IT freelancers can bring invaluable help to your internal IT team. The direct benefits of involving external consultants are obvious: it’s an efficient way for companies to speed up certain initiatives and tackle ad hoc projects. Indeed, they bring in critical skills that your team was lacking while allowing for more contractual flexibility. Given the speedy and everchanging nature of today’s business world, it is no wonder that the hiring of tech freelancers is on the rise.
However, that’s not all. The regular presence of external consultants has a more indirect beneficial impact on the team in place.
Often, freelancers are recruited to compensate for a lack of skills available internally — either because these cannot be mobilised in time, or because no one on the team has them.
In these cases, the intervention of an external expert can foster skills development of existing employees. By being in contact with an expert consultant, the teams in place can learn and benefit from the knowledge-sharing inherent to running a project. Although they will not themselves become experts on the subject in question, they will undoubtedly gain significant understanding in this area of expertise.
By definition, an IT freelancer moves from one project to another and very often, from one company to another. This diversity and multiplicity of experiences allow freelancers to better understand the challenges of a project, giving your team the opportunity to refer to past experiences.
By capitalising on this experience, technology consultants give companies access to best practices, allowing teams to save precious time by avoiding common mistakes.
For example, an SAP consultant who has already participated in a S/4HANA migration project in another company will have valuable insights on how to implement the project and the technical solutions required.
An external point of view is something every company can take advantage of.
IT consultants can approach a problem from a neutral perspective. Unburdened by internal politics and red tape, they can take a deeper look at the dysfunctions of a system, the opportunities to simplify a process, the good or bad organisational practices of an IT department or a project, etc.
In fact, for freelancers involved in longer projects, it is often beneficial to by making a full inventory of existing processes and tools, with recommendations for improvement.
Bringing new blood to a team is always beneficial, regardless of the department concerned.
External consultants introduce new factors that can lead to the birth of new ideas and stimulate a real dynamic of innovation within your team. This has made some industry experts refer to freelancers as “pollinators,” who go around accumulating experiences and disseminating them.
The diversity of profiles within a team, and therefore the joint work between internal and external resources, is a key factor in the correct implementation of the collective intelligence model.
Freelance workers have more flexibility in managing their schedule, as their hours cannot be imposed by the employer. Consequently, there is no presenteeism among freelancers. Results are essential.
Accordingly, an IT consultant must organise their time as best as possible to finish their project on time, demonstrating maximum productivity, efficiency and a sense of prioritisation.
As with all the previous points, it can be useful for members of your team to learn from working methods that are often different from those they are used to applying. A freelancer who works on-site can have a very positive influence and boost the motivation and productivity of the team in place.
In some cases, IT freelancers can even develop existing managerial models by playing the role of evangelists of, for example, greater flexibility at work — Freelancers who work remotely knew the ins and outs of remote work way before COVID-19 hit the corporate world.
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