5 min read

Working With Freelance Recruiters: Everything You Need to Know

The new trend that's breaking the boundaries of traditional recruitment? Freelance recruiters with their niche specialisation, remote-readiness and high focus on quality.
Working With Freelance Recruiters: Everything You Need to Know

The future of work is remote, project-based (or gig-based), and more independent. More than 30% of US workers already do freelance work. Every year we're seeing an increase of freelancers in all kinds of professions and all over the world.

Including recruitment! It's been a joy to see so many great freelance recruiters and HR experts offer flexible support to companies who need on-demand help. Kudos to you all for breaking the boundaries of traditional recruiting services! ⭐🏆⭐

For those who are new to the concept of freelance recruiters, in this 8-minute read we're going to cover:

  1. Who are freelance recruiters
  2. Common situations where they can help you
  3. The potential benefits
  4. Types of freelance recruiters
  5. Choosing a suitable pricing and collaboration model

Hope you get a good overview! Perhaps it's exactly the flexible recruiting and HR support your company needs in the following months.

PS. If you have any additional questions or would like to go over your hiring challenges – claim your free consultation.

Ready? Let's go!

Who are freelance recruiters

aka contract recruiters
aka independent recruiters
aka external recruiters who work as a part of your team part-time and/or temporarily

Freelance recruiters operate as contractors or sole proprietors (meaning: one-man-businesses). They are often considered as something in-between of an external and internal recruiter, called Embedded Recruiters.

Read more: Hiring a Recruiter – In-House, Agency or Freelance

Coming from an agency or an in-house recruiting team, they seek more independence in choosing their clients and projects. Being the boss of their own time and choices. 💪 But it's not easy to become and operate as an independent recruiter, so these professionals usually have a lot of experience, established candidate networks and confidence in their abilities.

The best recruiters will go out of their way to become familiar with your company goals, mission, vision, and values. These modern forward-thinking recruiters lean towards having a more personal committed relationship with their clients, integrating themselves into your team and processes. Their highest mission is to match the right candidate with the right company to ensure long-term happiness.

11 common situations where freelance recruiters can help you

  1. Providing pay-per-hour support in any part of your hiring process, where you need help the most. (e.g. sourcing, pre-screening, interviewing, background checks, etc.)
  2. Finding and convincing passive candidates who aren't actively looking for a job.
  3. Finding those rare talents – hidden gems who are difficult to discover for the untrained eye.
  4. Headhunting and convincing top talent and executives.
  5. Developing a recruitment strategy, efficient processes and a great candidate experience.
  6. Helping you avoid common (and costly!) hiring mistakes.
  7. Saving your time and letting you focus on your main responsibilities.
  8. Providing insights from the labour market in your industry.
  9. Providing their specialised expertise in a role (e.g. Sales Managers) or industry (e.g. Cybersecurity) when filling those more complex positions.
  10. Local recruiters help you hire in new or foreign locations, where you don't yet have any recruiting experience.
  11. Senior recruiting consultants coaching your junior recruiters, managers or team leads on how to hire better.

The benefits

The most important value for companies: working with freelancers helps you be more flexible, adaptable and reduce risks.

  • They work with you temporarily, for as long or little as you need.
  • They can work with you part-time or full-time. The project scope will be just as you agree upon.
  • They are a cost-efficient alternative to recruiting agencies and in-house recruiting teams.
  • They are more likely to find top-quality candidates in their field of specialisation.
  • They take the extra work off your shoulders and let you focus on your main business: making sure your clients are happy.
  • They are open to discussing different pricing and collaboration models. You can agree to work an hourly/daily basis, on a results basis or per achieved milestones.
  • They are the best of both worlds: results-focused like recruitment agencies and people-driven like your in-house recruiters.
  • They come into your team with their own processes and know-how. As you don't have to spend time on training them, you can focus more on cultural aspects.
  • A BONUS ⭐ Our team at Relancer can help you find, evaluate and choose the right freelance recruiter for your situation. So you can avoid making costly mistakes. Claim your free consultation.

Types of freelance recruiters

Full-time vs part-time
There are full-time and part-time freelancers. Part-timers are the ones who are working for an agency or another company at the same time but want to take on other projects they feel passionate about. Some of the part-timers are also stay-at-home parents with previous experience in HR or recruitment.

General vs specialised
Most freelance recruiters are specialised in a niche based on a role (e.g. Sales Recruitment) or industry (e.g. Cyber Security). Of course, they can handle other roles as well, but they're most efficient in their niche.

Remote vs on-site
Although most freelance recruiters are used to working remotely, coming into your office for a couple of days helps to understand your culture better. It depends on your collaboration model and location.
PS! During the remote-only-era – think of inviting the recruiter to online team meetings and internal communication channels.

Local vs international
Local recruiters have only hired candidates within their country and prefer to do so. Recruiters with international hiring and candidate relocation experience are usually focused on a certain region but can handle hiring globally.

Hands-on vs consulting
Most freelance recruiters are hands-on specialists. Even many very experienced recruiters still prefer to be in the middle of the action. Those who want to pass on their learnings offer recruitment consultation sessions, coaching, and strategic planning.

Sourcers vs recruiters vs full-cycle recruiters
Nowadays, the best talents aren't active job seekers, so you need to find them yourself. A sourcer will scour the web for potential candidates, using all kinds of tricks and hacks to compile a list of contacts. A recruiter's job is to evaluate and convince the candidates to join their team. A full-cycle recruiter is a magical being who does it all. 🦄

Flexibility in pricing and collaboration

There are three common pricing models used in recruitment services:

  • Flat model – pay for time (hourly or daily rate)
  • Retainer model – pay for milestones (percentage combined with fixed fee)
  • Contingency model – pay for results (percentage or fixed fee)

The most common one – contingency, is preferred by companies due to lowered risk and recruiters like the potential of receiving higher earnings. Regardless, freelance recruiters (and small boutique agencies) are quite flexible and open to discussing the pricing model. Why?

  1. Because pricing sets the expectations and commitment for both sides. Sometimes it makes perfect sense to pay for results and keep your distance. Other times paying by the hour and having a more personal approach is the only right choice.
  2. Freelance recruiters have the luxury of choosing their own terms, and not being dictated by agency rules. That allows them to be more forth-coming and personal with your company's situation.

Read more: Pricing Models in Recruitment – Flat, Retainer or Contingency


Like many other professions, recruiters are becoming more and more independent, specialized in a niche (role or industry) and project-based.

Freelance recruiters are the modern solution between in-house recruiting teams and recruitment agencies. They integrate into your team to understand your culture, yet are flexible and allow you to reduce risks. Most importantly, they are experts in their niche and help you hire for both – skills and cultural fit.

However, recruiters are not all cut from the same cloth. They're different in skills, experience, mindset, preferred pricing models, and much more.

That's where platforms like Relancer (yes, that's us 🙋) can help you connect, compare and start collaborating with vetted freelance recruiters.

If this article left you wondering...

💡Are freelance recruiters the right hiring solution for my business?
💡Who are the best recruiters for my situation?

We offer a free recruiting consultation where we analyse your specific situation and challenges. Claim your consultation now.


Hope this helps! Take care and keep growing 👋😊