Here are 7 tips for anyone starting as a Freelance IT Recruiter. These 7 tips will give you the best chance of success.

If you’re thinking about setting up as a Freelance IT Recruiter you might be wondering where’s the best place to start? 

Starting a new venture can be scary especially when you’re leaving the security of full-time employment to work for yourself! 

I’ve spent the last 7 years building a business in the recruitment industry and wanted to share 7 tips I would follow if I were starting again. 

Whether you’re someone with previous experience in recruitment or somebody just starting, I hope you will get value from the tips I share in this blog.

1. Start Correctly

Putting your best foot forward is super important! 

Especially when you’re starting your own business. 

The recruitment industry is competitive and if you’re going to stand any chance of survival, you need to make sure you start correctly. 

Through my work, I’m lucky enough to speak with Freelance Recruiters weekly and one of the biggest downfalls I see is recruiters looking to enter the industry part-time/halfheartedly. 

The recruitment industry is a competitive space. 

1000s of recruiters are out there daily picking up the phone to cold call clients, winning business and then placing candidates to collect a fee. 

With the saturation in recruitment, you must understand the nature of what you’re getting into. 

Recruiters who believe they will be successful on a part-time basis might struggle to compete with the recruiters who are working full-time.

My advice to start correctly would be to make sure that you conduct research into the industry first. Read blogs and speak to people you know in recruitment to get a feel for what you will be letting yourself in for. 

Make sure that you’re confident in your levels of discipline and grit before making the jump. You must be comfortable with rejection and happy to conduct cold outreach to clients daily.

If you’re confident you have the right mindset and you’re able to invest a minimum of 40 hours per week into building your network, you’re in a good place to get started. 

It’s also important to make sure you set up your business correctly! 

We’ve previously written another blog called “How To Become A Freelance Recruiter, The 15 Steps to Starting”

This blog gives you a step-by-step guide to ensure you correctly set up your back office. 

2. Utilise Software

Hands down one of the biggest mistakes you can make when starting out as a Freelance IT Recruiter is neglecting software! 

I constantly speak with Freelance IT Recruiters who have decided to track their business manually rather than using software to support them. 

The number 1 reason recruiters don’t use software is because… 

Software is expensive! 

Now, before I dive into the benefits of why you should 100% have a software platform to build your business let me share with you a free recruitment ATS/CRM that you can start using today. 

It’s called Giig Hire and it has a Free Forever version with no trial period and no restriction on the amount of data you can store.

Here’s the LINK

Some of you might have spotted that I am one of the Founders of Giig. 

We launched the platform to support freelance recruiters and small businesses by giving you access to a free tool that will allow you to start building your company without breaking the bank. 

If you’re interested in free recruitment ATS options but want to consider other companies we also have you covered! 

We’ve written a blog titled: “Best Free Applicant Tracking Systems, The Top 7 In 2024”

It gives you a run-through of what we believe are 7 of the best options on the market that will help you get started for free.

Making sure you have software in place, is pivotal to your success. 

A recruiter provides value to clients by having the capability to quickly access a selection of candidates that could be suitable for their client’s open roles. 

By using a recruitment ATS/CRM to keep your candidates in one place you can quickly start speaking with candidates who might be suitable for your clients. 

If you’re a Freelance IT Recruiter who doesn’t keep candidate data stored correctly, you will have to start from scratch every time you get a new role. 

Which can quickly become frustrating. 

Keeping on top of your data using a relevant system can make or break your success as a Freelance IT Recruiter. 

3. Pick A Niche 

Picking a niche is important especially if you’re becoming a Freelance IT Recruiter. 

Working as a Freelancer has a lot of benefits but also comes with challenges! 

One of the biggest challenges is that you’re a team of 1 and your time is limited. 

To ensure that you’re getting maximum efficiency out of your working week it’s important to pick your niche. 

Picking a niche allows you to focus on building a client network and candidate database in the same area. 

By focusing on one area, you’ll have the ability to quickly deliver candidates to your clients as you will be constantly speaking with candidates that have similar skill sets. 

If you don’t pick a niche you will spread yourself too thin and will have to start again every time you have a new role/opportunity to work. 

Consistently focusing on one area will mean you’re not starting from scratch, every time you get a new role. 

So how do you pick your niche? 

IT recruitment is a broad industry. 

There are lots of different factors to consider when picking your niche. The following are some you might want to think about when making your choice: 


Location is a common one.

Most recruiters will pick a geographical location where they focus their recruitment efforts.

Tech Skills

As a Freelance IT Recruiter, you can’t cover every skill out there, it’s too complicated and will take too much of your time. When picking this niche make sure you choose something you’re interested in.

By picking an area that excites you it will make the research and learning phase easier. 

Once you’ve picked your tech skill niche you can start learning about it to make sure you understand the area you will be recruiting for.


Some recruiters will pick a level of seniority when it comes to recruitment. You could decide to only recruit for C-Level roles. 

C-level roles can be very lucrative when it comes to recruitment fees but are less frequent than junior roles. 

Organisation Size

When picking a client base some recruiters will focus on a specific client type they would like to recruit for. 

Recruitment agencies often target bigger companies and smaller businesses/Freelance IT recruiters target early-stage tech start-ups. 

When you’re first starting it can be hard to pick a niche, as you might find yourself turning away business opportunities that you would ideally like to accept. 

