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Initial Challenge

 

To efficiently organize and manage a large network of freelancers

Skyscanner was looking to transition from a regional model to a global model, and manage everything centrally from their UK office. 

Their current tools didn’t allow them to centralize their efforts, and their existing network of freelance talent was already proving difficult and time-consuming to organize.

As a company that works with a multitude of remote freelancers, Skyscanner’s goal was to unify all of the data related to their freelance network and bring it into one place for maximum transparency and accuracy.

They were also looking for a solution that was time-efficient, as a lot of time was being wasted trying to source individual freelancer details such as contracts and payment history.

“No one had a single source of truth when it came to – who are we working with? How much are we paying them? What projects have they been involved with in the past? Are they any good? Do we want to work with them again?”

For Skyscanner, finding a robust freelance management solution was an absolutely critical foundational piece that they needed to ensure everything was in a good place before they transitioned to a global model.

“It's nice to have another company that is your partner and has got your back and is there for you. Skyscanner is huge. It's important that everything is running smoothly.”

Alex Jordan | Editorial Lead, Skyscanner

Finding a solution

A freelance management system that takes care of everything from finding the right person for the job all the way through to paying them.

Skyscanner initially looked at traditional CRMs as a solution. They then discovered freelancer management systems which offer CRM capabilities as well as the ability to search for the perfect person for every project, then onboard, manage, and pay them from a central platform.

They narrowed their search down to two similar freelance management systems. But when Skyscanner began talking to the team at Shortlist, they were impressed by their level of care and attention, and the time the team spent getting to know their business.

They chose Shortlist based on their pricing structure, their established customer base of multinational companies, and their impressive customer service.

“It gave me a good feeling that the customer service would be at the level that Skyscanner needed it to be.”

It wasn’t a decision based on pricing alone. Skyscanner was confident that Shortlist would do exactly what they needed, and that they would be working together as a partnership as opposed to a merely transactional commercial relationship.

“It’s nice to have another company that is your partner and has got your back and is there for you. Skyscanner is huge. It’s important that everything is running smoothly.”

When it comes to software deployment for companies the size of Skyscanner, there are often a few teething issues to contend with. It’s not a matter of “if” it’s a matter of when and how. 

Skyscanner and Shortlist communicated via Slack to iron out any bugs and problems they came across during the setup process, ensuring that everything was picked up and actioned quickly.

“How they responded was really, really positive. They always came with solutions. We were never waiting for them. We like to work fast, and we were up and running pretty quickly.”

From the time they started speaking with Shortlist to finalizing the deployment, Skyscanner was up and running with their new freelance management system in just six months. 

“You can't really run a global content team without a tool like Shortlist. Having looked at loads of other options, Shortlist was head and shoulders above the other offerings out there. There's an exceptional level of customer service. And it's extremely good value for money.”

Alex Jordan | Editorial Lead, Skyscanner

Results

Huge time and cost savings across multiple teams

Skyscanner began to see results within a month of using Shortlist. Essential information was now within easy reach of everyone that needed it, and admin time was drastically reduced for Skyscanner’s content team.

They were able to easily filter and find the right freelancers for the right jobs, and they were able to organize their time more efficiently. There was no more time wasted trawling email threads and spreadsheets, or chasing people for follow-ups. Everything was in one central place in the Shortlist system.

“We were able to manage more with less resources. We’re now creating content at a pretty enormous scale, like, hundreds of articles a month. And we wouldn’t have been able to do that without Shortlist.”

After seeing the results, other departments within Skyscanner adopted the Shortlist platform including the social, design, translation, and localization teams. They were able to customize everything to their teams’ needs without compromising on the original structure and design of the platform.

“It was amazing like a huge weight had been lifted off our collective shoulders.”

Across teams, the time and cost savings of using Shortlist began to add up. And it wasn’t only saving hours of time a week across the wider marketing and design teams — with Shortlist taking care of freelancer payment administration, it was also saving the finance team time as well. They were able to get a more accurate picture of their freelance spend and use it to help them better forecast future spending.

With all of these things combined, Skyscanner estimates that Shortlist is saving them close to six figures per year.

“We saved tens of thousands of pounds a year. And in terms of people hours between us all hundreds if not thousands of hours a year. So I would consider that a huge win.”

With Shortlist, Skyscanner felt they had taken a positive step towards becoming a world-class content studio. They could commission people faster, manage projects better, and communicate more transparently across departments.

 

“The Shortlist team is dedicated to building the best possible product out there, and continuing to be at the forefront of this specific space. I'm confident that anyone who signs up or collaborates with them will feel the positive benefits of that decision. Very quickly.”

Alex Jordan | Editorial Lead, Skyscanner