FIRING SQUAD: HR Lancers CEO, Chris Russell


Today freelancing is hot, either as a side hustle or a full-time affair and the Gig Economy seems to be getting bigger and bigger every day.

The big question: Are HR giggers ready for a platform of their own?

Chris Russell, a job board industry veteran brings HR Lancers, an "HR Marketplace" to Firing Squad. Does first to market mean glory, fame, and acquisition or simply a rush to market with a souped-up job board?

You'll have to listen to find out! Thanks again to our friends at Talroo for supporting FIRING SQUAD!

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:

Disability Solutions is your RPO partner for the disability community, from source to hire.

Chad:

Talroo is focused on predicting, optimizing, and delivering talent directly to your email or ATS.

Joel:

So it's totally data-driven talent attraction, which means the Talroo platform enables recruiters to reach the right talent at the right time and at the right price.

Chad:

Guess what the best part is?

Joel:

Let me take a shot here. You only pay for the candidates Talroo delivers.

Chad:

Holy shit. Okay, so you've heard this before. So if you're out there listening in podcast land and you are attracting the wrong candidates and we know you are, or you feel like you're in a recruiting hamster wheel and there's just nowhere to go, you can go to talroo.com/attract. Again, that's talroo.com/attract, and learn how Talroo can get you better candidates for less cash.

Joel:

Or just go to chadcheese.com, and click on the Talroo logo. I'm all about the simple.

Chad:

You are a simple man.

Pirate:

Yee be poo without Talroo.

Intro:

Like Shark Tank? Then you'll love Firing Squad. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to put the recruiting industry's bravest, ballsiest and baddest startups through the gauntlet to see if they've got what it takes to make it out alive. Dig a foxhole and duck for cover, kids. The Chad and Cheese Podcast is taking it to a whole other level.

Joel:

Oh yeah, time for a little Firing Squad. What's up gang? You're listening to the Chad and Cheese Podcast Firing Squad episode edition. My name is Joel Cheesman.

Chad:

And I am Chad Sowash.

Joel:

And on today's chopping block...

Chad:

So excited.

Joel:

We have, full disclosure, longtime friend, not only of the show, but just in general, Chris Russell. Please welcome Chris to the show.

Chris:

Yeah, let's get it on, fellas.

Chad:

There he is.

Joel:

Spoken like a Yankee fan with a lot of confidence going into spring training, obviously.

Chris:

That's right. Let's go Yankees.

Joel:

All right, Chris, well, before we get into your new thing, tell us a little bit about you. Obviously, Chad and I know you from way back, but many of our listeners do not. So give us the elevator pitch on you and your crazy mad scientist life, and then Chad will read the rules of the show, and then we'll get your pitch and have at it.

Chris:

Yeah, cool. Started out in the job board world, back in the good old days of 1999, when D was just a small little player on the scene.

Joel:

'99? I weren't even around.

Chris:

Exactly. Well, a few years later. I've been in this space for about 20 years, mostly in digital recruiting as I call it, as running job boards, different startups, spent a couple of years in corporate recruiting as well. And for the past five years, I've been working for myself essentially as a freelancer, a writer/podcaster in the space overall. So a lot of people know me, but that's a quick background on who I am and what I do.

Joel:

Outstanding. Well, Chad, tell him what he's won.

Chad:

You have won a two minute pitch for HR Lancers. At the end of the two minutes, you're going to hear the bell. Then Joel and I will hit you with some rapid fire Q & A. If your answers start rambling, then Joel's going to hit you with the crickets. That just means you need to tighten your shit up. At the end of Q & A, you will receive a one of these three grades. Number one, big applause.

Joel:

What you want.

Chad:

Yep, means you knocked it out of the park, man. Number two, golf clap. Okay, we might've been a little bit impressed, but you are not there yet. Last but not least, the firing squad. Ouch. You should pack your shit up and go home. You should start something different. This is not-

Joel:

Restart jobs and pods or something.

Chad:

This is not your thing.

Chris:

It's a good thing I bought that flack jacket on Amazon yesterday.

Chad:

Yeah, so that's the firing squad. All right, are you ready, Chris. Are you ready?

Chris:

I'm ready.

Joel:

All right, in three, two...

Chris:

My name is Chris and I'm an HR freelancer. I've been working for myself since I left my last corporate job five years ago, and over the past year or so, I began to notice more and more HR pros and recruiters leaving the corporate life in favor of working as an independent consultant. The growth of the freelance or gig economy, as some refer to it, is a real trend these days. A report by the freelance union says that 56 million people are now freelancing and increase to 3.7 million over the last five years. According to ADP, one in six enterprise workers are actually gig workers paid is either 10.99 consultants or short term W employees working one to six months.

Chris:

If you've ever spent time in some of the popular recruiter and HR groups on Facebook, you also notice this story. I frequently see HR pros and recruiters posting in search of messages looking for remote work as a consultant for example. They crave the ability to set their own hours and work from the comfort of their own home. There are thousands of us out there and it was time I thought to create a resource that brings them together and provides a way for these HR Lancers, as I call them, to you find work and be found. That's why, in January, I launched hrlancers.com local marketplace to find and post remote and onsite roles specifically for contractors and consultants in the HR space.

Chris:

The site contains gigs and projects for everything from benefits to sourcing to writing, and it's already working. Alisa Penny, a small business HR consultant from Abilene, Texas has been hired. She created an employee handbook for a small tech startup in Charlotte, for example. And I've even hired some of the recruiters myself to write for me and one of my clients around HR recruiting topics. In the past 30 days, the site's received over 5,000 visitors and we signed up over 400 freelancers to the platform. I want people to think of HR Lancers as the Upwork for HR, so feel free to post a gig or a profile today at hrlancers.com.