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The Fast Company Executive Board is a private, fee-based network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.

7 smart hiring strategies to help you build a great team in the gig economy

Even in the growing gig economy, your business can still find ways to attract and retain top talent.

7 smart hiring strategies to help you build a great team in the gig economy
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Flexibility, independence, and work-life balance have become top priorities for many professionals in recent years. That’s why, as the gig economy grows, many are turning to freelancing or short-term work rather than pursuing a role with one company.

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The trend toward “gig work” can be challenging for businesses that need full-time help and want to build a dedicated team of talented professionals. However, you can still attract top candidates to your company—you just need to embrace flexibility on your side. Below, seven members of Fast Company Executive Board shared their top-recommended ways to find and hire new team members in the gig economy.

1. SIGN UP FOR FREELANCE HIRING PLATFORMS.

Sites like UpWork are a great way to find strong freelance talent quickly. The most important part is ensuring you vet any freelancing talent based on previous work and additional questions. – Fehzan Ali, Adscend Media LLC

2. START NEW TEAM MEMBERS AS FREELANCERS.

We have been successful in starting team members as freelancers who go on to become full-time employees, especially in roles like writing, design, and video creation. This achieves a few things, including ensuring a culture fit and making sure the individual’s skills are a good match for the role. Also, we sometimes don’t have enough demand for a full-time role, so the role can grow as demand does. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove

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3. LEVERAGE LINKEDIN, INDUSTRY CONFERENCES, AND LOCAL HIRING PROGRAMS.

Utilize your resources. First, LinkedIn is an effective tool for finding qualified individuals. Among the benefits are that you can see who candidates know from your network, their full backgrounds, and whether they are open for work. Second, by attending conferences or being a speaker at conferences, you can meet great people who share similar passions and interests. Finally, explore local programs to hire new immigrants who are eager to work. – Andreea Vanacker, SPARKX5

4. TAP INTO YOUR NETWORK.

People always want to move on information shared by someone they trust, whether that be from an employee or employer standpoint. If you can get a warm connection, that always goes much further. – Brad Burns, Wayne Contracting

5. EXPLORE THE BENEFITS OF MENTORING.

As a coach and mentor, I’ve been able to find great talent to grow my team from within my own mentorship program. Finding the right fit for your team is difficult, and when you can spend time teaching someone and interacting with them over a long period, you get to know them well. After building a relationship, I’ve been able to directly hire someone who utilized my program. – Benjamin Nader, 6 Figure Recruiter

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6. DISCUSS FULL-TIME WORK WITH YOUR FREELANCE HIRES.

I think it’s a good idea to get some of your work done by independent freelancers. After working with a few freelancers, you’ll start to get a feel for who would be a great fit for your organization. Many freelancers would be willing to move to a full-time job; you can bring the idea up with them and possibly find a new hire for your business. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. SHOW FREELANCERS WHAT THEY’RE MISSING.

Showcase what it means to be part of your team, the benefits of your leadership, and the community spirit that you’re fostering. Often people are just looking for the right people to work with (versus the right role), so show them the team they’re missing. It’s easy to hire when people buy into you and the team they’re joining. – Becca Chambers, Ivanti