A look at four video streaming and production companies, and how they leveraged Worksuite to streamline their freelancer management for thousands of talent.
Video and streaming content is becoming more and more popular. In fact, Precedence Research predicts an 18.45% compound annual growth rate for video streaming, with the industry reaching $1.7 trillion in 2030. However, deadlines are now tighter, and budget expectations are smaller (outside of the big studios and enterprise brands).
Agencies and production houses handling multiple client projects must keep track of deadlines and a million moving pieces — from brainstorming ideas to the final edited product, and of course, managing creative resources.
Freelancers are often relied on to produce content faster. But if the processes for onboarding, assigning and managing freelancers are clunky, this can lead to wasted time, scope creep (and higher costs), and missed opportunities to work with your best talent on new projects.
With many people involved, it can be hard to keep everyone informed. Even minor miscommunications or delays can cause frustration and missed deadlines. It’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page to avoid these problems — from onboarding and rates, to skills, availability, invoices and payment.
Developing strong relationships with freelancers is crucial to meeting production deadlines, forming diverse and competent production teams, and producing high-quality video work. However, requesting freelancers to download a Word document, fill it out, and then scan and email the completed document back can be inconvenient (let’s be honest, who has a working printer these days?)
Freelance management can become cumbersome at scale, and talent may avoid working with you because of it. Late submission of the documents and bank details also delays the processing of invoices, which can cause frustration for the freelancers and harm the working relationship. On your side, keeping track of all of those emails, Google Sheets, and forms can cause things to fall through the cracks as well.
These four companies encountered these challenges and more when managing production freelancers at scale, until they automated and centralized their processes in one place.
Automate onboarding for a smooth freelancer experience
ITN Productions, a division of Independent Television News (ITN), had a manual onboarding process for its freelancers. This involved exchanging emails and filling out Word documents, which led to scattered information — not quite compliant or secure. As a result, there wasn’t a central place to find details such as rates, project timelines, signed contract storage, and billing information for the freelancers. This caused delays and setbacks in the process, and created problems in their working relationships with their freelancers.
Worksuite makes it easy for ITN to communicate with its 5,000 freelance contractors worldwide, keeping them up-to-date with company news and policy changes.
ITN streamlined their onboarding process with Worksuite’s automated workflows, resulting in fewer steps to manage assignments, invoicing, expenses, and payment processing for their contractors. This saved them time and improved their relationships with talent. With one source of truth for onboarding, ITN ensures that all contractors review mandatory policies, submit ID verification, and absorb compliance manuals before starting work for the company. This is especially critical with the rollout of IR35 legislation in the UK, which places more onus on hiring companies to classify their contractors correctly.
Worksuite helped ITN manage their assignments and projects more efficiently, at scale. With the centralized FMS platform, ITN can now post details of opportunities when crewing up for a new project — sending notifications to freelancers’ inboxes regarding upcoming work. The freelancers can reply with their availability, which allows ITN production managers to access skilled workers even on short notice. Plus, they can streamline and automate the entire workflow – from sourcing and onboarding to assigning, tracking and payout.
Using Worksuite resulted in significant time savings for ITN because the remote production management team was no longer spending time chasing missing documents and non-payments.
Build a searchable freelance talent hub
Trying to fill an opening for a last-minute project with the right talent can be difficult when there isn’t a centralized rolodex of approved freelancers. That was the issue Levitate Media’s production operations team encountered. The team managed more than 500 full-time and freelance associates involved in bringing their projects to life.
Levitate Media, with over 1500 clients and operations in remote locations throughout the country, needed to streamline its freelancer hiring process. They also aimed to provide freelancers with an opportunity to showcase their skills through personalized profiles.
Previously, they used to onboard freelancers by contacting them one by one via email and then manually inputting them into a CRM — leading to human error, wasted time, and security concerns.
“We needed a super solid tool to help us organize all that data and capture the information we need in a very short, quick feedback loop,” says Toby Leddy, Levitate’s Director of Production.
— Levitate Media
“Worksuite has cut out a large amount of paperwork from my day.”
