Freelancing has won its letters of nobility in recent years. It attracts a growing number of workers who wish to free themselves from the salary logic to offer their expertise in complete autonomy and independence. Reflecting a profound transformation of the world of work, this movement finds, today more than ever, a favorable echo within companies, in search of flexibility and confronted with a shortage of talents. But if the freelancing model is more and more popular, it is not free from difficulties. Because to sustain his activity, the freelancer must constantly find new clients and sign new assignments.
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The strength of the network
The first question raised by the study entitled “Freelance and portage: the new revolution” is that of the most effective strategy for capturing new business. The response from independents is surprising to say the least. Despite the digital boom, word of mouth remains, for 74% of the self-employed surveyed, the best way to find clients . They are also 68% to bet on their professional circle (former colleagues, former clients, former classmates, etc.). This vision corroborates with that of companies: they use the same channels to recruit their freelancers, with the difference that they rely primarily on their professional sphere to find outsiders (74%), ahead of word-of-mouth, mentioned all the same by 69% of the companies surveyed.
The vision between freelancers and companies differs more concerning the other recruitment channels. The results of the study even hold some surprises. For example, freelancers tend to underestimate the role of SEO platforms, like Job Is You , which have grown in recent years. They are only 13% to cite them among the most effective channels to win new projects, while more than one company out of three makes it a key lever for recruiting new freelancers. Conversely, 37% of freelancers find that social networks are effective for prospecting. However, they are favored by only 17% of companies.
Valuing professional experience
Beyond the choice of channels to invest in, freelancers must also learn to convince their potential principals with the promise of new contracts in their sights. On this point, the survey shows that freelancers do not always have the right perception of the criteria that matter most to companies when choosing their externals. For the self-employed, the companies mainly focus on:
- Opinions/recommendations (62%)
- Work experience (58%)
- Customer references (45%)
- The level of JRT (37%).
For their part, companies say they attach importance above all to professional experience, a criterion cited by 71% of respondents. And this, far ahead of the opinions/recommendations of other customers (43% of responses) and the TJM practiced (also 43%).
The ability of freelancers to be autonomous in the organization of their work is also an important element of reassurance for nearly one in three companies, while only 17% of self-employed consider this to be an essential criterion for their clients. At the bottom of the table, diplomas have little support from companies, only 5% of which attach importance to them. A minor role that freelancers have clearly identified, with only 4% believing that their diplomas are key in the eyes of their clients.
Find the collective
On the business side, the issue of attracting and retaining the best profiles is becoming increasingly central, in a context of talent wars. For nearly eight out of ten freelancers, committing to a volume of assignments would be the most powerful argument in their eyes for retaining them . This is an expectation that companies have also understood very well, since 89% of them consider that this would be an important lever for retaining their external employees.
More than a quarter of the self-employed (27%) would also like to take more part in the business life of their clients and almost as many would like to be able to access training. This need for training is little perceived by companies, because only 14% think that it is a loyalty lever for their freelancers. Almost a quarter of externals also highlight access to internal tools. Quite surprisingly, one in five freelancers would also like to be able to work for their client during the assignment. Proof of a generational divide, this desire for immersion concerns the over 50s (26%) and, much less, the under 35s (14%).