Tasks to Outsource

“As your company grows,” recommends, “you need to stop constantly dealing with day-to-day fires.” By delegating detail-oriented tasks, such as data entry or cleaning, to others, you’ll be free to focus on the bigger picture: running your business.

It’s important to keep a running list of nonessential tasks that you could easily outsource. If small details take up too much of your time, pay someone else to handle them for you.

For example, data entry is a tedious task that’s easy enough for a freelancer to handle for you. An Upwork data entry specialist with swift typing skills, for instance, can input data into your database, website, or spreadsheet so you can analyze it and gain new insights. It’s very important to hire a well-organized, detail-oriented candidate so you can focus your attention on operations, management, and business growth.

From Freelance to Full-time

The hiring process can be one of the most costly and tedious aspects of running a business. Most companies pay thousands per new employee, so it’s crucial to find and retain the right people. If you have high-quality freelancers or contractors working for you right now, you might consider eventually making them full-time employees. Additionally, you might see if they know any skilled workers who’d be interested in filling other open roles at your company.

As your business grows, there are a few things you should know before you hire any full-time employees. Different laws apply to employees versus freelancers. For example, Square notes that, once a freelancer becomes an employee, your business is legally obligated to pay “all taxes associated with employing them,” including Social Security, Medicare, and federal unemployment tax. You’ll also be responsible for withholding income tax from each paycheck.

As a business owner, it’s crucial to do your research before hiring. Ensure you understand all state and federal laws regarding taxes, privacy, and employment so you can stay legal.

Use AI to Streamline Hiring

Given the added expenses with the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes, streamlining is essential for your company’s bottom line. Luckily, modern technology can improve your workflow and even handle some workforce-related tasks for you.

Consider, for example, the emerging trend of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. AI strives to teach machines to solve problems, understand languages, and complete tasks by thinking more like humans. Through a type of AI called machine learning, computers can analyze data, learn from trends, and make predictions.

Companies are increasingly using AI and machine learning software during the hiring process. For instance, startups and other small companies that can’t afford a larger human resources (HR) team are outsourcing HR tasks like recruiting to AI-powered software. It might seem like science-fiction, but we already live in a world where candidates are sometimes screened and interviewed by software rather than by a human.

Before switching to an AI-based recruiting software, understand the legal and ethical responsibilities. Talent identification tools use psychological assessments and algorithms that have existed for decades; however, like all new technologies, AI is imperfect and may occasionally miss some good candidates. Regardless of your hiring process, a key to finding great workers is to ensure your job posting outlines precisely what you’re looking for in a candidate. Be sure to include some details about the perks of working for your company.

Weigh Your Options

According to Forbes, an estimated 50 percent of the workforce will be comprised of freelancers in less than a decade. Before hiring anyone, whether on a full-time basis or as a freelancer, it’s essential to think strategically. Although freelancers often cost less and can work more flexible hours, they’re ideal for low-value tasks like coding or data entry.

When it comes to choosing between freelancers or full-time employees, your end goal and the type of work you’re doing are the deciding factors. If you’re a new business or are testing a project, hire cost-effective freelancers. Once your clientele remains consistent and your company is growing, you might consider bringing those freelancers on board as employees.

Remember, all workers will need some training and guidance at first. Make time to adequately manage your workers and get them up to speed. Otherwise, you might miss out on the potential benefits of hiring them in the first place.

Author Bio:  Coutney Rosenfeld.

Courtney started Gigspark to be a resource and a first step for people who are looking to join the gig economy, either to supplement their income or as a way to fulfill their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.