Are you feeling tired of searching for a global remote job?

Companies outside India find it easier to hire freelancers than employees. Therefore the number of freelance opportunities is higher.

A tired man sitting on the bench of a park.
Photo by Martin Péchy / Unsplash

Freelancing remotely for overseas clients is an older phenomenon than working remotely as an employee. Even if someone is working as a remote employee, the legal status in most cases is of contractor/freelancer. Because companies outside India can hire employees in India only by setting up a local subsidiary or using a third-party payroll system. Due to the ease of hiring, companies classify their remote employees as contractors.

As an exercise, you can search for remote overseas jobs based on your skill set. Quickly you will realise the number of global remote companies is limited. The fun fact is

The number of remote job boards is greater than global remote jobs

On top of that, there is competition for this small number of jobs. Most remote jobs are US only and require working within a timezone. After Covid-19, Indian companies have also started hiring remotely. Finding a remote local job has become easier than a global remote job.

In this post, I will explain why overseas companies prefer to hire remote freelancers.

Hiring remote freelancers is an older phenomenon than employees

Freelancing sites like Elance and oDesk (now Upwork) first opened the door to freelancing opportunities for Indians. At the start of the 21st century, Internet growth was booming. These sites helped to connect clients and freelancers. In the initial days, most work was for low to mid-skilled workers. High-quality work was not outsourced at that time. Things have changed a lot. Now we have freelancers/consultants in India charging premium prices for high-quality work. Clients are used to hiring freelancers for a long time. So the number of remote freelance opportunities is higher.

Legally it is easier to hire freelancers than employees. Therefore many remote-first companies legally classify their employees as contractors. Due to fewer legal compliances, it makes more sense for overseas companies to hire freelancers/contractors.

As an Indian remote employee, if hired with the legal status of freelancer, one has to manage taxes. So it will be better to work as a freelancer to create a diverse set of clients instead of working with one company as a remote employee.

Freelancers are easier to hire and kick out

It may sound harsh, but the world works on performance. Hiring a freelancer is an easier decision for companies. Because if things do not work out as planned, it is easier to end the contract. Things move very fast. Therefore it is less risky for companies to hire a freelancer. Also, it is hard to hire a person with whom they have not met face to face, who is of a different country and colour. There is more hiring risk for overseas companies to hire remote employees. Even if things do not work as planned in the case of an employee, the person will be fired. But it will require more legal and time effort from the company.

Freelancing opens more remote opportunities overseas

In my freelancing career, I noticed many overseas companies hire remote freelancers but not employees. If I were not open to freelance, I would not be able to work with those companies. Companies are busy and have limited hiring time. If you make it easier for them to hire you, the more your chances of success.

Therefore the number of remote overseas opportunities is more for freelancers. There is a win-win situation on both sides (clients and freelancers).

This post is part of #DecidingToFreelance series. If you have not subscribed, subscribe to get notified when new posts are published. Thanks for reading.

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