However, in the long run, having a niche will become one of your biggest strengths. 

4. Give Yourself Time

Another big mistake you can make when starting out as a Freelance IT Recruiter is expecting things to happen overnight. 

Starting a business is tough and no matter how experienced you are there could be external factors (like a global pandemic) that could impact your growth and mean that things take longer than they should. 

As someone who’s been working in the start-up space for 7 years, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt is that things often take longer than expected. 

By giving yourself time, you stand the best chance of seeing success. 

The question is, 

How long should you give yourself? 

This varies for everyone, as people often have different pressures when it comes to family commitments. 

I would say you need to give yourself at least a year or two to crack it. 

If you’re leaving your current role and only have enough money to survive for 3– 6 months, you might want to reconsider by putting more money into savings and giving yourself more time. 

5. Organise Legals

This one’s fairly simple but it’s arguably one of the most important. 

When starting out it’s important to ensure you have the right contracts to protect you when working with your clients. 

By failing to tick this one off you put yourself at risk. 

How you go about getting the contracts sorted is the challenge. 

When I was starting up, the first place I went to was Upwork, I posted a job there asking for support to create a contract ready for the Giig Hire platform. 

I ended up working with a freelance lawyer who helped me to draft something. 

It wasn’t perfect but it was 100% better than having nothing. 

When onboarding any client they will expect you to have a contract and I can guarantee it will be one of the first things they ask for, so don’t let it be a blocker. 

Getting your legal documents in place is something you can do on the side before you quit your day job. Personally, if I had my time again, I would make sure this one was ticked off before I took the leap. 

6. Focus On Clients

If you’re new to the world of recruitment you might assume that the majority of your time will be spent chatting with candidates. 

This couldn’t be any further from the truth, especially in the early days. 

When you’re just starting as a freelance IT recruiter one of your biggest challenges will be making sure that you are winning clients because with no clients you will have nowhere to place your candidates and no way of making money. 

It’s a trap you can easily fall into as a recruiter, 

You neglect business development and quickly find that your bank balance will drop. 

By focusing on clients you give yourself the best chance of survival. 

So, what are the best ways to find clients?

When you’re just starting out and you have no brand reputation or previous success the majority of your clients will come from cold outreach. 

It’s painful and it’s not pretty but cold outreach is by far the best way to find new opportunities and the majority of freelance IT recruiters will reach out to clients by: 

Cold Calling

Cold Emailing 

Cold LinkedIn Messages

All three channels can work effectively and you should utilise all of them. 

In my experience, cold calling is the hardest but most effective channel. 

In the digital age of Email and LinkedIn, there’s so much saturation that your messages can often be lost in the noise. 

Hiring Managers/CEOs are constantly receiving messages from Freelance IT Recruiters, so it’s pivotal that you make yours stand out. Within seconds you need to communicate why that person should read your email/message. 

Otherwise, it will just end up getting deleted. 

By cold calling and speaking with people, you guarantee your pitch is heard.

Assuming the person is willing to give you the time to speak. 

By pitching to people on the phone, I think you have a better chance of getting them to consider your offer. 

The biggest issue with cold outreach of any form, is reaching the right person and having your message read/heard. 

This brings me nicely to the final tip. 

7. Create Content 

The cold outreach game is becoming harder! 

The main reason for this is that people are so inundated with approaches that they delete the email or reject the call. 

Which makes it hard to get in front of the right people.

One of the easiest ways to solve this issue is by creating content! 

By creating relevant content for your target market you provide value upfront and reach your prospect at a time when they are searching for your services. 

In the same way, you’ve found this blog today, you could be posting content for your target market to catch them at a time when they are looking for your services.

The content should then provide them with value upfront which might lead them to engage with you. 

The cold outreach game is tough because you are pushing yourself onto someone when they may or may not be looking for your services. 

By creating content that people can find when they are looking for help with something you’re opening yourself up to a warmer conversation when they’re in the right headspace to buy. 

I believe this will become the best way to reach people in the future. 

As more and more people are rejecting the calls and deleting messages your chances of getting the attention of your prospects reduces dramatically. 

This is why content creation is a no-brainer. 

The issue with content creation is that it takes time to build. 

When you start making content you might find that it takes 6 months before you see any benefit and it could take you years before it really kicks off. 

Which is why a lot of people give up. 

They write a couple of social media posts and see that they’ve not gone viral, so they give up. 

My advice to anyone who’s starting out creating content would be to… 

Create a plan! 

Having a plan around what you want to talk about and the value you think you can add will allow you to stay consistent. 

If you can plan your first 2 to 3 months of content and stick to creating it, you’re already on your way to making it a habit. 

You will need to ensure that you’re conducting cold outreach at the same time because you will need to find clients faster than simply creating content.

However, if you stay persistent in creating content you might find in years to come that it becomes one of your biggest business development weapons. 


Hopefully, you’ve found the 7 Tips in this blog useful and I really hope that they help you succeed as a Freelance IT Recruiter. 

If you have found the tips helpful and would like to continue the conversation, I’m always happy to chat and you can reach out to me on any of the Giig Hire socials or my personal LinkedIn. 

As I mentioned earlier in the blog, we’re passionate about supporting you in becoming your own business owner and will always do our best to provide the software and support to help you achieve this. 

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