22 Sep 2022

If there's one thing I've heard from freelancers recently, it's this: "This contract is great and the people are lovely but a quick induction would have been invaluable".


Lara and I specialise in finding market researchers for a range of clients, both in house and agency, temporary and permanent.   The world of market research has been incredibly active over the last year: when the world is upside down, companies turn to research to understand how consumers and clients are reacting, thinking, behaving and - of course - buying.  The demand for quantitative researchers in particular has been huge and, at Stopgap, we've been regularly meeting that demand thanks to our network of wonderful clients and candidates.


So, what's the problem? 

I wouldn't call it a problem as such, more a small challenge that's fairly easy to overcome.  Freelancers effectively start a new job every time they start a new contract.  We all know that starting a new job involves getting to grips with a company's idiosyncrasies, their processes and systems: basically, their unique ways of doing things.  When most people start a new job, they're shown around not just the office but also the systems that will enable them to do the job.   Whenever I've started a new job, I know that I've often leant over to a colleague to ask where to find things on the database, where the brand guidelines are or if there's a template for something.   


But when line managers are being pulled in every direction and freelancers aren't physically in the office, this basic knowledge sharing can go out of the window.  This can leave contractors scrabbling around to find things for themselves which not only takes up valuable time but also risks them making mistakes.  These things might sound insignificant but, if a freelancer isn't working as efficiently as possible, then clients are not getting the most out of them.  The freelancers I've been talking to find this frustrating and, sometimes, concerning.  Part of their market value is that they're great at 'coming in and getting on with it' and that's exactly what they want to do.   


From talking to clients, however, we know they're very time poor right now: the recent talent shortage has put huge pressure on everyone.  It's easy to see why, when they get a much-needed freelancer on board, it's very tempting to say: "Great, thanks, here you go" and quickly move onto the next thing on their daunting to do list.   Candidates get it and they sympathise but they also really want to help - after all that's what they've been brought in to do.  


Here at Stopgap, we think that taking even half an hour or so to brief freelancers - on top of the project briefing - and show them around the system will maximise their contribution by giving them the tools to deliver great work quickly and efficiently.  It's good for clients, good for candidates and, ultimately, good for business.


And of course, we're here to chat in more detail about working on a contract basis - whether you're a potential client or candidate. 

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