It’s not something that most businesses and hiring managers think about, but your hiring decisions today directly impact the long-term success and health  of your company tomorrow. Making the wrong hire can lead to innumerable hours of paperwork and potential lawsuits.

And while you can never really know with 100% certainty that a new hire will work out, you can greatly increase the odds by, to quote Jim Collins, “putting the right person in the right seat on the bus.”

But how does your company find the right person?

Enter the Freelancer.

A freelancer is simply an independent contractor whom your company can hire either on an hourly basis, or on a longer term contract if you need a little more stability in a position. The old days of thinking that a freelancer was simply someone who wasn’t very good at what they did, so they couldn’t find a “real” job, are long gone.

Today, many workers choose to work only on a freelance or contract basis because of the freedom and flexibility it offers them. And many companies are looking to hire freelancers for that very reason as well.

The US government classifies 53 million workers in the United States as freelancers, and in total, over 90 million people participate in the freelance economy, either as workers, customers, or both. That amounts to about 44% of the US workforce and will only continue to rise.

Freelancers run the gamut from Uber drivers making a few extra bucks to Geoscience Engineers working in oil production fields, but the Information Technology field is the most ripe for taking advantage of this growing trend.