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Despite the feverish excitement of the gig economy becoming the norm around the world, there’s an odd catch to such a state of affairs. While there’s more of a talent pool to draw from for AV projects, both locally and internationally, there’s still the matter of competing with other companies for the best talent. Not to mention, the hiring process is more complex than it’s ever been.

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Finding the best audio and visual technician for your next project can be downright confusing. Which hiring strategy is optimal for finding the talent you need without wasting too much time and resources? Read on if you want five handy tips to help you determine your best course of action when recruiting.


1. Source Candidates via Referrals

I’m sure that no matter how long you’ve been an AV project manager, you’re aware of how reputation-driven this industry is. Only the best of the best can sustain a career as an audio and visual technician. You can and should leverage referrals where possible to land reliable candidates for your projects.

The advantage of this hiring strategy is that you have a guarantee from a trusted peer, past employee, or respected industry professional regarding a candidate’s proficiency. Sourcing via referrals is perhaps one of the least risky strategies and streamlines the hiring process.

Unfortunately, you cannot solely rely on this strategy to find every audio and visual technician you need. Your network might not have many referrals to offer. What’s more, sometimes relying heavily on referrals leads you to make hasty decisions, like hiring a technician before you’ve done a proper background check on them.


2. Search a Freelance Marketplace

As we’ve said above, the gig economy is a norm now. Nearly half of North America’s workforce will be self-employed by 2020, according to an Intuit report. Now is the best time to search for your prime candidates via an online freelance marketplace. You can contact freelancers directly for quotes and negotiations.

The downside of this is that you can waste a lot of time shopping the vast marketplaces trying to pinpoint AV-specific technicians. Freelance marketplaces often lack tools for negotiating work orders or contracts, receiving invoices, and receiving updates on milestone work.


3. Engage Staffing Agencies

Working with staffing agencies for their specialized hiring services can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you get the expertise of recruiters who focus on hiring for your industry, but you relinquish much of the control over the hiring process to the agency.

For instance, if the staffing agency you’re working with happens to specialize in a niche that’s not applicable to your business (i.e. staging instead of integration, full-time instead of freelance), then you’ll have a difficult time landing the right audio and visual technician. You’ll also often contend with a potentially expensive markup fee for having middlemen handle most of your staffing solution.


4. Use an AV Labour Company

Partnering with a versatile AV labour company could be a better option than using a staffing agency. You’ll have access to various professionals, including technicians (AV and service), engineers, and programmers. The drawback to such a partnership is that they’re specific to your local region.

In today’s competitive market, your AV company must avoid slow seasons, and one of the best ways to do that is to have access to freelancers who can work international projects. As well, relying on a local company means vying for the same limited talent as other local AV companies.


5. Access an AV Freelance Marketplace

This last option combines the best of all the other options mentioned above. An AV freelance marketplace offers industry-specific candidates, a mutual rating system, and a host of other tools to build a robust infrastructure for your working relationship. You can hire locally or internationally, and there’s even a system for negotiating competitive and fair pricing.

Weigh these options carefully when hiring technicians. The option you choose can determine the success of your AV project.


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Paul Weatherhead

Paul Weatherhead

Prior to founding AV Junction Inc., Paul worked for a tier one AV systems integrator in an operational management capacity for 10 years. His knowledge and experience have helped him oversee hundreds of system integration projects in a variety of industries. Paul’s leadership skills as matched by his sense of humour and easygoing nature. When he’s not at work, you can find him outdoors, exploring new places or spending time with family and friends.

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