At a time when the having freelance status as a worker grows ever more attractive, companies and freelancers alike are looking for solutions that fit both their needs. Since 1995 Freelance.com has helped match one to the other. The eponymous company comes in at number 21 in Leaders League’s growth leaders 2021 ranking. Its director, Laurent Levy, stresses his company has a role akin to that of an architect.
Leaders League. What does Freelance.com do exactly?
Laurent Levy. Our group is a mayor player when it comes to matching outside talent with companies. We have a historic ecosystem of more than 300,000 freelancers. Thanks to our merger with Inop’s in 2020, we now have access to a considerable SME and startup community, giving us a total of more than 370,000 experts, mainly situated in France.
We can map the market on behalf large groups and provide assistance with sourcing, contracts, compliance and billing, as regards freelancers they hire. We provide quality control and establish viable links between small and large companies.
Tell us a bit more about Inop’s.
I founded Inop’s some 11 years ago in order to match large companies and SMEs to individuals with start-up expertise. We realized that these people could complement one another even though, on their own, not all would not have been mature or profitable enough to succeed. We looked at what companies and freelances were good fits for one another (companies hiring us demand a high level of rigor in this regard). For freelances, Inop’s provides advances on pay, which is highly attractive since one of the main drawbacks of being a freelance is you can never be sure when you will receive payment for a job you have taken on. We provide freelancers peace of mind.
Our role is akin to that of an architect in that we pick and choose the right tradesmen for a particular job, but more so in that we are also responsible if there is a problem.
"Companies are taking a more blended approach, even going so far as treating freelancers as full-time staff members in order to create hybrid teams of internal and external experts"
More and more workers want to have freelance status. Why is that do you think?
This has been a mini-revolution in the job market. People want to have a way of working that is more autonomous and flexible, so they can pick and choose their projects and battles. Many young people coming onto the job market want to be their own boss and use their expertise to put together their own startup. A full-term job is not necessarily the dream outcome for today’s graduate.
When you look at this shift to the digital world, the revolution has been massive. Consultancies in France and further afield estimate that 25% of the growth in the sector over the next five years will be down to the contribution of freelancers and, in fact, there are sectors, such as training, where freelancers already dominate.
And inside companies themselves, how is this revolution playing out?
It’s really exciting, much more so than was the case even two or three years ago. Companies are taking a more blended approach, even going so far as treating freelancers as full-time staff members in order to create hybrid teams of internal and external experts. We have even seen freelance collectives challenge the supremacy of traditional suppliers and service providers working with large groups.
What do you attribute the success of Freelance.com to?
We were ahead of the curve when it came to identifying the needs of the market. Created in 1995, we have historically been a leader in matching freelancers to jobs, but staying on top requires constant reinvention on our part. The success of Freelance.com is down to the knowledge and commitment of our teams. Every individual on our staff down the years has played their part in the success of Freelance.com. Today we employ 200 people and intend to hire at least 40 more throughout the course of 2021.