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Freelance vs In-House. Cons and Pros

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April 30, 2021
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Freelance vs In-House. Cons and Pros

A considerable number of talented people work in the Software Development market nowadays. Some prefer not to be attached to one company and choose to work as freelancers, while others spend years building their careers, giving all their time to one employer.

Nowadays, one can find contractors for any budget and task, such as Freelancermap, Upwork, and other platforms. On the other hand, maybe it’s better to apply to a recruiting agency and hire an employee for the office? We will reflect which is better, Freelance or In-House Software Development, from the customer’s perspective.

Freelance vs In-House

A staff developer: pros and cons

Staff developers

If the company provides a steady flow of similar tasks, it is reasonable to have a developer team. It will be easier to find and hire employees than to select a contractor every time, describe the task, draw up a technical specification, and agree on the result.

It is also worth mentioning that agencies don`t learn from each other’s experiences. Each time, a third party will have to figure out your project. On the contrary, a staff worker will solve familiar tasks more efficiently each time.


It is crucial to understand! Talented developers are more likely to choose to build a career in agencies and rarely switch to the client’s side. The agency’s tasks are constantly changing; one can quickly develop and gain experience in different industries.

Still, it is unnecessary to keep an employee on the staff even with the constant task flow in the company. Small studios are sometimes ready to work on an hourly basis and close the urgent tasks on time. If there are many tasks – the contractor gets involved more actively. If the task flow has dropped – you don’t overpay. Besides, you save on hiring, training, and providing a full-time employee with everything needed.

Freelancer: Pros and Cons


If you have a small business and suddenly face several creative tasks, it is reasonable to work with a freelancer. It is most convenient to work with a freelancer when you have a clear idea of ​​the result. When a freelancer has a clear task, one will solve it more effectively. Otherwise, you will waste a lot of time trying to find a common language and style of work.

A significant part of startups, especially at the prototype stage, don’t need a staff member for a trivial reason: there is not much work so that to pay for full-time. Accordingly, you can hire a much more experienced freelancer for the same money and give him tasks as needed.

The key factors to consider:

  • Search for a person. It takes about the same amount of time to find a developer in the office, a remote employee, or a good freelancer. In all three options, you may hire both an experienced specialist and a novice developer.
  • Price. Freelance services will be cheaper with a volume of work up to 20 hours per week (roughly). If you plan a large workload, a staff specialist will cost you less.
  • Reliability. As already mentioned, freelancers are less reliable (although this is a purely human factor); still, staff employees often miss deadlines if nobody controls them.
  • Clear task. The task for the freelancer needs to be precise; you should write a detailed technical requirement. At first glance, this is a minus, but it is more of a plus in reality. When writing technical requirements, you may change some nuances of the project on the way, which usually positively affects the quality of the final product.
  • You may change a specialist. If the complexity of the project changes, changing the freelancer is usually more accessible than the one on the staff.
  • Payment. A freelancer needs to get paid for tasks completed, often in small amounts, while a staff member needs to get paid twice a month. Regularity of payments can be a problem for smaller companies.
  • Competence. When working with freelancers, it is easier to attract a narrow-profile specialist to a small work area. Specialists who are equally good at doing design, layout, and Backend are scarce. So when working with one person, some parts of the product will remain incomplete. When working with freelancers, you can hire 3-4 narrower specialists for small amounts of work and the same money. In theory, this is more profitable, but in practice, you face the issue of finding intelligent specialists. However, it is rather a global problem, regardless of the type of activity or form of cooperation.



Regarding small business owners, it would be reasonable for them to work with freelancers. You pay only for the work done and don’t owe every month’s salary. It requires a deeper study of the technical requirements and more control, but it would not be entirely correct to call it a significant disadvantage.

Hiring a person on the staff is more profitable for a constant tasks flow of the same type. With this approach, you will provide yourself with “uninterrupted production”, although the work team also needs regular monitoring. That is, the development staff does not guarantee meeting deadlines. Keep in mind that the most talented performers usually work in agencies since they face more attractive tasks.

If you need a big project with a complex logic that requires project management, consider building a project in-house or hire a software development company. Evaluate your team’s skills and ensure they will have time and resources to build a sophisticated application that will meet all your requirements. If not, a custom software development firm would be the most fitting option. See our services and feel free to get in touch with us.

About the author

Jake Wilson


Jake has a background in the finance and IT industries. He is passionate about cryptocurrency, blockchain, IT, tech and likes to think about the bright technology-led future.