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freelancers as a new resource in business: an analysis

"How to quit everything and switch to freelancing", "How to become a freelancer?", "Freelance Master" - these are not even search queries, these are names of courses from well-known digital schools.

The Internet has broken down geographical boundaries and has allowed each of us to hire workers all over the world. There has never been access to such a large number of talented people with such low costs before.

The globalization of labor and talent is a long-standing reality. Previously, this was the domain of large international companies, but now it is easily accessible to small and medium-sized businesses in any country.

By 2030, Meta plans to move half of its employees to remote work. Twitter has offered employees who moved to remote work during the pandemic to stay there permanently. And Techcrunch claims that freelancing will soon completely change the organization of work.

The reasons for this are diverse - the development of Internet technologies, the widespread use of the Internet, the availability of computers, and... unemployment. But the most important thing is that the stereotype about the freelancer as "not quite sure what kind of specialist," but cheap to work with, albeit unpredictably - will disappear. Now a freelancer is a person on the team, albeit remote, or at least a project specialist for regular collaboration.

So who is the new freelancer, and how can companies interact with him?

Census of Freelancers

  • - The Russian freelance market is worth $41 billion
  • - In 2025, the freelance market is projected to grow to $102 billion
  • - Russia is among the top ten countries in terms of the size of the freelance market
  • - In terms of the growth rate of freelancers, Russia ranks second in the world, behind the United States
  • - The global freelance market is valued at $6.54 trillion, and by 2025, it is expected to grow to $13.84 trillion

Inspiring numbers for freelancers or scary competition? More like the latter. After all, if in the past information about freelancers revolved around 'I don't know how to do anything, but I want to earn money by working from home', now a freelancer is a full-fledged specialist with their own set of knowledge and skills, working from their personal office – at home, in a co-working space, in a cafe, on the road.

A portrait of a "freelance artist"

Vadim, designer, 30 years old, with a higher education and self-employed status, desired salary - 40,000 rubles.

These are the main possible points from the resume of a modern freelancer. We took them from various studies, according to which:

  • — the age categories among freelancers are 18-34 years old (68%) and 35-44 years old (18%)
  • — 60% of such workers are men
  • — 43% of freelancers have higher education
  • — 26% have registered as self-employed or individual entrepreneurs, and 29% plan to do so
  • — 64% earn less than 30,000 rubles per month, 17% earn up to 60,000 rubles, 13% earn up to 100,000 rubles, and only 6% earn more than 100,000 rubles per month
  • — the most popular freelance spheres are:

58% — design/graphics

46% — web development and maintenance

38% — programming

32% — writing/copywriting

24% — advertising/marketing

Where to look and how to choose?

At ICU agency, we use the following scheme for hiring freelancers:

Stage 1. Search.

We search on two main platforms:

  • - job vacancy channels on Telegram
  • - Head Hunter website

We do not consider freelance exchanges. Usually, "not quite clear what kind of specialists" are "hanging out" there.

Stage 2. Selection.

We review portfolios and resumes and narrow the selection down to candidates with the necessary professional toolkit.

Stage 3. Test task

We prepare a small test task for the performers - easy and understandable. At ICU, we often offer a paid test task. We do not recommend offering a very large task, as it is an unnecessary waste of time for both performers and the company - to compose and check. A good specialist can be seen on a small task.

Stage 4. Interview

Conducted via video conferencing. It is necessary to understand whether a person is ready for remote teamwork, presence at meetings, if asked, in what form it is convenient to communicate with him. It is desirable to choose an ambitious person with his own principles and charisma. He should also be on the same wavelength with the team if it is planned to work with him further.

It is important to take into account that working with a freelancer is based on trust, unlike a staff employee, whose interaction is based on an employment contract. Therefore, freelance partnership will differ from the usual form of work. But let's go through everything in order.

How to demand?

There is an important point in the relationship between the customer and the freelancer: the employer has the right to the result of the work, and the freelancer has the right to advance payment.

The absence of an employment contract deprives both parties of guarantees - the employer may not pay, and the freelancer may disrupt the deadlines or not complete the work at all. To minimize risks, it is necessary we need to:

  • - Draw up the most detailed technical specification possible
  • - Put everything in writing and clarify all agreements on deadlines and payment several times
  • - Invite the freelancer to participate in thematic conference calls

This will create a kind of partnership that benefits both parties and implies their own areas of responsibility.

Is the benefit greater than the risks?

For freelancing-friendly companies, there are several significant advantages that outweigh the risks of working with "free artists":

Of course, the market is full of stories about negative experiences working with freelancers, missed deadlines, failure to complete tasks, and the disappearance of performers. Employers should use the option of post-payment, intermediate control, and look for their own safe routes for interacting with the freelancer.

This article is a great example of that. It was written by me, Maria Tashchyan, a freelancer, for the ICU communication agency.

Freelancing as a form of work has erased geographical boundaries, but has opened up great opportunities for income and development, both for companies and freelancers. Today, this is already a normal practice - it saves time and effort on the road, allows you to work on a convenient schedule, be with children, and ultimately live more. And this changes the rules of the game to "win-win".

