We all have experienced this moment, your project is (almost) finished, so you have to get back to work; networking with recruiters.
As a recruiter, I was 100% dedicated to serving the client. I worked project focussed, which means that I start with the opportunity and then find a freelancer who matches.
For one single opportunity, I had to create a long-list of 50 freelancers. My shortlist was 25, so I had to call and meet 25 freelancers. If I was lucky, one of them would be placed on the project.
Quick math shows that I always had to disappoint 24 freelancers. That didn’t feel very well, not for me and not for the freelancers.
Here are the reasons why and how we can deal with it.
- They work client-based. Recruiters work for the big clients, not for freelancers. This is why you are not relevant to each other if there is not a perfect matching assignment on the table already. Also, recruiters invest all their effort in building a network for themselves. The benefit of both recruiters and freelancers is just the one-time matchmaking.
- They need to score. Recruiters have targets. Targets for calls, meetings and deals. This means that a lot of their effort is not focussed on quality, but on quantity. You are only one of a thousand.
- They work assignment based. There is always a job on the table, that needs to be filled. You are rarely introduced to clients on a networking basis. That’s why it’s either a yes or a no and there is a lot of competition in the game.
- They are not an expert. There are exceptions, but recruiters seem to know little about the specifics of a project and the client.
- A lower rate for the freelancer is better. Unfortunately, recruiters don’t work with fixed commissions or fixed fees. They work with the budget of the client and benefit when your rate is lower.
How can we deal with it?
- Turn 180 degrees. We work freelance based. We help you with building your own network of clients and finding your own opportunities. And we smartly automate this to optimize, structure and work continuously. Also when you are on a project to keep the pipe filled. The network is yours and will remain yours so you will be able to use this client database for the rest of your career.
- We don’t need to score. Your new network will score for you. Our job is to build your network and to improve your personal brand. We score when you score. We have the same interests.
- We don’t look for assignments, we look for clients. There are 2 job markets: the one in which projects are published on platforms and all the recruiters are hunting for; and the one in which the projects are given away via the network. Our goal is to grow this network and to get you around the table with the decision-maker, the hiring manager or the owner. Advantages are that you will get in contact with the client before others do and also you can create your own projects because you meet the client before there is even an opportunity. Both freelances and managers prefer this path.
- You are the expert. You talk to the client directly, we just guide you wherever needed. The process is clear and there is no noise on the line.
- A higher rate for the freelancer is better. Our rate is fixed. We have exactly the same interests always. This is a key element when you collaborate.
What I realised when I was working as a recruiter, is that 75% of my time, I was doing sales or I was meeting freelancers, without any opportunity. Only 25% of my time I was adding value and making deals. I asked myself, why can I not add value 75% of my time and do sales only 25% of my time.
I want to spend all my time on adding value for you.
So this is what we started doing and have been doing ever since. And it’s working.