Collect details & documents while you sleep
To create a searchable talent pool for remote projects and simplify the filtering process for freelancers based on location or skills, Levitate needed to automate their onboarding process. It would enable them to have a single source of talent data and assign freelancers to sign agreements and book interviews quickly.
With Worksuite, Levitate now has an onboarding procedure that eliminates much of the back-and-forth the operations team handled with their previous freelancer management process.
Worksuite’s talent directory is a helpful resource for the team, where you can search and filter production talent based on availability, rates, location, skills, portfolios, past work, and custom fields of your choosing. Levitate Media uses filters to find freelancers for remote projects or to locate a voiceover artist who speaks a particular language.
The talent pool’s internal “Ratings and Reviews” system lets them quickly identify the most qualified candidates based on feedback from previous projects. Team members in talent acquisition can see a candidate’s profile quickly during the hiring phase while interviewing applicants, and easily reference their profile details.
Giving freelancers the freedom to create their own rich profiles, including data on experience and rates (and even future availability), creates a perfect complement for quickly hiring the best person for the job.
Improve communications across your freelancer network
Clarity is indeed kindness, so communication is vital to how your team collaborates and delivers projects. Having transparency around budgets and project tracking helps avoid maverick spending and scope creep.
Jack Morton’s freelancer management team were managing up to 300 freelancers with spreadsheets (and 600+ freelancers overall), which was becoming time-consuming in onboarding and assigning the right people to the right projects. Communication with freelancers was also not smooth, with bounced-back emails and out-of-date portfolios.
Real-time communications with updated information and self-onboarding were essential to the team. Each profile, created by the freelancer, now features desired rates, contact information, tax details and more.
— Jack Morton
It’s a centralized platform for freelancers that really professionalizes our system in such a beautiful way.”
Worksuite now enables Jack Morton to send personalized group messages to potential candidates in their freelance network. As a result, the company saves 80 hours every week (in a single office), previously spent sourcing and onboarding ideal candidates for new contracts manually.
Not to mention, Worksuite’s automated onboarding workflows have empowered Jack Morton to scale their talent network with 2,000” new interested freelancers in just 18 months – saving approximately 16,000 hours of administrative burden.
The Jack Morton team categorized freelancers as vetted or new, factoring in previous project assignments and notes from job managers. The company not only saves time but also gains full transparency into the project history and availability of every freelancer in their network. This allows them to offer more work to the most suitable people and reduce their hiring costs simultaneously.
Streamlined communication and centralizing their talent hub to manage freelancers brought huge time and cost savings for the production agency.
Standardize payment processes for freelancers
Late payments are common among freelancers, with 29% of invoices being paid after their due date despite multiple follow-ups. This can harm a business’s reputation and make it harder to attract the talent needed for growth. FloSports works with over 2,000 contractors and freelancers annually (estimated 20,000 to 30,000 over the last five years). However, freelancer management at this level of scale can be challenging. Their third-party payment system causes slow onboarding and delayed payments, which adds to this burden.
FloSports streamlined its freelance management process by using Worksuite’s FMS. The FloSports team could post jobs and pay contractors in one place. This made filling job positions quicker and more efficient.
Onboarding communication improved significantly, informing all freelancers immediately about the need to submit tax and banking details for faster payments. (This also puts the onus on talent — and not resource managers — to fill out the appropriate bank and tax info.)
Before Worksuite, FloSports had trouble finding thousands of W9s and freelancer contracts buried in emails. Now, they can see all the upcoming and current jobs available, which gives them the advantage of booking new contracts in advance and transparency around budget — instead of wondering what they’ll be working on next month.
Freelancer management is now easier with Worksuite, allowing faster hiring and timely payments and saving time for FloSports and its thousands of freelancers.
Centralize your freelance network with Worksuite
At Worksuite, we streamline freelancer management — compliantly and on a global scale. Our customizable one-stop-shop platform helps you source, onboard, manage, and pay your contractors with ease — no matter where they (or you) are located. Automate away the admin tasks, and free yourself up to focus on booking new clients and producing creative work (not paperwork).