Challenge — Levitate needed a single pool of talent from which to easily source, onboard, and manage their team of remote freelancers.
Managing Levitate’s full-time and freelancer workforce is difficult as the variety of services they offer and production locations are very diverse. The company operates in remote areas across the country with crews approaching 20-30 members. Talent can range from 3D renderers, a/v techs, to camera operators and script writers. Capturing and organizing information on each crew member during the onboard process was slow.
Their old system of onboarding freelancers involved individually coordinating with them over email. “It was a lot of back and forth with getting people to sign things,” says Summer Carsten, Production Coordinator for Levitate. Once the freelancers had relayed their contact info, portfolio and availability, she was then tasked with manually inputting this into SalesForce which hosted which acted as their contractor CRM.
The procedure for paying freelancers also posed challenges to their operations team. Once a freelancer had completed work and submitted their invoice, more manual work had to be done to ensure the payment would be released. Invoices would then be tracked on a spreadsheet and, finally, after having individual approval from the operations team, the finance dept. would be able to release the payment.
“The number one benefit is having everyone’s info easily accessible so I don’t have to keep track of everything. I enjoy having it all there.”
Levitate needed a platform that would allow their one-time and reoccurring freelancers to self-onboard. Since they hired through mainstream job outlets as well as specialized production sites, they sought to push applicants to a link where they could create their own profile. They wanted these candidates to be able to have the autonomy to self-populate fields of information they were currently collecting via submissions from those sites. They also needed this improved workflow to be tailored to their current hiring process which meant enabling freelancers to be able to easily sign agreements and also self-book their interview time.
Once in the system, they wanted a central talent pool that was easily searchable. Since most of their projects are remote-based and the needs of each production can vary, the operations team needed a simple way to scale up for remote productions. This meant the ability to quickly narrow applicants based on geography or worker skillset. Additionally, they needed to have a single source of truth for their talent data, which would add efficiency to their management process as they could then easily reference contact information, documents, payment information and more. “We needed a super solid tool to help us organize all that data and capture information we need in a very short, quick feedback loop,” says Toby Leddy, Levitate’s Director of Production.
With Shortlist, Levitate now has an onboard procedure that has eliminated much of the back and forth the operations team handled with the previous process. Candidates can now upload their own information and book an interview through a popular email platform integration. As one of the people tasked with finding new talent, Summer enjoys being able to see a candidate’s profile easily during the hiring phase. “I really like when I’m interviewing applicants, I can just pull up their profile and can easily reference their details,” says Summer. “I don’t have to keep track of NDA’s and payment information or go in and out of SalesForce.”
“Shortlist has cut out a large amount of paperwork from my day.”
Their private talent pool in Shortlist has also come in handy. They currently use filters to determine where freelancers might be located for a remote project or to find a one-time voiceover artist that speaks a certain language, for instance. Summer also enjoys using the ratings and reviews option of the talent pool as she can easily narrow past talent based on this feedback. “I say OK, has this person worked for us? And if so, how did it go?”
Summer also feels confident in the improved freelancer-facing experience since Shortlist features an easy-to-use interface and a straight forward workflow. Once they’re in the platform she knows they’ll have a great look at the project lifecycle from their portfolio submissions to payment schedules which can free her up to tackle bigger tasks.