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Finding the Right Freelance Hire
Tuesday, Jul 12, 2016

One of the most challenging aspects of any business is quickly adjusting to the various external factors that shape how it operates, such as shifting economic conditions, shortages of qualified talent, or sudden changes in customer needs. As such, business owners must have effective strategies in place to quickly adapt to these factors in order to remain profitable and successful. In talent acquisition, one of the key methods used to address changing business needs is utilizing freelance talent. Offering numerous benefits to both large and small organizations, including the ability to cut costs, find better qualified talent, and present greater flexibility, the utilization of freelance talent is quickly changing the face of employment. In fact, more than 40 percent of the American workforce, roughly 60 million people, are projected to be independent workers by 2020. In light of these numbers, let’s take a look at how to find the right freelance hire.

Look for Freelancers in Their Neighborhood

When finding freelance talent, the first thing that you want to do is look for them in the right places. Using online freelance employment platforms, such as Upwork, SimplyHired, and Outsource, can quickly and easily connect you with top freelance talent looking for work. As 51 percent of freelancers have obtained a project online, using these work platforms is one of the best resources for finding talent with the specific background for your business needs. Additionally, you can also review samples from their portfolio, read client reviews from past assignments, and compare their credentials with similar candidates to find the best fit for your project. One thing to remember, however, is that many of these sites receive a percentage of the freelancer’s earnings, so be sure to build that into the budget before finalizing a freelance contract.

Work with the Industry Experts

To ease the burden of finding freelance talent, many businesses integrate their applicant tracking system with a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and staffing provider, who can provide expert assistance in finding top freelance talent for a company’s specific needs. As many industries across the U.S. face shortages of qualified talent, including healthcare and engineering, partnering with an RPO and staffing provider can remove the guesswork out of the freelance hiring process and help to reduce time-to-fill and cost-per-hire metrics, enabling businesses to save time and money and get back to work. As 30 percent of companies currently spend 31 to 60 days filling a position, using an RPO and staffing provider can help to increase efficiency and find better-qualified talent than compared to more traditional methods.

Use Employee Referrals to Find New Talent

Many employers do not realize that one of their best hiring resources is already right in front of them – their current employees. By creating an employee referral program specifically for freelance projects, companies have the potential to improve their quality-of-hire and use workers who their employees are already familiar with, helping to minimize the need for additional hiring down the road due to poor fit. Using this method, companies can also begin to develop their own networks of trusted freelance talent for future needs and help to further reduce hiring time and costs. By leveraging an employee referral portal integrated within their applicant tracking system, current employees can easily submit qualified candidates in seconds, helping both their employer and their friend or business colleague looking for freelance work.

With increased competition for talent among businesses and more workers moving over to freelance status each year, companies must proactively find and attract these unique workers. By understanding their employment needs, looking in the right places, and working with the right people, companies can quickly and easily find the right freelance talent to meet business objectives, while also helping to reduce hiring costs and enhance their organization’s talent acquisition processes. For more information on finding the right freelance talent, check out our white paper, “The Recruiter’s Toolkit for Success in a Rapidly Changing Workforce.”