More freelancers filling skills gap in SMEs

The latest MYOB SME Snapshot report shows there is a marked increase in the number of freelancers being engaged by SMEs.

The report shows as much as 89 per cent of businesses have availed the services of a freelancer during the past six months and are inclined to do so again. Among their reasons, businesses state their need for flexibility and the need to access different skill sets.

“The changing shape of Australia’s workforce and the widespread increase of shared economy websites across all industries like AirTasker and AirBnB has meant businesses have become more comfortable with a different approach to talent acquisition,” said MYOB CEO Tim Reed. “Small businesses can tap into a global workforce available around the clock with a broad range of specialist skills that can help improve and develop their business no matter the length of tenure required.”

However, the report also reveals that the biggest detriment for businesses to hire freelancers is the intimate nature of smaller businesses. 26 per cent of business owners surveyed in the report state that the biggest disadvantage of hiring freelancers is their perceived lack of understanding of their business. Another 10 per cent complain that freelancer payment processes are overly complex.

“Ultimately, freelancers can be a great addition to your current employee base and can provide high-quality, specialised services when required,” said Reed. “Many also run their own business, relying on repeat business and referrals, which means it will be in their best interest to provide the best service possible for you and your business.”

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