Did you know that 63% of businesses believe retaining talent is harder than hiring from scratch?
At Stoke – we know this isn’t good enough. After all, it takes five times the resources and effort to find a new freelancer every time you have a new project, compared with establishing strong ongoing working relationships. But, how can you keep freelance talent organized, engaged, and invested in being your go-to safe pair of hands?
The Risks and Resource-investment of Working Without a Talent Pool
As an agency, you have your core people in place. But we all know that sometimes you need to add an extra pair of hands, or your preferred talent just isn’t available at the right time.
When you’re forced to onboard additional talent to fit a specific client need you’re losing more than the time it takes to source. A new freelancer is an unknown quantity, who may not be a good fit, or their work could be subpar in terms of the quality you need. That means a new freelancer = a risk to your business. Why take that chance, if you’ve already worked with top freelance talent in the past?
One of the main reasons that we see agencies working in an ad-hoc way with freelance talent, is that they don’t have an easy way to view the independent contractors the agency has worked with in the past. After all, everyone has their own talent directory, of sorts. Unfortunately, in many agencies, this information is siloed into Excel spreadsheets, emails, or LinkedIn accounts. In many cases, a colleague or another department has a great relationship with a freelance designer or data analyst, and yet you have no way to know that they even exist!
Even if you have personally worked with a freelancer in the past, you may not remember their name, their contact details, or their exact skill set. After all, 61% of freelancers offer two or even three different services to their clients.
With an organized talent pool, your agency gets a single holistic place with which to manage each and every freelancer. You can see all freelance relationships across the agency, including who is working on what projects right now. You can view at a glance who is available for work, what their skills are, and mix and match the right freelance talent to the right tasks, without any risk that they will be a poor match for the client at hand. An individual resource becomes a company resource.
Becoming Your Freelancers’ Favorite Client
According to Forbes, 90% of corporates say that freelancers are a meaningful part of their work ecosystem. Talented freelancers have waiting lists, demand high prices in the market, and have their pick of who they work with.
If you love your freelancers, how can you keep them invested and engaged in your company?
Get to work quickl
Freelancers are paid for their time or their output. This means they want as little admin as possible, especially before they’ve even started project #1. If an agency needs their freelancers to jump through multiple Legal, Finance, IT and Procurement hoops, they might turn to a different client who can hit the ground running.
Of course, as an agency, you need to make sure you’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. You can’t risk non-compliance, and you can’t avoid the fact that other departments need to get involved before systems are accessible and payments are set up. With a Freelance Management System (FMS), your agency can create automated workflows so that freelancers can be fully set up in 24 hours. That includes uploading documents, eSigning forms, and performing all KYC checks.
Offering a view of both current and upcoming work is a powerful differentiator for freelancers who might not know how committed you are as an agency client. Freelance work can be unpredictable, and most independent contractors live in fear of the famine side of the Feast or Famine dichotomy of working for themselves. Above all, freelancers want clients to communicate without confusion about workload, expectations, and briefs.
With a FMS, your agency can be transparent and up front about the workload for each independent contractor, keeping track of project milestones and expectations, as well as the future workload weeks or months ahead of time. Each freelancer has their own dashboard, where they can see how many hours they’ve worked, what project milestones are upcoming, and get a complete brief to keep expectations crystal clear.
Make pay-day seamless
59% of freelancers are owed at least $50,000 by clients who are late in paying their invoices. Clients who fail to pay is one of the biggest pain points for independent contractors. Flip that on its head, and it’s not hard to believe that if you pay your freelancers accurately and on time, they won’t be rushing to leave you.
As an agency, you might work with hundreds of freelancers, and this can’t be managed manually or individually. Using a FMS is the simplest way to manage freelancer invoices, allowing the independent contractors to choose how they get paid, in which currency, and even when pay day should be. With Stoke, you can pay a single invoice to Stoke, and we pay each one of your freelancers on your behalf. At all times, the same working dashboard allows freelancers to log in and track their payments, saving back and forth by email for managers and Finance.
When Freelancers Hear You Use Stoke’s FMS… You’ve Got Their Attention, and their Retention
Stoke’s Freelance Management Platform is 100% free for the independent contractor to use, unlike some competitors that take a cut from their salary for using the platform. That means when freelancers work with an agency that uses Stoke, they see nothing but benefits. They know they will be able to:
- Get started quickly, without lengthy back and forth or admin headaches.
- View their workload, with a single dashboard to track briefs, milestones, and demand.
- Be paid on time, with transparency and accuracy when it comes to being compensated for their work.
Does that sound like an agency any freelancer would want to walk away from?
Speak to us about scheduling a demo, and see how Stoke FMS could work for you.