Startup Hiring & Recruitment

How to Attract Top Freelancers to Work for Your startup

Working in startups has never been more accessible; the freelance job market is booming. With the eruption of new age recruitment tools, social media and even specific startup job boards available to use, the avenues to access freelance talent has never been better.   Startup recruitment, mostly comprising of task and project-based work, has been steadily growing for years now and freelancers have been an essential part of the $1 billion industry.

But even as the freelance job market expands and more highly skilled freelancers become available, the competition to recruit top talent is as tough as ever. The number of large and medium-sized companies recognizing the potential of recruiting freelancers is increasing, meaning that it’s becoming more important that jobs in startups offer the working conditions that will attract the best.

Startup culture is your greatest asset

Most people go freelance because they love their profession and they feel passionate about their industry. This means that they’d much rather work with like-minded individuals in a vibrant, creative environment that promotes developing new solutions and sharing ideas.

Even if your contractors work remotely, they should always feel like they’re working for an innovative company with a mission. Startups hiring new talent should always keep in mind that the best freelancers want to feel like they’re contributing towards something bigger and it’s much easier to see the results of their work in a startup. Let them experiment and develop new solutions and they’ll be more likely to include the work they’ve done for you in their portfolios, giving you exposure to other highly skilled ambitious freelancers.

Respect the flexibility

As an increasing number of graduates have already worked freelance or have considered it as a viable career option, it is becoming apparent that the younger generations are no longer drawn solely to attractive job packages and company benefits – they want a good work-life balance too. Working as contractors gives professionals the ability to work their own hours, and working for a startup normally offers more flexibility than a multinational corporation that may wish impose on their working routine. Always remember to give freelancers the flexibility they work so hard to obtain and mention it in your job ads as well.

Don’t underestimate a good job ad

Startup recruitment strategies should not forget the importance of writing a good job ad. These are often the first point of contact between your startup and the contractors, so they should always include the assets mentioned above, creating an exciting prospect for high-calibre contractors. For more information on how to write an attractive job ad, follow our guide ‘The Startups’ Guide on How to Write a Compelling Job spec’.  If you do decide to advertise your job online, then do your research around the type of platform or job board you use.  Quality beats quantity so look for communities and websites as relevant to the skills you need as possible.

Less process, more speed

Attracting the best candidates is not always about the hiring process.  Working in startups has a reputation of requiring less administrative hassle and paperwork than bigger companies, and you should always make sure that the whole life-cycle of hiring a contractor runs smoothly, from onboarding to payment. Speed and flexibility is a big advantage to a startup.  As soon as you meet the freelancer you like, you can move quickly to hire them, free of the red tape that burdens bigger companies.

In the same way you treat your permanent hires well, treating your freelancers well while they’re working for your startup is just as crucial.  Happy employees a more productive regardless of being permanent or contract based. Using systems that automate contractor timesheets and invoices will give you more time to focus on the work you’re paying your freelancers to do, and not the process of paying them.

Finally, take advantage of free technology

If you plan on hiring freelancers on a regular basis, you may want to think about using recruitment software to aid the process. Posting jobs on various sites, going through profiles and managing responses can be time consuming and tedious.  Because of these tasks and the fact that startups’ are naturally cost conscious, freemium cloud based recruitment solutions can be a big time and cost saver.

Our own recruitment platform for instance will generate and advertise your job ad, and then intelligently match applicants by the skills and other criteria you were looking for to create a shortlist of top candidates.  It’s already our core business to attract freelancers for you, so take advantage!

In essence, jobs in startups should make freelancers feel appreciated, responsible and part of a bigger picture with minimum administrative hassle. As long as your startup hiring strategy can offer this type of proactive atmosphere, you’re off to a good start.

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