"Gig" has become the new black when it comes to defining the freelance economy, and the trend isn't dying out any time soon. That's exactly why Gighouse came into the industry as a new digital matching platform that lets users like or dislike jobs to filter through and apply. It's not for everyone, and a VAT number is required, but it fills an important niche as an app backed by a full platform that facilitates connecting employers and freelancers.
“The difference with existing platforms is that we put human interaction first. You don't book a freelancer like an Uber or Airbnb. This is about people: client and freelancer. A cultural fit is needed," says Rika Coppens, CEO of House of HR, the company behind Gighouse.
Like your gig
The app has just been launched, and clients can post assignments through a supportive web application. The freelancer determines their rate, while the client chooses between a subscription formula of 15% or 20%.
“As a freelancer you don't have to invoice yourself, we do that for you. You enter your timesheet on mobile. You also simply choose which jobs you take on, liking or disliking like you would on Tinder, for example. Then, on the other side, a client chooses a freelancer: and at that moment there is a match," explains Coppens.
Gighouse may be a virtual platform, but there are real consultants behind the scenes.
"We screen every freelancer for resumes and references," says Co-Founder Caroline Rollé. “That makes a big difference: we want to offer quality candidates to employers. As a freelancer you are present and flexible, but you mainly have in-house expertise. That quality criterion also applies to employers. Assignments must be real. It is not our intention that any freelancer might respond to an assignment that has already been or will be filled in."
Rollé adds: “Powered by people is a very important thing for us. We want our freelancers to become part of the corporate culture at customers. We do not treat them as a number, but as an employee, with respect for the freedom and flexibility they seek as a freelancer. Then they don't stay in a corner within the company and they take ownership."
But how exactly are freelancers screened? Rollé is transparent on the matter: “We call or Skype every profile that we receive via the app for a half-hour screening,” she says. “In addition, we dig deeper into competences. You explain your projects and provide references. We then contact those clients with a brief explanation. On the app we want to integrate even more tests about your values and your soft skills. Our freelancers community is a solid pool of employees that we are going to offer even more services, such as insurance, accounting, co-working spaces, legal start-up advice and even special purchase conditions for company vehicles.”
Lieven Van Nieuwenhuyze, CMO of Gighouse, concludes with: “Freelancers who have to look for a job for a long time are not always the strongest. If there is no screening, you will experience problems. A quality label is essential. We need freelancers who are Gighouse Qualified. In the long term, we also want to indicate what is needed and where there are potential areas for improvement for the freelancer. With that quality label you are immediately in the top drawer.”
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