To put it in perspective, I don’t like the term “Freelance”. Too many people incorrectly interpret this as “a not-loyal job-hopper that will leave as soon as a better offer pops up.”
I much more prefer the term “Independent Contractor.”
Contrary to what is thought, a Contractor needs to have a very high level of loyalty towards the customer. The Contractor is there to solve a specific problem and needs to deliver the highest quality possible. In case of any lapse in performance, the assignment can quickly be terminated. This is not usually the case with employee contracts in most parts of Europe.
My preferred term is “Independent.” Since long, it is common practice to have “company-independent” people in the Board of Directors. It is beneficial to have an outside-view to work on strategic decisions. For some publicly traded companies it is even mandatory. Therefore, I’m always surprised when I see reluctance to the hiring of independent specialists in the tactical or operational part of the business.
Companies not only need independent input to determine WHAT they are going to do next, but often even more important is the question HOW to get there. I believed the only way of reaching breakthrough changes in this area, is by hiring an Independent Contractor.
Perhaps there should be a rule that any job description that requires the qualification “out-of-the-box-thinking”, can only be filled by an Independent Contractor. Do I have your vote?