2004-10-14 / Business & Finance

Budget Not The Bottom Line When You’re Hiring Freelancers

Despite lean budgets, companies aren’t pinching pennies when it comes to hiring creative project professionals, a new survey shows. More than half (52 percent) of advertising and marketing executives polled said a quality portfolio is their top consideration when hiring freelance talent.

Another 24 percent of respondents ranked reliability as their chief concern. A mere 2 percent were most in-fluenced by cost of services.

The survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing marketing, advertising, creative and web professionals on a project basis.

It was conducted by executives at an independent research firm and includes 250 responses —125 from advertising with the nation’s 1,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 from senior marketing executives with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked: “When hiring a creative freelance professional which one of the following is your top consideration?” Their responses:

Quality of work presented in the portfolio.......................................52%

Reputation for reliability.........24%

Ability to provide a fast turn-around..........................................10%

Cost of services ........................2%

Other/don’t know.....................12%

In a follow-up question, respondents were asked. “Other than talent, which one of the following is the most important quality for a creative freelancer to possess?”

Their responses:

Ability to think strategically....35%

Creativity.................................24%

Ability to follow directions......21%

Initiative..................................10%

Other/don’t know.....................10%

“When companies hire creative talent, they’re typically most concerned with receiving quality, work quickly, and they’re willing to pay a premium for professionals who consistently deliver,” said Tracey Fuller, executive director of The Creative Group.

Added Fuller, “The most in-demand freelancers not only possess raw talent but also use their creativity to develop marketing strategies that can save the company time or money while growing sales. So, while companies may pay top dollar for highly skilled consultants, these professionals tend to be well worth the investment.”

“To demonstrate their ability to think strategically, freelancers should conduct thorough research prior to meeting with a potential client and be prepared to make informed suggestions, said Nick Cervino, division di-rector for The Creative Group.

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