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Recruiter Xchangeteam recommends that as the credit crunch begins to bite, managers don't ignore a vital business resource; the independent and innovative freelance consultant

London, 25 September 2008: As economic conditions worsen and the job market gets tougher, it’s time to get more flexible when it comes to human capital management – and where best to look for such flexibility? The freelancer.

Because of the present economic conditions, freelance resourcing expert, Xchangeteam is urging both private and public sector business leaders not to overlook this vital source of innovation, but to get the most out of this resource they need to get to grips with the freelance mindset.

Hiring freelance consultants minimises risk during periods of economic uncertainty and flagging consumer confidence and enables organisations to control overheads. This principle is tried and tested in all businesses. And when correctly managed, freelance and interim consultants are the best ways to deliver the speed, skill and flexibility essential to an organisation’s capacity to function in tough times.

According to Xchangeteam’s Chief Executive Emma Brierley, while the main freelancer qualities are hard work, confidence, flexibility and a relentless focus on adding value, too many managers run the risk of wasting their potential by trying to work with them in traditional hierarchical ways.

"The lack of understanding among hiring organisations of how to get the best from freelancers is worrying” she says. “Techniques to motivate and manage this class of independent professional are different from the tried and tested, command and control approaches. The last thing needed when times get tough is to be constrained by the bog-standard ways of doing things.”

A better approach is to give freelancers what turns them on – a team and networking based environment with minimal management interference and a certain licence to question the status quo. To quote management guru Charles Handy, freelancers should be ‘fleas’, constantly irritating large organisations to think in more creative ways – so the trick is to channel this energy to steer the firm through the current downturn.

Clues on how to best manage freelancers can be gleaned not just from Brierley's book, ‘Talent on Tap: Getting the Best from Freelancers, Interims and Consultants,’ but from the profiles and winners of the landmark Xchangeteam Freelancer of the Year Awards.

“Now in its fifth year, the Awards celebrate just this sort of innovative flair that businesses need right now. We are encouraging nominations from across the marketing, media and communications spectrum.

“We very much encourage freelancers, interims, consultants and micro businesses and their clients across the marketing, media and communications sectors to register their achievements and enter a nomination, if they haven’t done so already.”

The Freelancer of the Year Awards are open to any freelance professional, Xchangeteam-registered or otherwise. Companies can nominate someone they've hired or someone they've worked with or freelancers can even nominate themselves. One winner for each Award category will be announced. The categories are Advertising, Design, Digital Excellence, Editorial, Events, Marketing, PR & Communications and Public Affairs & Political Communication. There is also an overall Grand Prix Award winner chosen from all the Award categories. For full Awards information and entry requirements, go to

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Notes to Editor:

• Xchangeteam was launched in 1999 as a specialist freelance resourcing company in communications and PR, the first in the marketplace. It now offers freelance resourcing and permanent recruitment services across marketing, media, PR & Communications, Internal Communications, Public Affairs, Design, Editorial, Digital, Events, Advertising. Xchangeteam's head office is in London. Clients include leading corporates, agencies, charities and public sector organisations. The company has a wealth of talent on its register – freelance consultants and permanent candidates, ranging from Junior Executives to Board Directors. Xchangeteam won the 2006 London Excellence Award for customer focus, and was Commended in the 2008 Recruiter Awards for Best Marketing Recruitment Firm. Web –

For further information contact Amanda Jane PR:

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Tel: 020 7704 1585 / 07920 052 160

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