Team Management

The Most Effective Way To Build A Freelance Talent Pool

Derek Abram
CEO of Prio
7 min read

Staffing is an extremely tiring and thankless job, especially when we have a turnover rate of around 47.2%. SMB owners and HR managers often find themselves at their wit’s end because people seem to be quitting their jobs faster than they can hire replacements.

The only practical solution to this is to build a freelance team or freelance talent pool and have them on standby, so you always have a way to keep the wheels turning. The show, as they say, must go on.

We’re going to break down what a talent pool is, why you ought to build a freelance talent pool, and how to effectively build a freelance talent pool. Let’s dive in!

What is a talent pool?

To better understand what a talent pool is, let’s look at two imaginary situations. 

For the first one, let’s assume you’re hiring for a particular position, and the interview process throws up multiple skilled and qualified resources. However, your requirement is for only one resource.

For the second situation, let us assume that through your referral network or even through recruitment agencies, you get access to the profiles of some very talented and qualified resources with varied skill sets. However, your business currently does not have the need to hire anyone at all.

These extra, unused resources would make a great addition to your talent pool. 

Simply put, a talent pool is a centralized database of resources that your business can dip into whenever you run short of skilled people for certain functions. 

Benefits of a freelance talent pool

The biggest benefit of hiring freelancers is the reduced cost since you do not have to pay for workspaces, insurance, training, or taxes. 

The biggest advantage of building a talent pool is that it drastically cuts down recruitment time drastically, since you aren’t wasting time sifting through hundreds of resumes, and the people in your talent pool have already conveyed their willingness to work with your company.

However, what are the benefits of building a freelance talent pool? Let’s take a closer look. 


Unlike employees, freelancers aren’t committed to a single organization at any point in time. This offers them the flexibility to work with more than one client at a time. 

For you, as a business owner or HR professional, building a freelancer talent pool extends the benefits of that flexibility to you as well. You can hire a freelancer to do a job even if they’re working on other projects simultaneously.

Niche skills

Freelance talent is great to have handy when you need to hire someone with niche skills to work on a task. For example, let’s say you need to update your business website. Having a freelance talent pool will mean you will know exactly whom to call to quickly do the job for you.

Easy to meet short-term needs

A freelance team is the perfect way to meet the short-term needs of your business. You do not need to create a position and employ the resource full-time, and you only pay for what you need done. 

Tips to build a freelance talent pool

Now that we know why building a freelance talent pool is a good idea, let’s get into how to go about building it.

Need analysis

The first thing you will need to do is analyze the needs of your company, both long-term and short-term. You need to analyze what kind of roles you need to recruit for immediately, and what freelance opportunities are likely to arise in the future (think graphic design, website building, software solutions, content generation, and SEO). 

You will also need to decide how experienced you want your freelancers to be. Of course, that will depend on the complexity of the work you have in mind for them. 

Rigorous recruiting

Once you know your needs, the obvious next step is to rigorously start recruiting to fill those needs. This means using all the usual recruitment tools, such as job postings and LinkedIn, but also looking at freelance websites like Upwork and Fiverr.

The important thing is to identify the freelancers you want to work with, interview them, and give them an idea of what you need from them and when they can expect to hear from you. 

This will help you start building a relationship with them, and give you a fair idea of what to expect from them in terms of commitment and skills.

Leveraging referrals

Another great way to populate your freelance team is by asking freelancers themselves for referrals. They’re bound to know other people within their community and will be more than happy to connect you with other resources with similar or allied skill sets. 

For example, a graphic designer is likely to know someone who can build you a business website and handle your web hosting needs.

Skill based segregation

As your freelance talent pool starts to fill, remember to maintain a database that segregates them according to their skills. That way, you don’t need to waste time searching profiles again when the need arises for a particular niche skill. 

This database should also include details like how much experience each of them has, what they charge, and their availability. 

Freelancer onboarding

Having an onboarding process for your freelancer talent pool is a great way of giving them a sense of belonging and starting the rapport-building process with them. 

While they may not be full-time employees, it would still make them feel better if they know what your business is, what your core values are, what they can expect from you in terms of tools and collaborations, and what their responsibilities will be. 

Building and maintaining rapport

This is of paramount importance because if you do not build a rapport with your freelance talent pool and keep those conversations open even when there’s no work for them, you’re going to have to keep looking for new freelancers every time a need arises.

Use Prio’s time tracker to control freelancer expenses

Since freelancers almost exclusively work remotely, keeping a track of their working hours and justifying the hourly rate they charge can be nigh impossible. Or maybe not. 

With Prio’s time tracker, you can create a profile for them, add them to a project, and send them a link to the tool as an email attachment.

Learn more about our time tracker and other tools Prio has specifically to manage remote teams and contractors by visiting our website. 

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