As a contractor, finding work can take up a lot of your precious time. This is time I'd rather be spending making money, and not trying to guarantee my survival.

Is it feasible to hire a headhunter, or a marketing person whom you pay commission when they land you a successful contract, when your contracts a typically 3-6 months in duration?

Are there real people out there that specialize in this kind of work?

  • A headhunter is someone who is employed by a business to find them the talent they need - not someone who helps people find jobs, and they are paid accordingly by the business, not the candidate keeping in contact with some of these people may be beneficial, as they are more likely to score the most lucrative of contracts, but don't ever expect or rely on them to find you a job - you will run out of bread! – user2813274 Aug 5 '14 at 18:50

I've been offered the services of lead generators, but for my business, they wouldn't work; they were in a call center in another country, wanting to cold call a bunch of businesses. That's not how I work.

In your business plan should be information about how you are hoping to attract and keep your clients. Make sure you stick to it! It is possible that head hunters work for your industry, and I respect that... But for my business, it would be a kick-in-the-face to my customers, and the types of customers I want to attract.

Another thing to be wary of is how will these headhunters know how much you charged a client, or that the client is the right fit for you? Will the head hunters get a commission everytime you sell work/services to that particular client? It seems very shady and vague as to what it would account to.

What I recommend is creating your own network, and using clients from there. Be it other freelancers, or just friends/family. Give them a kick back (i.e. a percent of the sale, a nice dinner, etc) for referring customers, but leave it at that. You are the one that then works on the relationship with your client, and you shouldn't need to be at a debt to someone else just to keep a client.

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I work with several marketing teams. In my field (design) I've made connections with many marketers. The marketers often have clients in need of design. And I often have clients in need of marketing help. So, we trade referrals back and forth quite a bit.

For me, I would never want to "hire" someone to find clients. I want to make connections with people in related but different areas of my work. If you're a web developer, connections with marketing teams, web designers, publicists, writers, etc. will all yield new clients for you via referrals. There's generally no cost to you this way and most clients have already proven themselves to be valuable clients due to working with someone you already know.

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Well it depends. I have never used one, but if I plan to I would use him only to find me a potential long-term client. Not to negotiate in any way in my favour.

But be prepare to set a very, very precise rules as to what kind of jobs you seek, type of clients and other small details which you normally find "normal" when you look at some posting. Otherwise you will end up replying or chatting with clients whose projects are not interesting to you or you would never apply to in the first place.

This can be done by your PA as well. The key is to train person very well.

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