Hiring freelancers can give your business a huge advantage, opening up your talent pool and bringing in specialized talent and new ideas. And often, international freelancers are an overlooked but very valuable kind of freelancer. I should know: I am one.
S-FX’s Freelancer: My Story
Almost two years ago, social security reforms in my home country of Nicaragua sparked protests and a movement against our dictatorial president and his corrupt government.
The day the first protest happened, I was in Texas. My work visa expired in one week. I watched the videos of the violence with a sense of dread. I was going back to a country literally and figuratively on fire. The dominoes were about to fall, very inevitably, and I’d be in the middle. I worried for my family, for my friends, and for myself.
I didn’t work for 9 months. We were, and are, in a deep economic crisis, with thousands of jobs lost in 2018 and 2019. My family runs the national newspaper, and we’ve had our printing paper held hostage in customs for over 500 days. Just two weeks ago, a bank fired over 100 people.
So in 2018, I was in a difficult position. I have a BA in English, for heaven’s sake. Job hunting in Nicaragua became a joke, with only call centers hiring. Call centers provide very necessary livelihoods and career starts for many people, but I knew if I spent any time in one I’d go out of my mind. I went to one interview where they asked me to sell them a phone and I had a full-on anxiety attack.
(I didn’t take the job.)
I’m a writer and an innately creative person, and I wanted to put my skills to good use, for my benefit and for my employer’s. I knew I could offer more.
It took me a year and a half to find a full-time job in Nicaragua. I also began freelancing with S-FX. I was running social media and writing blogs, the same things I’d been doing in the US, but on my own time, from home. I was putting my degree to work. I was writing something new every week. Most importantly, I was making extra money. I wasn’t just paying off student loans and getting by; my freelance gig was and still is a necessary part of my professional and financial growth.
Why We Love Freelancing
Sadly, many other countries are in similar situations, or just don’t offer the quality of jobs that the United States does. And talent is not lacking in Nicaragua or these other countries -- it just needs a home.
Freelancing allows us to use our skills in ways that we often would not get a chance to in our home countries. When the economy is thriving, there are opportunities for growth and innovation, but in survival mode, jobs are pretty standard. Freelancing gives us satisfaction and helps us to keep growing professionally.
Often, freelancing is a way for us to make ends meet, or to improve our quality of life. I am extremely fortunate to have a full-time job, but my freelance work with S-FX and others allows me to save a little, look towards buying a car, and travel. Many of my friends are parents, and their freelance gigs help them pay for a better school for their kids.
And so many others don’t have our good fortune, and are unemployed. I had some luxury of waiting for a better job, but they don’t. Freelancing for an American company, not to mention doing what they love and advancing their career, would be an amazing opportunity.
Why Your Business Should Hire Freelancers
- We’re smart and talented. If you’re underestimating international talent, especially from countries outside the first world, you are missing out. Countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia are increasingly bilingual, meaning thousands of educated young people are looking for jobs. In Nicaragua at least, a huge majority of young people are studying marketing, business, or information technology. We also have a huge number of young professionals with customer service experience. Freelancing for an American company would be the perfect arrangement.
- We can and often do operate outside of traditional work hours, meaning your business can also operate for longer business hours. This is especially useful in customer service.
- We give your business a global perspective. If we’re bilingual and educated, we’re most likely very in tune with American and Western culture, but we bring our own perspectives and ideas, which can open up opportunities for innovation for your business. All businesses can benefit from stepping outside their bubble.
- We open up your hiring pool -- by a lot. Hiring outside of your city can be a huge advantage, since your ideal candidate may be thousands of miles away.
- We allow you to work with niche expertise skill sets for less overhead. Hiring several freelancers working “a la carte” who are experts in their role can be more affordable than hiring one person to fit a multitude of roles. Hiring freelancers can cost you as much as hiring that one person, except you’ll get more specialized talent.
If you’re interested in working with a freelancer, reach out to S-FX, and we can help you find a talented new employee that fits your needs.