Does The Freelance Economy Improve Advertising?

I’ve worked at full-time jobs and also had long stretches as a freelancer. And as I wrote on Talent Zoo not long ago, more and more ad agencies are making the use of freelancers or permalancers a normal way of doing business.

Writing on PandoDaily, site founder Sarah Lacy explores the flip side of our increasingly freelance economy:

Great entrepreneurs know they can’t be in this alone. When you find talent, you want to possess it and make it even better. Entrepreneurs are jealous, territorial, possessive and competitive when it comes to talent. Is it any wonder one of the only overpaid middlemen that hasn’t been disenfranchised by the Web is the recruiter? Ironically, there are few areas where they make more money than placing people at Web companies.

This desire to trap and retain and lock up talent is so deeply woven into the fabric of startups that the most cliche advice you get starting a new company is to hire slow and fire fast. And both are incredibly hard to follow in practice.

She’s largely referring to new media and tech companies when she talks about the need for great people who can buy into a company’s mission. But is this a lesson that advertising agencies should take to heart? Is there more value in hiring and keeping people full-time, or are those days long gone?



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.