This post was written by our Co-Founder JuIiet Eccleston

Over the past few years, there’s been a dramatic rise in the number of professionals opting for temporary work instead of permanent roles. In fact, UK businesses are now one of the three biggest employers of contractors in the world. Having freelanced extensively myself, I understand the appeal: it’s flexible, varied and a great way to work with a number of organisations on a range of projects. And, with firms finding that contractors are a great way to help them fill skills gaps – particularly in the case of the ever-increasing demand for technological roles – this type of employment is certainly here to stay.

Traditional recruitment: tired and ineffective

However, while these professionals are helping steer the way that the modern workforce is evolving, the methods that many contractors use to look for their next opportunity are far from progressive. Some are using dated and ineffective approaches, such as scouring job boards and signing up with recruitment agencies, which have a number of disadvantages. Job boards are reliant on you looking for a vacancy in the same place that an employer posts a suitable position, meaning you could easily miss out on a great opportunity. And, in my experience and that of many of my professional contacts, agencies can all too often push contractors to take positions that they aren’t ideally suited to so they can take a big cut of their earnings as a fee. While LinkedIn was heralded as the platform that was going to disrupt the industry and change the way that people looked for jobs, it hasn’t. In fact, it’s increasingly becoming a place for people to simply advertise and sell services.

The power of networks – and how to amplify it

As any contractor knows, the very nature of freelancing and the subsequent need to repeatedly forge new working relationships means that these professionals usually build up wider networks than average. This, coupled with the ease with which we can all communicate through social media, means that they are equipped with the perfect tools to job hunt. As a project worker, I found that the most successful engagements were the ones where contacts in my network had told me that they knew of a role which they thought I’d be perfect for. However, I also found that in order to avoid the risk of missing out on an opportunity, I had to stay highly engaged with my network and ensure that I was constantly on the lookout. This is time consuming and requires consistent proactive effort – not the best option for the time-strapped contractor! I knew there was demand for a platform which would bring employers and contractors together so that job seekers could be approached with suitable opportunities, rather than having to actively chase them.

It was this that inspired me to co-found AnyGood?, a platform where professionals recommend other professionals who they’ve worked with and can vouch for their skills and abilities. It works using the premise of crowdsourcing, where individuals group together, bringing their own contacts to the table and effectively amplifying their own networks.

The benefits of using AnyGood?

It’s a simple concept and there are numerous benefits for you as a contractor. Using the platform means that you’ll be put forward for roles that individuals think you’d be perfectly suited to, reducing the amount of time you have to spend searching for your next role. It also allows you to draw on the contacts of other professionals, giving you access to a much wider range of opportunities. As a freelancer, you’ll have built up a reputation for the work that you have done, and using AnyGood? means you’ll be recommended for roles based on your previously-demonstrated capabilities. And, as every contractor can relate to, there are few things more flattering than being the first person anyone thinks of when they hear about a project.

This, in turn, is reassuring for employers as you come recommended to them by people who have worked with you before, reducing the element of the unknown that can accompany the employment of temporary professionals. It’s also far better than relying on recruitment agencies: for starters, you don’t have a recruiter taking a margin of your pay, and there’s also no risk of being pushed towards unsuitable roles just so a recruiter can make that fee. And, once you are recommended for a role and you and the employer wish to find out more about each other, the platform allows you to speak directly, unlike a third-party agency, that can often act as a rather frustrating intermediary. What’s more, if you recommend others for roles and they are successfully placed, you’ll earn a reward, meaning you can monetise your own network.

There’s no doubt that contractors could seek out new opportunities much more easily and effectively if they recognised the true power of their own networks and strategically tapped into this. So, why not try a new approach and register – for free – with AnyGood?

Interested in becoming a member? Sign up today