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Privacy Policy

1. An overview of data protection


The following gives a simple overview of what happens to your personal information when you visit our website. Personal information is any data with which you could be personally identified. Detailed information on the subject of data protection can be found in our privacy policy found below.

Data collection on our website

Who is responsible for the data collection on this website? The data collected on this website are processed by the website operator. The operator’s contact details can be found in the website’s required legal notice.

How do we collect your data?

Some data are collected when you provide it to us. This could, for example, be data you enter on a contact form.

Other data are collected automatically by our IT systems when you visit the website. These data are primarily technical data such as the browser and operating system you are using or when you accessed the page. These data are collected automatically as soon as you enter our website.

What do we use your data for?

Part of the data is collected to ensure the proper functioning of the website. Other data can be used to analyze how visitors use the site.

What rights do you have regarding your data?

You always have the right to request information about your stored data, its origin, its recipients, and the purpose of its collection at no charge. You also have the right to request that it be corrected, blocked, or deleted. You can contact us at any time using the address given in the legal notice if you have further questions about the issue of privacy and data protection. You may also, of course, file a complaint with the competent regulatory authorities.

Analytics and third-party tools

When visiting our website, statistical analyses may be made of your surfing behavior. This happens primarily using cookies and analytics. The analysis of your surfing behavior is usually anonymous, i.e. we will not be able to identify you from this data. You can object to this analysis or prevent it by not using certain tools. Detailed information can be found in the following privacy policy.

You can object to this analysis. We will inform you below about how to exercise your options in this regard.

2. General information and mandatory information

Data protection

The operators of this website take the protection of your personal data very seriously. We treat your personal data as confidential and in accordance with the statutory data protection regulations and this privacy policy.

If you use this website, various pieces of personal data will be collected. Personal information is any data with which you could be personally identified. This privacy policy explains what information we collect and what we use it for. It also explains how and for what purpose this happens.

Please note that data transmitted via the internet (e.g. via email communication) may be subject to security breaches. Complete protection of your data from third-party access is not possible.

Notice concerning the party responsible for this website
The party responsible for processing data on this website is:

Telephone: +66815434565
E-Mail: hello@icu.agency
Company registration number: 0845566007085

The responsible party is the natural or legal person who alone or jointly with others decides on the purposes and means of processing personal data (names, email addresses, etc.).

Revocation of your consent to the processing of your data

Many data processing operations are only possible with your express consent. You may revoke your consent at any time with future effect. An informal email making this request is sufficient. The data processed before we receive your request may still be legally processed.

SSL or TLS encryption

This site uses SSL or TLS encryption for security reasons and for the protection of the transmission of confidential content, such as the inquiries you send to us as the site operator. You can recognize an encrypted connection in your browser’s address line when it changes from “http://” to “https://” and the lock icon is displayed in your browser’s address bar.

If SSL or TLS encryption is activated, the data you transfer to us cannot be read by third parties.

Information, blocking, deletion

As permitted by law, you have the right to be provided at any time with information free of charge about any of your personal data that is stored as well as its origin, the recipient and the purpose for which it has been processed. You also have the right to have this data corrected, blocked or deleted. You can contact us at any time using the address given in our legal notice if you have further questions on the topic of personal data.

Opposition to promotional emails

We hereby expressly prohibit the use of contact data published in the context of website legal notice requirements with regard to sending promotional and informational materials not expressly requested. The website operator reserves the right to take specific legal action if unsolicited advertising material, such as email spam, is received.

3. Data protection officer

Statutory data protection officer

We have appointed a data protection officer for our company.

Alexander Rusin
Telephone: +66815434565
E-Mail: hello@icu.agency
Company registration number: 0845566007085

4. Data collection on our website


Some of our web pages use cookies. Cookies do not harm your computer and do not contain any viruses. Cookies help make our website more user-friendly, efficient, and secure. Cookies are small text files that are stored on your computer and saved by your browser.

Most of the cookies we use are so-called “session cookies.” They are automatically deleted after your visit. Other cookies remain in your device’s memory until you delete them. These cookies make it possible to recognize your browser when you next visit the site.

You can configure your browser to inform you about the use of cookies so that you can decide on a case-by-case basis whether to accept or reject a cookie. Alternatively, your browser can be configured to automatically accept cookies under certain conditions or to always reject them, or to automatically delete cookies when closing your browser. Disabling cookies may limit the functionality of this website.

Cookies which are necessary to allow electronic communications or to provide certain functions you wish to use (such as the shopping cart) are stored pursuant to Art. 6 paragraph 1, letter f of DSGVO. The website operator has a legitimate interest in the storage of cookies to ensure an optimized service provided free of technical errors. If other cookies (such as those used to analyze your surfing behavior) are also stored, they will be treated separately in this privacy policy.

