Being an independent worker is an alternative that more and more Human Resources professionals are taking nowadays. However, being a recruiter, headhunter, or freelance HR consultant is not as simple as it seems.
There are indeed great flexibility, freedom, and opportunity to grow and improve your earnings according to your efforts. But it requires work with professionalism, adaptability, and, above all, discipline to achieve success and make the most of that freedom that working under this modality allows us.
That is the reason we have compiled a series of tips that every freelance recruiter would have liked to know at the beginning of their career.
Gain some experience
If you have never worked with recruiting before, it will take a little longer to convince clients, but it is not impossible. However, it is advisable that before embarking on a project as a freelance recruiter, you have some experience working for someone else. It will give you the necessary expertise to locate clients and look for candidates and will also help you build your network of contacts for when you undertake your project as a freelancer.
Choose a niche
As an independent recruiter, it is preferable to offer quality over variety. It will allow you to make a difference and open a path in the world of recruitment. Also, you can decide which niche you want to pursue. Many successful freelance recruiters specialized in specific fields and activities. It will allow you to have a profound knowledge of the industry and offer a service with clearly superior quality.
Get to know your niche
If you have already chosen a niche to which you want to dedicate yourself, it is necessary to know it. Knowing the field will allow you to evaluate more effectively the suitability of each candidate. Also, each industry has its terms and vocabulary that you will need to understand to communicate effectively with clients and candidates.
If you invest in educating yourself about your niche, you will be able to prevent certain situations. One of the most frequent cases is when the recruiter selects the candidate with good social skills over the one who has the technical skills and knowledge required but is less social. Nowadays, there are platforms where you can do a lot of courses, of almost any subject, at a low cost, like Coursera or edX.
Find clients and applicants
As an independent recruiter, two of your most important tasks will be to find clients and look for candidates. When you start working as a freelance recruiter, it is unlikely that you will be allowed to contact the clients you worked with during your jobs as a dependent worker due to the clauses.
However, there are other ways to find customers. One way to do this is to look for companies that are actively recruiting on job boards such as Indeed. Then, you should contact them to propose your services and ask them if they want to work with you.
As for candidates, if you have worked for others in HR agencies, then you should have a lot of experience finding candidates. Here is when you can use the extensive network you have built over the years to try and find candidates. You can also post the vacancy on the job boards.
Expand your network and client base
So you have already got your first clients and candidates, congratulations! Now you must establish a good relationship with them. The key to achieving this is to maintain fluid communication that generates trust. This way, you and your clients and candidates will feel free to express opinions and points of view; and, perhaps, recommend you to other clients and candidates.
Most recruiters, both freelance and traditional, use LinkedIn as their means for making themselves known to potential clients and candidates. Optimize your LinkedIn profile and work on building your network. This network will accompany you even when you change your position or start your career as a freelancer.
Invest in technology
Investing in technology will make your job easier and help you optimize the time you spend on it. Acquiring a new notebook, new software, or subscribing to a new platform can help you reduce the time you spend on specific tasks.
Nowadays, you can even subscribe to platforms that help you automate your selection processes; an example of this type of platform is Evalart, which also allows you to create your tests and maintain a database of candidates.
Work on your professional image
As a freelance recruiter, you are in charge of running your own business. Therefore, you will not only be responsible for finding clients and candidates but also for marketing and managing your social networks.
Also, like any other freelancer, regardless of the field you are in, it is recommendable to
Keep your documents up to date. Do you need to issue ballots or register a company? Research all the legal duties of a self-employed worker. Also, it is advisable to create a business bank account and hire an accountant to keep track of your finances legally. Although you can keep the books yourself, with the help of an accountant you can save a lot of time and money.
Keep up to date. Considering that the job market is in constant evolution, it is recommendable to keep up to date with the latest software and to take care of your social networks, your LinkedIn profile, and your project’s website at all times. Also, technological skills and digital marketing will be essential to succeed in day-to-day activities.
Make your workspace an appropriate place. It is necessary to separate the work area from the commonly frequented areas of the house. In this sense, it is essential to establish strict rules. For example, no working on weekends or keeping the office door closed during leisure time.
Set a work schedule. Just as you separate spaces, you distribute time. It is fundamental to have a work schedule as if you were in the office. Otherwise, you may find yourself working from morning to late at night. And this could cause unnecessary fatigue. Sometimes, as in any job, you may need to labor a couple of hours overtime, but it is recommendable not turning working overtime into a habit.
Take it out of the house regularly. One of the main problems people experience when working from home is the tendency to isolate themselves, perhaps even without realizing it. That is why it is important to schedule meetings outside and spend some time on leisure activities that allow you to go out and socialize with others.