Staffing decisions are difficult to make, especially in the modern era; with so much digitisation it seems impossible to know if you need to hire somebody to do a job or whether there might be a more competent person you can reach online. Such jobs as graphic designing can be particularly tricky to decide for as the work itself is digital and so can in theory be done anywhere in the world, given the right technology.
So whether you’ve just started a business or are looking to improve your online presence, you’re probably wondering if you should hire a full-time graphic designer or outsource to a freelancer. You might even be wondering if you can do it yourself if you have a knack for technology or an eye for creativity; unless you’re running a one-person show, we don’t recommend wasting your valuable time with such a complicated task and risk not being happy with the results.
So what are the pros and cons of hiring or outsourcing graphic design work, and how do they compare? Let’s take a look.
Why Do I Need a Graphic Designer?
The modern era absolutely calls for an online presence. If you want to stand out in the sea of websites and search results, you’ve got to have a great visual strategy so that customers are aware of your business and are encouraged to interact with it. This is where a graphic designer comes in.
A great graphic designer understands the nature of aesthetic imagery as well as audience wants and needs so they can optimise every visual aspect of your business on the internet to market effectively. From your company logo to blogs, banners and the website as a whole, experienced graphic designers can create a cohesive and attractive brand image.
Whether you need to hire or outsource, however, is another question.
What Is Outsourcing?
Rather than going through the process of employing a person for a specific role and then paying a salary, plus sick leave and health insurance and other employee benefits, outsourcing is the practice of paying an individual freelancer or digital agency to complete certain tasks.
Individual freelancers can be found on sites such as Upwork where a task is advertised and freelancers in the relevant field can propose themselves as the best candidate to complete the project. They can be paid hourly or upon delivery of the final project.
Agencies, such as nippybrands, can be found online, and have a team of graphic designers on hand ready to complete your projects and are paid per month or per project, depending on the company and the number of tasks a business needs completed.
What are the Pros of Outsourcing to a Graphic Designer?
One of the primary benefits of outsourcing to a graphic designer is that it’s less expensive than hiring a company employee. Putting the actual hiring process to one side, which itself can be costly, outsourcing work removes the costs of paid time off and employee benefits altogether. What’s more, you can decide on your budget for each project and find a graphic designer that fits each bill.
Considering a full-time salary in the UK for a graphic designer is around £23,000, allocating individual budgets according to workflow can be considerably beneficial.
If you outsource work to freelance graphic designers, you’re in control of the workflow to an extent. As such, if you don’t have the budget right now for a project, or even if there’s little work to be done, you don’t have to pay anyone to do nothing. Conversely, if you’re overwhelmed with work, you can allocate your tasks to as many people as you deem necessary.
With freelancing platforms and the various companies available online, there are many different talented individuals ready to be found to help you with your graphic design work. Even if you already have a small graphic design team, they might have experience working in a certain niche while you require some work that requires different expertise, such as custom animation. This is a great advantage of outsourcing as there is a huge accessible talent pool that can complete your projects to an excellent standard, no matter the topic or task.
What are the Pros of Hiring a Graphic Designer?
Your brand image is crucial to your brand awareness and perception and so should remain consistent in visuals as well as voice. Hiring a graphic designer to work with you permanently can help create and maintain a company culture and coherent image, so your customers always know what to expect from you.
Individuals working for your company will have a greater understanding of the company as a whole, its values and goals, and might feel more pride in their work and be motivated to perform their best to help their team. There is also greater responsibility and accountability for the work that they produce when working directly for the company rather than as a freelancer.
Hiring a graphic designer makes communication significantly easier. Even if they are working remotely, you’re at least in the same time zone, working the same hours so if there are any queries to ask or directions to be given, they can be given easily and quickly over the company’s preferred communication channel.
Hiring vs Outsourcing
The main point that has to be considered first and foremost when asking the question of hiring or outsourcing, is whether your business has enough demand for design tasks that necessitate employing an individual or a team of graphic designers. A lot of industries need design work to be completed primarily around different holidays, celebrations and seasonal events, so hiring a full-time team member simply isn’t cost-effective.
In addition, employees generally have a number of tasks on their agenda and can’t put all of their attention into one project to achieve its accurate and timely completion. If a freelancer takes on your project, they can allocate as much time as necessary to it and usually have it completed within just a few days. Since freelancers rely on positive feedback for their work in order to improve their reputation and gain more customers, they will know their own capabilities and clearly determine a reasonable deadline for the work needing completion.
Unfortunately, however, freelance work involves a certain amount of financial instability, which means that freelancers often accept more than one project at once. Like in-house employees, you may not always have their complete attention on a project, however, with freelancers, there is the added risk of not being informed or in control of their other assignments.
This lack of control can be frightening to some employers or business owners, as there is always a fear that the person behind the computer will disappear without a trace and work will never be completed or, arguably worse, that the work they submit is not to the standard you require.
That’s why feedback on freelance platforms and review sites like Trustpilot for graphic design agencies, is so important. In the same way, you would perform a background check on prospective employees by reading their CV and calling their former employers to ask for performance and character reviews, it’s crucial you look into the background and performance reviews written online about the freelancer you’re looking to outsource to. Learn about their areas of expertise, industries worked with and how long they’ve been working for, in order to ensure they possess the right skills for your needs.
Another cause for concern for many when outsourcing graphic design projects is that freelancers can be anywhere in the world. While this has the bonus of widening the talent pool so you can work with the best of the best, it does mean that there can sometimes be a significant time difference between you and the freelance designer. While this does mean that what might have been a quick back and forth between you and your in-house designer, now takes a few days to resolve, depending on the flexibility of your company and business hours, this may not be such an issue.
Conclusion – Should I Hire a Graphic Designer or Outsource?
So hiring and outsourcing both have their perks. At the end of the day, the option you choose depends on your company’s needs, business model, and budget. Outsourcing can be very cost-effective, allow you to scale your graphic design team according to demand, and allow you to work with the best talent available anywhere in the world.
But, hiring an in-house employee gives your brand essential cohesion and consistency in the brand image and identity, has dedicated and motivated team members who value the company and allows for ease of communication.
If your company would like to outsource projects to a dedicated and talented team of graphic designers, check out nippybrands offer now.