Ep 213 – HR Freelancers Enter the HR Workforce

We’ve been talking about the “gig economy” for a few years now, and how the growth of freelancing and contract work impacts how we work in the HR space. A recent study by the Freelance Union estimates that there are now 56.7 million American freelancers, an increase of 3.7 million in the past five years. As a contract consultant myself, I’m fascinated by how freelancing has changed how companies operate in today’s marketplace. Today, I want to get a little meta and talk about HR freelancers. 

Episode 213: HR Freelancers Enter the HR Workforce (@ChrisRussell)

My guest today is recruitment marketing consultant and Managing Director of RecTech Media, Chris Russell, who recently founded HR Lancers, a website to help promote the use of freelancing inside the HR community. As a freelancer myself and also someone who employs freelancers to grow my own business, freelancing gives me flexibility in my life while also providing me with new and exciting work experiences. Honestly, freelancing helps me stay sane, and I talked to Chris to hear about how freelancing is growing in the HR industry. 

I definitely think, or in the early stages here of freelancing, particularly in the HR space overall. You're seeing a renewed interest in remote work from a lot of people. - @chrisrussell #podcasting #humanresources #hr Click To Tweet

What Type of Gig Jobs Are There for HR and Recruiting? 

Chris shares with us the types of HR and recruiting jobs that are the most popular right now on HR Lancers as well as how he sees this changing. One of the benefits of freelancing is that these jobs are remote meaning that your workers can work on their schedule and anywhere in the world. Candidate sourcing, HR content development, and HR project-based work like developing employee handbooks are common projects on the HR Lancer site. Gig workers join the community for free and companies post their projects and contract work. Additionally, companies can also search the profiles of the available freelancers and connect with them directly.

On other marketplaces like Upwork and Fivr, these gig marketplaces don’t focus on HR and recruiting type freelance roles. This makes the sites and communities hard to navigate for everyone, and expensive. Chris shares that Upwork charges gig workers for use of their platform as much as 20%.

As someone who has used these sites personally to find project based work, I can attest that Upwork is crowded with workers. I, personally find that most companies on the site are simply looking for the cheapest option instead of quality. That is why I work through referrals and my network instead of a site like Upwork myself. However, because of HR Lancers specific niche, this is a community that I can get behind.


As HR leaders, we’re operating in a rapidly evolving talent marketplace and the gig economy is just going to keep growing. Just as sites sprang up for freelance jobs in writing, editing and other creative work…followed by tech jobs like developers and web designers…HR freelancing could be any company’s best resource for finding professionals with specific experience that can help solve HR problems. And for those of us working as consultants in HR, this is a boon for connecting our talent with employers looking for HR contractors. I’m excited to see HR Lancers growing and glad to have Chris with us today to talk about it.

Connect with Chris Russell on LinkedIn.



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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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