Database of companies leaning into the freelance economy


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Leaders, getting logos can be tough in our space.

Even though 15-60% of all companies workforces are external, traditionally companies have prioritized a few vendors to ‘procure’ talent rather than engage with individual freelancers or directly or through a freelance talent marketplace).

Why? Mostly risk. Risk of brand perception. Risk of internal employee perception. And the sad reality of large company inertia…why risk it?

Nonetheless, we’ve compiled the below list of public customer success stories and broken it up by:

  • Internal Focused – Enabling employees to hire freelancers

  • External Focused – Freelancers directly helping with their clients

  • In Product Experiences – Freelancers directly creating the customer experience

  • Project Focused – Teams turning to freelancers for a project like building an app

If you have ones to add, email [email protected].

Internal Focused

  • Johnson & Johnson: J&J has a freelancer portal in their Careers Page, and has the role of “Sponsors” that have a supervisory relationship with freelancers. According to Peter Fasolo, chief human resources officer (CHRO) at Johnson & Johnson, these roles are designed to build a bond between freelancers and J&J. Rather than being responsible for supervising the tasks freelancers are executing on, Sponsors talk about the freelancers broader professional development. – HBR
  • Salesforce: “Salesforce onboards employees and freelancers together using its Culture in a Box process, which asks workers to commit to one another and to their deliverables as a team” – HBR

  • Microsoft created a company wide program for any employee to hire freelancers. A successful use case was having freelancers help create 100 video’s within a short time frame.

  • Unilever created their Open2U portal to attract freelancers. They say, “Freelancers or consultants have the flexibility to define their own work schedule and are supported with structured compensation, assignments bonuses, and other benefits similar to those of an employee”.

  • Netflix creating unique Lunar New Year-inspired artwork that was seen on Netflix screens globally through the marketplace Mash.

  • UST built a center of excellence to enable both their employees and their clients to engage with freelancers.

  • Airbus built an internal center of excellence for their employees to hire freelancers. They also discussed using freelancers to create custom demo’s by having creative freelancers create airplanes with the potential customers graphics.

  • NASA turned to freelancers to create tools and technology in space exploration.

  • GE Genius Link partnered with Upwork to 3x it’s talent network.

  • KPMG built a portal for the KPMG Assignment Select team for independent professionals interested in temporary or project-based work.

  • EY built GigNow, their own talent marketplace.

  • PWC built Talent Exchange, an independent worker marketplace. Their leader John Garvey has also spoken about their reasons for embracing the freelance economy.

External Focused, including In Product Experiences

  • Microsoft Freelance Toolkit

  • Deloitte built Deloitte Pixel to deliver better, faster, and cheaper outcomes for their clients through external crowds.

  • Intuit, specifically TurboTax, uses independent contractors to help file and advise on your taxes.

  • Ikea aquired TaskRabbit.

Project Focused

  • Cleveland Cavaliers creating an app for the fan experience with Toptal

  • Bridgestone built a cross platform app with Toptal

  • Colgate hired freelancers through Gigster to build an app that would allow dentists to easily make Colgate product recommendations to their patients.

Have more examples? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll add them!

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