Why Hire a Freelancer?

Many buyers, CEOs, and start up brands often have the dilemma of choosing whether to hire an employed design resource and the responsibility that comes with that, versus hiring an experienced freelancer. I have had many a conversation putting the pros and cons forward, where I have been the one hiring as well as being the freelancer for hire.
The trend and reasoning for hiring freelancers is growing and there are several reasons for this.
Take a look at this article and make your own mind up.
If anyone has any other fabulous stories working with freelancers, who would like to share their reasons why they prefer to hire a freelancer, then please get in touch.




by Kirsty McDonald, Creative Designer Director of Park Lea Design Agency Ltd. April 2016 (Freelancer Footwear Designer)


The future of the job market lies in non-employee workers, according to a study from Fieldglass, a software company that provides vendor management systems, in partnership with Ardent Partners, a research and advisory firm. The study, which surveyed 210 business professionals at small, medium and large businesses, found that as of 2015, “nearly 35 percent of today’s total workforce is comprised of non-employee workers,” which includes temps, freelancers, contractors and statement of work-based labor. As a result, 95 percent of businesses now view this new workforce as a key element to developing and running a successful business, which means big changes for hiring trends in the coming year.

(extract from article By Sarah K. White CIO | Feb 24, 2016)

Your limited resources and time

You have a vision for your ranges but you don’t have the resources in place to see these projects through. A freelancer can be efficient and experienced enough to allow you to brief them and they can be trusted to handle your project. They can action this whilst you get back onto your top priorities. Freelancers can follow skeleton briefs as well as focussed briefs with more written and visual details. Freelancers can even write the brief for you once you have explained your growth plans for the department. So they can project manage and lead design projects as well as follow instructions.

Starting out

Freelancers can help individuals, suppliers, start up brands and even larger brands and companies to get started with projects that currently they do not have resources set in place. This can help judge what may be required in the future whilst getting on with current design requirements and projects they need fulfilling.

Creative and innovative thinking


Freelancers have the headspace to not only work efficiently but usually work in a remote environment from your head office. This is definitely a positive as the freelancer works in a focussed manner without distractions. This freedom allows freelancers to be a lot more creative and unearth some great ideas with a great deal of efficiency. They rely on your custom and constantly want to ensure you return and definitely want you to feel that they have delivered a fantastic job. Freelancers often think about your project outside working hours to enable design solutions are created to the brief and delivered on time to deadlines.



Finding the right designer

Just like finding a great member of staff, finding the right person for the project is very important. Freelancers can usually provide quick examples of their work to show you their skills and can provide testimonials via their website from past and present clients. You may even need a freelancer with a particular specialism, eg. Licensing, fashion, catwalk knowledge, illustrative, technical, trend reporting, etc.

Freelancers work often comes from word of mouth and therefore they are highly likely to have a good reputation. Freelancers put themselves in your shoes and work as if it was their company and so more often than not have your best interests at heart and take your project very seriously, with passion and commitment. They even have experience of lots of types of clients so have a more varied knowledge and a great set of skills.

Liaise with your chosen factories and or suppliers

DSC_0071 B+W

Depending on your exact requirements, usually the designer is the best person to specify instructions to a factory. They know what you want and how they visualised the final product. They can provide detailed full factory specifications rather than leaving it to someone else to interpret designs.

Manage your customers directly and keep you in the loop at all times.

Freelancers can often travel with you or on their own to your customers’ head offices to meet the buyers. They can equally create rapport and a relationship to understand the direction they would like to go as well as offering direction from a different perspective.

Communications can be direct and professional and copied into you the client so all work and developments are transparent and available at anytime.

Limited Overheads

Freelance designers don’t have the overhead that big design firms have. They don’t have to rent a huge office that can accommodate an entire team. They’ll have an entire office to order supplies for or salaries to pay. There’s no office manager, or the need for multiple software licenses. This means that the cost of hiring a solo freelance designer is much less than hiring an entire design firm. Their business doesn’t cost as much to run, which means they can pass the savings on to your business. There reaction time is usually much quicker too.

One to one project management

Freelancers work with you one on one. This means that you will not end up speaking to a different person depending on what day it is. You can work closely with the freelancer, which ensures that everybody is on the same page. Projects are not handed off to different team members, or delegated across an entire team. Freelancers can communicate just like any other member of staff via phone, email, whatsapp, Skype, just as if the designer was in your head office. With notice freelancers can travel to your head office for main meetings, or even travel on your behalf for inspiration, and or oversee sampling.

Dedication and Commitment

A freelancer has your project at the heart of their working day. They are dedicated to your project and extremely focussed on the creative tasks required. A solo designer may live on the income of your project, depending on its size, for a few months or on a regular annual or seasonal basis. They get to know how you work and how best to present work to you. They want to ensure they are doing the best possible job. They ask the right questions and with clear communications they can commit with flare. Their reputation depends on it!

Focused and experienced efforts

Designing new vulcanized rubber outsole design process

When you hire a solo freelance designer, all of their efforts are focused on delivering your project on time and within the budget if the costs are set. You don’t have a bunch of different people, with different interpretations, working on your project. The freelance designer will work on your project from start to finish, seeing it through to the end.

The experience is more consistent

When you hire a freelance designer, they are either good at what they do, or they’re not. You can assess as easily because it’s only one person. However, it can be more difficult to assess and predict the outcome of your experience when working with an entire team. If your project is ongoing, you know that your project will be handled properly. When a team handles your project, you may get different designers at different skill levels working on different parts of your project. Some parts of the project may be good, while other areas are mediocre or lacking.

Absent Staff

Freelancers can be used on an ad hoc basis to cover for your own members of staff who currently are either out of the business or on holiday. You don’t have to go through the process of hiring new temporary staff. Usually they can accommodate you once you give notice. They can block out times in their diary in advance to allow time for your projects

Get out clause

Freelancers usually work with the knowledge that nothing is forever, and clients will not always need them. Freelancers take this risk on, but know that with a little bit of notice, that you may not hire them going forward as your company changes or your design requirements have finished for the season. You can even trial a freelancer for a short time before rehiring.


It’s important to weigh out your options before dismissing the idea of hiring a solo freelance designer over a design firm or another in house employed designer. There are many benefits to hiring a freelancer. You have to assess the needs of your business and whether or not the freelancer can indeed deliver and perform to your needs.

A common term for this new workforce is the “flex economy,” or the “gig economy,” but whatever you call it, it’s certainly non-traditional. As of 2015, the average business’ workforce consisted of 20 percent contingent workforce and 54 percent traditional full-time employees. The other 26 percent are a grey area of people who fit into both categories; perhaps remote workers or part-time employees. Fieldglass predicts that by 2017 that will change to 25 percent contingent and 41 percent traditional workers, while the remaining 34 percent will exist in that grey area.

“Utilizing an external workforce can offer a variety of benefits for employers, whether an organization is focused on keeping down costs, finding the highest quality workers or under time constraints,” says Srinivasan.


(above extract from article By Sarah K. White CIO | Feb 24, 2016)



Park Lea Design Agency Ltd

Freelance Design & Development for Footwear, Apparel & Accessories, Bespoke Print Graphics & Illustrations

64 Park Lea, Bradley, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD2 1QP, England, UK

tel: ++ 44 (0) 1484 35 22 13, mobile: ++ 44 (0) 7905 92 25 59, skype: kirsty517,

www.parkleadesignagency.com        email: kirstymcdonald@parkleadesignagency.com


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