A freelancer is someone who is self-employed and does work for organizations and individuals on a contract basis. Also known as independent contractors, freelancers can either work for multiple different organizations or agree to an exclusive relationship with one employer.
Freelancers may have a number of different skills and specializations, including graphic design, web development, IT, digital marketing, social media, public relations, and more.
Working as a freelancer provides workers with a number of freedoms not afforded to traditional employees. They can set their own schedule, choose which projects they want to work on, and work remotely from any location they like.
However, with this freedom comes more responsibility. Freelancers are responsible for their own expenses, including tools, equipment, and taxes.
Hiring freelancers can also be beneficial for employers. On-boarding and training new full-time employees can be a very expensive process, something that can be avoided with freelancers. Employers also save money by not having to supply their freelancers with a workspace or pay for their utilities. Finally, clients aren't under any obligation to provide freelancers with benefits such as sick leave, vacation pay, or health care, which results in further savings for employers.
As a result, hiring freelancers gives organizations the opportunity to leverage highly-skilled individuals at a fraction of the cost of full-time employees.