Freelancers vs. Full-Time Remote Employees: Finding the Right Talent Mix for Start-ups

If you are a start-up, you need the right people in the right roles at the right time for your business to grow. The perfect employees will make you competitive, and you can always rely on them to help your company achieve its goals. The dilemma is choosing between hiring full-time remote workers, freelancers, or both simultaneously.

This is a common challenge for companies in their early stages as they seek to find the optimal combination of talented individuals who can efficiently and effectively complete tasks. At HireMango, we realize this problem since we interact with many clients with the same concern. We will advise you on the best type of employees who best suit your needs.

Before we rush to solve this problem, let us explore the different kinds of talent available for your company. 


Freelancers are independent workers who can work for multiple clients from anywhere in the world. Clients should only provide tasks and grant access to the specific platforms you want them to use.

Full-time remote workers

These are the traditional workers, defined by the catchphrase 9-5 employees since they usually start work in the morning and finish late in the afternoon. Primarily, they work from the office, but of late, they can work remotely from anywhere. Unlike Freelance workers, most clients hire these workers while thinking long-term and not short-term. 

Finding the right balance between freelancers and full-time remote workers

As the head of the business or hiring manager, it is your responsibility to find the ideal employees to help your company consistently maintain a competitive edge. This post will give you important lessons to help you decide whether to hire freelancers or full-time employees to help you achieve your company’s objectives. 

What you need to know about freelancers


  1. Flexibility

You can hire freelancers on a project-by-project basis and choose when to engage them. You can hire them only if your full-time employees are overwhelmed and need an extra hand. Such flexibility enables you only to hire freelancers when necessary.

Most freelancers can also undertake various roles within your company and execute multiple tasks. Such flexibility helps you get more for less and get more done quickly.

  1. Cost-effectiveness

Freelancers are more cost-effective to hire and maintain in the short term than full-time employees. Unlike full-time employees who require monthly salaries, bonuses, and benefits such as medical insurance, you only pay freelancers based on an hourly rate or the nature of the project at hand. In turn, they are responsible for providing their work essentials, making them a more affordable option for hiring.

  1. Specialized skills

Freelancers usually have certain specialized skills that are valuable for a specific short period but important to what your company is trying to achieve in the long term. Such skills may be hard to find among your in-house employees who may be focused on specific, much more prominent roles. Hiring freelancers will allow your employees to focus on more important duties such as building strategy or charting the way forward for your company: tasks that cannot be left to freelance talent, given the short-term nature of engagement. 

Besides, freelancers usually have lots of time to learn new skills regularly and apply them while working in various roles. Therefore, they are much more well-suited to be “Jacks-of-all-trades” than full-time employees focusing more on particular trades. 

  1. Quick and easy setup 

The hiring process of hiring a freelancer is much more straightforward than hiring a full-time worker. Unlike full-time workers, getting them into the team working and being productive as soon as possible is easy. Since you only need them briefly, you can avoid taking them through the company’s mission, vision and goals, policies, and other details that are best left to full-time workers.

Additionally,  you do not need to onboard freelance workers or give them access to most of your platforms. They only need the primary problem for which you expect them to help you.  This will enable you to focus only on the problem you want them to help you sort out and allow them to get started as soon as possible.

  1. Lower financial risk

Hiring a freelancer is a low-risk move, especially regarding finances. You will only pay the freelance based on the work they do. 

This is different from the case of full-time employees who will demand a monthly salary and any other benefits at the end of the month, regardless of the tasks they complete. So if you choose to let go of a freelancer, it will be much cheaper than letting go of a full-time employee because of the finances involved.


  1. Lack of loyalty

Most freelancers work for multiple clients simultaneously, so they need help to develop and maintain commitment with any of their clients. They usually work for these clients over a short period and are rarely motivated by a company’s values, mission, vision, and culture. Their primary motivation is to get the job done as soon as possible, get paid, and move on to the next gig. 

  1. Communication challenges

Most freelancers work from far away locations from their clients. It will therefore be a challenge to find them online and communicate consistently with them regularly. Depending on their site, some of them could be unavailable due to time differences or poor reception, significantly affecting communication between you and them. 

Most commonly, they may need help working for numerous clients simultaneously, which may be a problem. Contacting them when experiencing emergencies may be difficult as they work for other clients.

  1. Unpredictable quality of work

If you are in a hurry to hire a freelancer, you may need to pay more attention to some critical elements of their resume or end up hiring underqualified people who will turn in poor-quality work. This may be an expensive error since it may force you to look for a replacement to do the same job. 

  1. Cybersecurity threats

Freelancers work using their hardware and software, which means you can not extend your online security to them to cover them against any online threats. These people can be the weak link between you and malicious attacks that may affect your business operations. It is, therefore, advisable to always inquire about their cybersecurity awareness and the tactics they use to stay safe and safeguard their clients’ data and work.