Server log files

The website provider automatically collects and stores information that your browser automatically transmits to us in “server log files”. These are:

Browser type and browser version
Operating system used
Referrer URL
Host name of the accessing computer
Time of the server request
IP address
These data will not be combined with data from other sources.

The basis for data processing is Art. 6 (1) (b) DSGVO, which allows the processing of data to fulfill a contract or for measures preliminary to a contract.

5. Analytics and advertising

Google Analytics

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service. It is operated by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA.

Google Analytics uses so-called “cookies”. These are text files that are stored on your computer and that allow an analysis of the use of the website by you. The information generated by the cookie about your use of this website is usually transmitted to a Google server in the USA and stored there.

Google Analytics cookies are stored based on Art. 6 (1) (f) DSGVO. The website operator has a legitimate interest in analyzing user behavior to optimize both its website and its advertising.

IP anonymization

We have activated the IP anonymization feature on this website. Your IP address will be shortened by Google within the European Union or other parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area prior to transmission to the United States. Only in exceptional cases is the full IP address sent to a Google server in the US and shortened there. Google will use this information on behalf of the operator of this website to evaluate your use of the website, to compile reports on website activity, and to provide other services regarding website activity and Internet usage for the website operator. The IP address transmitted by your browser as part of Google Analytics will not be merged with any other data held by Google.

Browser plugin

You can prevent these cookies being stored by selecting the appropriate settings in your browser. However, we wish to point out that doing so may mean you will not be able to enjoy the full functionality of this website. You can also prevent the data generated by cookies about your use of the website (incl. your IP address) from being passed to Google, and the processing of these data by Google, by downloading and installing the browser plugin available at the following link: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en.

Objecting to the collection of data

You can prevent the collection of your data by Google Analytics by clicking on the following link. An opt-out cookie will be set to prevent your data from being collected on future visits to this site: Disable Google Analytics.

For more information about how Google Analytics handles user data, see Google’s privacy policy: support.google.com

Outsourced data processing

We have entered into an agreement with Google for the outsourcing of our data processing and fully implement the strict requirements of the German data protection authorities when using Google Analytics.

Demographic data collection by Google Analytics

This website uses Google Analytics’ demographic features. This allows reports to be generated containing statements about the age, gender, and interests of site visitors. This data comes from interest-based advertising from Google and third-party visitor data. This collected data cannot be attributed to any specific individual person. You can disable this feature at any time by adjusting the ads settings in your Google account or you can forbid the collection of your data by Google Analytics as described in the section “Refusal of data collection”.

Google Analytics Remarketing

Our websites use the features of Google Analytics Remarketing combined with the cross-device capabilities of Google AdWords and DoubleClick. This service is provided by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA.

This feature makes it possible to link target audiences for promotional marketing created with Google Analytics Remarketing to the cross-device capabilities of Google AdWords and Google DoubleClick. This allows advertising to be displayed based on your personal interests, identified based on your previous usage and surfing behavior on one device (e.g. your mobile phone), on other devices (such as a tablet or computer).

Once you have given your consent, Google will associate your web and app browsing history with your Google Account for this purpose. That way, any device that signs in to your Google Account can use the same personalized promotional messaging.

To support this feature, Google Analytics collects Google-authenticated IDs of users that are temporarily linked to our Google Analytics data to define and create audiences for cross-device ad promotion.

You can permanently opt out of cross-device remarketing/targeting by turning off personalized advertising in your Google Account; follow this link: https://www.google.com/settings/ads/onweb/?hl=en.

The aggregation of the data collected in your Google Account data is based solely on your consent, which you may give or withdraw from Google per Art. 6 (1) (a) DSGVO. For data collection operations not merged into your Google Account (for example, because you do not have a Google Account or have objected to the merge), the collection of data is based on Art. 6 (1) (f) DSGVO. The website operator has a legitimate interest in analyzing anonymous user behavior for promotional purposes.

For more information and the Google Privacy Policy, go to: https://www.google.com/policies/technologies/ads/.

6. Newsletter

Newsletter data

If you would like to receive our newsletter, we require a valid email address as well as information that allows us to verify that you are the owner of the specified email address and that you agree to receive this newsletter. No additional data is collected or is only collected on a voluntary basis. We only use this data to send the requested information and do not pass it on to third parties.

We will, therefore, process any data you enter onto the contact form only with your consent per Art. 6 (1) (a) DSGVO. You can revoke consent to the storage of your data and email address as well as their use for sending the newsletter at any time, e.g. through the “unsubscribe” link in the newsletter. The data processed before we receive your request may still be legally processed.

The data provided when registering for the newsletter will be used to distribute the newsletter until you cancel your subscription when said data will be deleted. Data we have stored for other purposes (e.g. email addresses for the members area) remain unaffected.

Data processing is based on Art. 6 (1) (a) DSGVO. You may revoke your consent at any time by unsubscribing to the newsletter. The data processed before we receive your request may still be legally processed.

The data provided when registering for the newsletter will be used to distribute the newsletter until you cancel your subscription when said data will be deleted from our servers. Data we have stored for other purposes remains unaffected.

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