Hiring a freelancer for a bite-sized task with a very clear brief is a relatively straightforward process. A data-entry job or a simple coding fix has a clear start and end point that is easy to explain, manage and measure. Finding freelancers who provide creative work, feel passionate about the client’s mission, communicate well throughout the process and provide much more than just the service they were hired for, can be a bit more challenging.
Hiring a freelancer for a bite-sized task with a very clear brief is a relatively straightforward process. A data-entry job or a simple coding fix has a clear start and end point that is easy to explain, manage and measure.
Finding freelancers who provide creative work, feel passionate about the client’s mission, communicate well throughout the process and provide much more than just the service they were hired for, can be a bit more challenging.
Very few startups have an internal recruitment process making sourcing an agile workforce costly and time-consuming. Marketplaces tend to be restrictive and eat into the freelancer's rate, agency fees add up, traditional job sites charge to feature job roles, others encourage a race to the bottom resulting in less pay for the freelancer, and social media is without a filter and overwhelming. Furthermore, with IR35 due to land in 2021, things are about to get even more complicated.
For more than 12 years, the Freelancer Club has been working hard to help startups overcome the challenges associated with the freelance recruitment process. They have developed a suite of tools and solutions which have facilitated thousands of freelance hires, challenged traditional methods and introduced innovative concepts that bring both supply and demand into a centralised ecosystem.
The Concierge Service, for example, combines cutting-edge technology and human expertise to source top freelance talent for startup projects. Using data and insights, they optimise the job listing, relay information about the role, and have the talent contact the startup so they can work with them directly (no awkward conversations suggesting they take the chat off the platform). In addition to the advanced matching algorithm, a human Concierge team works in tandem with the tech to source the talent and help make the match - no agency fees, no commission.
Those who prefer more control can find creative freelancers for their upcoming projects, by posting a job for free on the jobs board (with cutting-edge applicant management technology) and manage the applicants themselves. Alternatively, upgrade to use the advanced filter options to access features such as ‘day rate’ and ‘skill’ search whilst unlocking the entire Freelance Directory of 42,000+ top freelancers.
Showcase, Hiring Event
For the past few years, the Freelancer Club’s premium networking and hiring event, Showcase, has offered a unique alternative to connect startups with top quality, experienced freelance talent. A type of speed dating for startups and freelancers, previous events took place in stunning locations that saw startups lined up across from freelancers. They were a huge success and enabled startups to get to know the individual as well as their work.
Pre-Covid, Showcase events looked like this…
Now? Well, they look more like this…
Freelancer Club didn’t use the pandemic as an excuse to curtail these purposeful events. If anything, seeing the negative impact the virus had on freelancers and startups alike only spurred them on to rethink and reshape how to facilitate connections between startups and freelancers.
The outcome? The creation of innovative, multi-room, virtual Showcase events. Additional features and unlimited capacity for more attendees has resulted in more connections!
Build a Talent Pool of Top Freelancers
The innovative and unique way in which the Freelancer Club organise and approach Showcase events sets them apart from other hiring and networking events out there.
The events provide startups with an opportunity to meet a talent pool of handpicked premium freelancers across a variety of creative sectors as well as openly network with other brands for potential partnerships.
To ensure startups get the most from their time at the event, Freelancer Club provides a select number with a virtual Hiring Booth and, using bias-free searching, pre-selects the most suitable candidates to meet them based on the needs of the startup. Whether for an immediate project or a future job, this hybrid model uses advanced matching technology to comb through more than 42,000 top freelancers and enables the hiring brand to meet the talent (virtually). Simply put, Showcase is redefining how startups build teams and saving them days of time and thousands of pounds in recruitment costs.
While tech and automation are extremely valuable tools in recruitment, the Freelancer Club believes that human interaction, personality, soft-skills and interpersonal connections remain a key necessity in the hiring process.
“I’ve attended plenty of webinars with interactive elements, but nothing quite like this. The ability to move freely between different virtual Booths was a really nice touch, and the chance to have face-to-face meetings with potential clients was brilliant. I think the live chats with recruiters were the best aspect of it. I liked the ‘speed dating’ style of networking, where you get randomly connected with another attendee, but those recruiter chats were just brilliant”
- Matt Colley, a freelance editor and copywriter with over 15 years experience in content marketing.
Virtual Hiring Booth
Showcase events enable startups to make around 15 to 20 tailored connections in under an hour and a half. Furthermore, a Hiring Booth enables startups to dramatically reduce the time it takes them to hire for a project, as having a booth allows them to meet the ‘person behind the portfolio’ and discuss with them their brand vision (freelancers can also share their portfolio on screen and discuss their expertise). Next time a startup needs a freelancer, they can dip into their talent pool and reconnect with the freelancer they met at the event.
How many hours do startups waste sifting through CVs and scheduling interviews? Or worse, how many startups have to begin their search all over again after realising that the freelancer they hired is not committed to their project?
Startups often suffer the same pain points when hiring - ‘We have to do everything ourselves and can’t spend time hiring’, ‘We don’t have the budget to use agencies and tap into the premium talent’ and ‘Freelancers are not invested in our mission’. Certain sites that shall remain nameless are breeding a ‘task culture’ that leaves no room for personal investment. “I’ll design your logo for $5” sounds too good to be true, right? Right!
Hiring Booths are also a great opportunity for brands to promote their company to a mass audience as they are mentioned across marketing content in the lead up to the Showcase and are featured at the event.
“I haven’t previously attended a hiring event like this. We normally recruit directly and interview after application - this was really great to chat and get a sense for people and whether they’d be suitable to put through our process, as well as show a bit of who we are.”
- HwP, a startup offering tutored life drawing classes throughout the UK.
The freelance recruitment process shouldn’t be laborious, costly and unfruitful. So, if you want to experience the future of freelance recruitment and connect with highly talented, creative freelancers, why not apply for a Hiring Booth at their next Showcase event on October 22nd?
Booths are filling up fast, so be sure to book asap!
Finding top quality freelance talent who will go above and beyond to engage with your brand and deliver exceptional work can be challenging. It’s for that reason that the Freelancer Club is constantly developing tools, resources and events to help startups overcome these challenges and connect with top quality talent.
Could the future of freelance recruitment partially utilise traditional methods? Technology has certainly taken us forward in this space but it’s not yet fully replaced the need for human involvement. People do business with people. We can’t predict behaviour or measure emotional investment or commitment. Hell, we can barely assess communication skills let alone rely on an algorithm to tell us how a person is going to react to a new work environment. Hiring without a meeting (virtual or in person) is a high-risk approach.
Freelancer Club want to play a part in ensuring that the recruitment experience is a positive and progressive one that benefits both startups and freelancers alike. Using bias-free browsing, ongoing feedback from attendees and a nurturing component that runs throughout the Club, they may just be onto something.