  1. Lack of close monitoring

In most cases, freelancers work far from you, so you can not check how they do your work. Monitoring project progress can be challenging, requiring access to freelancers' workplaces, machines, and platforms. Therefore, you might have to think of ways to track milestones and monitor crucial stages of your project. 

What you need to know about remote full-time workers


  1. Dedication and loyalty

Most full-time employees join the company and buy into the company culture, mission, vision, and values. They are usually ready and willing to be part of your company long-term. They may even see a future in your company and would love to be part of your team because they love what they do in your company. Loyalty is hard to buy, so companies should hire people who naturally fall in love with their company and want to be part of the team.

  1. Team cohesion

Since they will be part of a larger team for a long time, full-time employees get to meet and bond with their new team members as soon as possible. This is important as it helps them settle in smoothly and faster and establish their support structure within your company. This support structure allows them to install the most resourceful teammates, build a relationship, and work towards their goals as fast as possible.

  1. Continuous availability,

Unlike freelancers who come and leave quickly, remote full-time employees will always be available for team meetings and any other work-related engagement that requires their presence. You should provide them with the work time availability policies that walk them through when they need to be available and for what arrangement. Their regular fact is crucial to what the company tries to achieve.

  1. Better team building

It is easier for employers to build a team of remote full-time employees than for freelancers. Full-time employees are present during team meetings, conferences, video calls, and departmental meetings. They are also in the company for the long term, so it is easy to build a team using such individuals. This will enable you to train and empower them as a unit and retain them for as long as possible to keep getting high productivity numbers regularly.

  1. Easier to train in-house.

It is easier to provide training to your remote full-time employees than freelancers who join your company for only a short time. Full-time employees are committed to staying with you long, so you must train and regularly equip them with new skills. Since most of them will be available for such training, it will help you ensure all your employees receive training simultaneously and no one lags in skill development.

  1. Simplified communication

Remote full-time employees usually have access to the various communication channels that will help them always be in the loop in case any vital communication is being passed on. Also, having remote employees makes communication much easier since they are always aware of scheduled online meetings that serve as forums to pass on essential information quickly in one way to all of them.


  1. Long-term investments

Hiring a remote full-time employee is a long-term investment that you should adequately plan for to ensure they fit into your long-term plans. As such, you must have a long-term budget for such employees. Long-term contracts for such employees can be a mean fit if your business is not doing well. Therefore, you must understand the financial risks and the long-term commitment of having full-time remote employees and ensure you can commit before hiring one. 

  1. Increased costs

Hiring and maintaining full-time employees is always expensive as you will first need to pay monthly salaries and their benefits, such as medical insurance, paid leaves, retirement benefits money, and taxes. Such costs can be enormous, especially when working with a limited budget. This is one of the reasons why some start-ups may consider hiring freelancers instead of remote full-time employees.

  1. Shortage of specified skill sets

Most remote employees need versatile skills that may only be found with freelancers. Most full-time employees are only used to doing the same repetitive tasks over and over for the same employer. On the other hand, freelancers can quickly learn new skills regularly and apply them spontaneously while working for various clients. 

  1. Higher risk

Since the overall costs of hiring a full-time worker are enormous, it means that letting them go will be too expensive and challenging. It also means that if it doesn’t pan out as you intended it to, you may end up hiring a worker who will not live up to expectations, and therefore, you will need to hire a new one while still making sure the other one is entirely reimbursed for the time they have been with you. If you hire a full-time worker, ensure they are ideal candidates since it costs quite the time and resources to let go and rehire.

Finding the right mix

Regardless of whether you settle for hiring a freelancer or a full-time worker, it is essential that you first know your expectations, goals, budget, and the type of workplace you wish to have. These guidelines will ensure you always have the right approach when hiring and you hire within your budget while thinking of the long-term goals and the culture you want to foster in your company. As a leading hiring platform, we recognize the need for a streamlined hiring process to help you get the best talent who will help you grow your business effectively. Let us know exactly what you are looking for, and we will contact you with informed solutions. 


  1. Should I hire a freelancer or a remote full-time employee?

Depending on business needs, you should engage remote full-time workers or freelancers. Freelancers may be more advantageous if your business is tiny and your budget is limited. In contrast, full-time staff might be a better choice as your business expands.

  1. What is the difference between freelance and remote?

Many individuals believe that remote work and freelance work are interchangeable terms. However, they aren't. A remote employee can be permanent or contract based, whereas a freelancer is only project-based.

  1. Which is better, a freelancer or a virtual assistant?

Freelancers can commit to specific projects and have more flexible schedules. Virtual assistants operate during predetermined hours and are more accessible for ongoing tasks. For one-time or short-term jobs, freelancers are more reasonably priced. The value of having a virtual assistant on a long-term, continuous basis is excellent.