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For Busy Recruiters, Here’s a Less Stressful Way to Hire Freelancers

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When it comes to recruiting, telecommuting is a trendy perk that attracts top talent. Instead of hiring a worker you won’t see in the office every day, you might consider hiring freelance talent instead.

Here are just a few reasons why recruiters are looking to freelance talent for projects both large and small:

1. Freelancers are happier

According to the 2012 Freelance Industry report, 90 percent of freelance workers are happier than they were at their former, more traditional jobs. So if you hire a freelance employee, it’s likely you’re recruiting a talented worker who really loves what they do — and you know passion often translates into hard work and dedication.

2. Freelancers are experienced

The same Freelance Industry Report found that 34 percent of freelance workers have 10 or more years of experience. To recruit these people regularly, you’d most likely have to open a deep pocket and get ready to hand over a large paycheck. However, you can tap into this talent pool without the high price tag by recruiting freelance talent on a per-project basis.

3. Freelancers can save you money

A Stanford study found your company can save about $2,000 per employee by allowing staff to work from home. (Click here to Tweet this stat.)

From the recruiting angle, hiring freelance workers allows you to widen your search parameters to out-of-town talent without paying for airfare, hotel accommodations or relocation expenses. Because freelancers can work remotely, you still jump the skills gap and get the best people while shelling out less money.

How to use video interviews to hire the best freelancers

You might be sold on recruiting freelance talent, but just how do you connect with far-flung superstars and busy multitasking professionals?

This is where the video interview comes into play. While meeting in-person is always ideal, many freelancers just won’t have the time or means to come into your office for a face-to-face conversation about the position or the project.

So what do you do? Turn on your webcam and start interviewing! Whether your candidate is extremely busy or located on the other side of the globe, video interviews are a good tool to form a personal connection with smart freelance workers who can add real value.

Here are two benefits of using video interviews to connect with freelancers:

1. Location is no obstacle with online video

Video interviewing helps recruiters with one of the most pressing problems associated with telecommuters, virtual workers or out-of-town talent: geographical distance. If a talented candidate is located several states (or countries) away, it can be hard to connect personally and get a real feel for the candidate. This makes it hard to determine whether a candidate can work well in your company culture or aligns with your corporate vision.

Thanks to the video interview, you can now connect as personally as you would in a traditional face-to-face interview. In a live video interview, you can interact with talent in real time and evaluate nonverbal cues and communication skills. You can connect with a candidate on the other side of the world as easily as one on the other side of your desk and ensure you’re hiring the right person for the job.

2. One-way video interviews help juggle complicated schedules

A great aspect of freelance workers is how they’ve become masters of their own schedules. The downside of this organizational prowess is that many freelance workers find their schedules packed to the gills. This might not give them much time to connect personally in the recruiting process, but you want more than a phone call or email chain to determine whether your freelance candidate will be the right fit.

Since a one-way video interview is asynchronous, it can be scheduled around even the most packed calendar. Candidates answer written employer questions on video, and answers can be recorded from a laptop computer or even a smartphone. This allows even the busiest freelancer to make time to interview and allows you a more personal feel for them than a list of accomplishments on a resume.

As the economy remains tough for employers and candidates alike, more talented workers will turn to a freelance lifestyle. Embrace this talent pool and use the video interview to connect personally and find the best and brightest for your company’s projects.

Have you hired freelancers? Do you use video interviews to connect? Share in the comments!

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video-powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

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