5 Tips to attract talented freelancers

Written by Lotte Vanhalst

13 minutes of reading

When you are working on a fancy project or when you are working in a popular industry, it is, in general, easier to find good candidates for your mission. We know that the project or company is an important factor in their decision to apply for a mission. So, what do you need to do then when you are working in a less popular industry, or when your project is not that fancy? We talked to recruiting managers and did a survey for freelancers, here are our best tips for you!


  1. Make the freelancers feel they are doing important work to reach the goals of the project.

Some people have the impression that freelancers are just doing their work and don’t care about the rest, they are not involved in the company. But this is, in general, not true. Freelancers want to do impactful work, they want to know that their work is meaningful. When the project is a bit dull, make sure you include the freelancer in every step possible so they know what they are working for. Kevin Goossens from Monizze gave us this example:

If you give a freelancer a mission to analyse CV’s all day at a company, this does not look like fun; but if you know that the company fits exactly the type of social activities the freelancer fights for, then it gives them purpose and reason to do the redundant task. They are a part of the project. They feel their work is part of a bigger project.”

Make sure when you write the job description that you give a good overview of the tasks the freelancer will need to complete and how this impacts the company or project. Make them feel that every task matters and brings value.

It all comes down to this:

“At the end of the day, we are all human beings who want to be considered as such and have a good reason to wake up every morning.” (Kevin Goossens)


  1. Be open and transparent, culture is an important factor.

You can showcase the way you work during the interview process. Don’t take too much time to reply to an application or to give feedback to candidates. The freelancing world is moving fast and you will lose the best candidates quick since they will have other options. Be open and transparent with them, these are very valuable traits.

As Julian Gonzalez from Fortil says:

“Be clear in your communication regarding contracts and other conditions. Be transparent and honest about the project and the expectations. Build a long term relationship with them.”

Jenna Van Opstal from Experis gave us this advice:

“Good freelancers get more than enough offers, so if you don’t have a ‘fancy’ project, you can try to attract them by offering a personal and personalised approach. You should focus on how the project fits in their career and how it can enrich their further career. Some freelancers find this more important than ‘fancy’ or ‘popular’ projects.”

When freelancers have an interview, 80% of them want to know more about the team they will be working with. Will they learn from the team or will they be able to teach the team something? Some people like to work in bigger teams, others prefer smaller teams. But also how you communicate, how often you meet, the fun things you do with the team. Those are all aspects freelancers consider when applying for a mission.



  1. Make sure the freelancers have opportunities to learn.

Freelancers want to grow and learn new things, especially in the IT and digital world. Everything is evolving fast, they have to stay on top of it. The best IT and digital freelancers learn a lot on their own time, contributing to the community and going to (virtual) conferences. When they can also learn on the job and have the possibility to grow while they are working, this will give them an extra push to apply for a mission.

“Projects need to be challenging and modern instead of using outdated technologies.” (Julian Gonzalez)

When David Nguyen from Mbrella is looking for a new project, he finds tech an important aspect:

“You always want to learn something on the job, it keeps it challenging and also increase your market value.”

Sneha Bhanushali from Experis said:

“In today’s market freelancers are more attracted by flexible working and new technologies. As per my everyday conversation with freelancers I got to know that Freelancers consider themselves Entrepreneurs. They will always be attracted towards the mission where they can learn new skills as well as contribute their skills and knowledge. Freelancers always want to Upskill themselves at the project (Practical knowledge) rather than learning (Theoretical knowledge) about the skills.”


  1. Be flexible towards the freelancers.

Flexibility is also a very important aspect for freelancers. And this is something you can control, no matter in which industry or on which project you are working. For example, a lot of freelancers want to be able to work remotely, more and more freelancers are only willing to work full-time remotely. Most tasks in IT and digital can be done remotely, show some flexibility towards the freelancers.

Give them also the possibility to organise their work how it suits them best. Of course, there are some things they have to consider so they can work efficiently in the team. But the things they can do on their own, let them decide how they want to do it.


  1. Be realistic about the rate you offer.

Everybody has bills to pay and salary is an important part of every job. As a company, you don’t want to lose too much money. But especially in the IT and digital world, you have to be realistic. Good talent is scarce. If you want to attract the best talent, you also have to be willing to pay for it. Don’t start with a lower daily rate because you hope you can find great talent for that price. The people you are looking for already saw your mission at the lower rate and won’t even consider it anymore once the rate goes up. As already mentioned before, be transparent from the beginning. First impressions are important. This is true for persons, but also missions.

As you can see, even when you don’t have a fancy project or when you are working in an industry that is not popular, there are still things you can consider to attract the best talent.

David Nguyen says that when he is looking for a new project, these are the most important aspects: purpose, team, tech, and finally salary/rate.

Catherine Heylen from Experis sums it up:

“If it’s not a fancy project, nor an attractive sector, you can address the personal job satisfaction aspect. Job satisfaction can be achieved by 2 ingredients; enjoying what you do (being an added value through your expertise) and learning something new (certain technologies, new tools, new responsibilities, ….)


Ingredient 1: Enjoying what you do:

  • You can attract freelancers by addressing their specific expertise and explaining how they can make a difference for the company with their expertise.
  • You need to highlight the added value that they can bring to the table.

Ingredient 2: Learning something new:

  • Also, you need to check if there are some elements in the opportunity that are completely new to the freelancer. If it is the case, this will provide him/her with a learning opportunity.
  • Long term opportunity (if applicable, transparency is important): If the project is long term, you can also highlight this aspect. Long term opportunities provide more stability of income.”

Focus on the things that you can control, don’t make any excuses and you will see the number of qualified applications increase immediately.

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