THE GLOBAL NETWORK: Managing the Freelance Model

Thu 8 Sep 2022 11:00 am UK Time

• Not every agency model relies on a core in-house team… but how do you manage a pool of freelancers and get it right?
• Sharing how they do it successfully, we’ll be joined by James Brown from Comtec.
• He’ll be telling us how they’ve built a freelance community that feels valued – and how it is all managed successfully.

Comtec works with a network of between 3000-4000 freelancers on their client projects, with no translators in-house.

Not every agency model works with just one core team and for many, employing freelancers is key to their output.

But what is it really like managing a global pool of freelancers?

“Being a translation business, we are literally fully global. We’ve always had a team in-house but all our translators have always been freelance,” says James Brown, head of commercial at Comtec.

They have a network of between 3000-4000 freelancers working for them on projects for clients – which sounds like a logistical nightmare.

So, how do Comtec handle this so successfully?

  • Recruiting the right people. “We have a really tight process. We build our clients a dedicated team, and what we do is look for linguists of a certain specialism.”
  • Project management systems. These are linked to their main translation platform to help keep track of their freelancers’ progress and keep track of deadlines, no matter where the freelancer is around the world.
  • Ratings and quality assurance. The work of each translator is assessed, which helps Comtec work out who is best for their next set of projects. They also have an internal QA team to make sure everything is watertight.
  • Building a community. They hold webinars for their freelancer pool, nominate them for industry awards, and even hold open days for prospective and current employees to meet, as they’re conscious many of them are remote workers without a hybrid team to work alongside of.

For James, the most important thing is making the freelancers they work with feel valued.

“It’s about taking the time to get to know them personally and building trust like you would with a client or a colleague,” he says.

To hear more about how Comtec manages a global pool of freelancers, and how you can do this successfully too, come along to this session with all your questions at the ready.