|Contractor Networking||KEVIN RESCHENBERG|
Update: Alas, the site described below is now defunct. Seemed like a good idea but never went anywhere...
Last week I briefly mentioned a new site
built by a client and me. It's currently live,
in beta. What's it all about?
It's generally felt that the best way for an independent contractor to find new jobs
is through his or her personal network, and a good way for clients to find the best
contractors is through referral by another contractor (in effect, by tapping into that
person's network). I've found that to be true. But building a network takes time. And
independent contractors, being independent, tend to drift apart.
My clients frequently ask for referrals, but it's not easy to help them. Either the
people I know don't have the specific skillset needed, or they are currently busy.
Wouldn't it be helpful for contractors and their clients to be able to tap into a network
without building one from scratch? That's the simple idea.
Talent Alliance—is an attempt to build a self-organizing network.
join and then invite other contractors and/or their clients. They can communicate with
each other through the network—it's not an anonymous list.
There is no cost to
join, and there are modest financial
incentives built in (members can earn referral fees in several different ways).
When a client hires a contractor through the network, they deal with
each other directly without interference. The network charges a separate hourly fee that
is far lower than the typical "cut" taken by recruiting and consulting firms.
The objectives are simple: Members can find good projects; clients can find good
consultants; and members can earn higher rates plus referral fees while their clients actually pay less.
During this beta test, we are starting with just PeopleSoft-related specialties. But there
is no reason to restrict it just to PeopleSoft. We hope that the concept will prove its
worth and that the network can expand beyond those boundaries.
The last time I wrote about this, it was just a vague idea. That was over a year ago.
Several people contacted me at the time, but some of them used their clients' email
addresses and may have moved on. I encourage them, and anyone else who may be interested,
to email me now.