Freelancers, are you tired of sending out cold emails all day looking for leads? As a solopreneur, finding clients can be an arduous task, taking up hours of time only for most contacts to ignore you. But working with a recruiter could change all that. A recruiter can be your powerful partner, marketing your best features to clients already looking for an employee like you. Here’s how to work with recruiters as a freelancer.

Consider these things first…

  1. If you’re still building a portfolio, working in contract roles can be a great way to get experience. However, your clients might not allow you to include this work on your resume. Double-check the contract before signing if this is important to you.
  2. Keep in mind that, while contracted or temporary employees make slightly less than you might as a freelancer working directly with a company, working with a recruiter will save you valuable time and provide you with access to companies you may not have otherwise been able to connect with.
  3. If your goal is a permanent position, make sure you explain this to the recruiter. You might be happy jumping around to different positions in the beginning, but the recruiter will know to look out for the best temp to perm or permanent position going forward.

What to look for in a recruiter

If you’re active on LinkedIn, chances are high you’ve already experienced recruiters popping into your inbox with job opportunities. How do you determine who is the best fit for you?

  1. Industry experience: the best recruiter for you will work with clients in your field. Choose a specialized recruiter who is truly familiar with your industry rather than a general recruiting firm that might not understand the important nuances of your field.
  2. Personality: your recruiter will truly be your partner in the job-hunting process, so make sure you can communicate effectively with them and feel like they truly understand your needs and priorities, like the culture fit you’re looking for, hours, location, etc..
  3. Years of recruiting: have they worked as a recruiter for several years? This will determine their connections to hiring managers in the industry.

Questions to ask the recruiter

So, you’ve decided on a recruiter, and you’re ready to hop on a call and discuss your future. Treat this as any other job interview and be prepared with a few questions!

What is your recruitment process?

Some positions require an interview with the actual employer and some can be filled by the recruiter (meaning you just show up at the job on your first day). Your contract might only offer permanent employment after six months or a year of services. Understand the process before moving forward with the recruiter or agency.

How many employees have you placed at this company?

Your recruiter should have a real relationship with the employer beyond adding your resume to a stack in hopes of being chosen. The best way to understand the relationship is if they can share the success of other placements at the company.

Do you have a specific role for me now?

Hopefully, this recruiter has reached out to you with a position in mind based on your experience. Otherwise, they may be adding you to their list of possible contacts in the future. Ask them how you compare to other candidates for the role and if your background lines up well with the requirements.

Finding the Right Partner

In today’s gig economy, time is short, and things move faster than ever. If you’re ready to stop spinning your wheels looking for new clients, perhaps it’s time to consider working with a recruiter. If you know what to look for and the right questions to ask, you can be well on your way to a successful recruiter relationship (and new clients) in no time all by learning how to work with recruiters as a freelancer.

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