Today, 53 million Americans are freelancing instead of working fulltime. This “I-9 economy” makes up one-third of our country’s workforce. Freelance employees really are "the new black." Workers cite the freedom of entrepreneurship as their main attraction to the gig economy, and employers love having a mobile workforce that can be turned on or off as needed, allowing them to adapt to changes in the economy. It also enables many employers to “try before they buy;” many I-9 contractors eventually go on to become full-time employees.
The title “I-9” refers to the IRS form required when paying taxes on freelance jobs. I-9 employees actually owe double what they’d pay were they part-time if they're not working through a staffing firm. In other words, they pay the employers portion and the employee portion of some taxes. It can be a struggle for new freelancers to know how much to set aside in order to pay these taxes.
Finding Freelance Employees
In the creative world, freelancing is IN. Where do freelancers find the jobs? How do employers link with freelancers? Here are some of the best resources:
- Flexjobs: A subscription service offering part-time and freelance positions in more than 50 career-areas. Because the company hand-screens each applicant, this is an excellent resource for the “real” work-at-home jobs you’ve been searching for.
- Craigslist: Depending on your market, Craigslist typically has a number of opportunities, from freelance writing and marketing gigs to part-time employment.
- Artisan Talent: A creative talent agency links employers with I-9 consultants making it a great resource for both employers and contractors. The agency has the best talent because they offer the best benefits -- including taking taxes out of a freelancers check so they don't have to worry at the end of the year.
There are benefits and drawbacks for employers and I-9 contractors when considering freelancing as an option. While freelancing is the ultimate “fire at will” engagement, employers will not be able to exercise the degree of micro-control they exhibited with the traditional FT employee. For freelancers, while you’ll be able to work anywhere and whenever you want, as an entrepreneur, the buck really does stop with you.
For employers and freelancers, we hope you'll consider an agency like Artisan Talent, whose role is to save you time by connecting quality creative employees with the best employer engagements. Contact us today to find out how we can help!