In the world of gig and freelance work, finding a job and getting paid can almost be a job in itself.
That’s where companies like 10x Management come in. Company co-founder Rishon Blumberg said he started providing management services to artists in the music industry in the 1990s and now provides a comparable service to tech talent.
“We represent senior tech freelancers, and we represent them for the long haul,” Blumberg told PYMNTS in an interview. “In the same way that Tom Cruise or Bruce Springsteen have an agent, we act as an agent for tech talent.”
The agency assists its clients in all areas, from job search to drafting contracts. He also handles things like payroll, acting as a go-between that makes sure his talent compensation is consistent and timely. This requires maintaining multiple choices for disbursing payments, from digital options, such as Zelle and Wise, to more traditional methods, such as Automated Clearing House (ACH) and wire transfers.
“For the talent, our customers, we really try to take the commercial elements off their plates,” Blumberg said.
This encompasses a large number of tasks, from finding work and sorting out opportunities suited to a client’s experience and abilities, to setting up compensation adapted to the mission and working conditions. payment are reasonable. 10x also handles customer billing.
“We help ensure that [clients] are paid what they should be paid,” Blumberg noted.
Get top talent
Blumberg explained that the talents 10x works with are all high-level technical specialists who are pre-screened. This provides a value proposition to companies looking for freelancers through 10x, but it also means that these freelancers are in high demand. If a company cannot offer reasonable compensation terms, these freelancers will have no problem finding work elsewhere.
Companies that work with 10x seem to understand this. Blumberg estimated that only 15-20% of payments are late, and it’s extremely rare for them to be delayed beyond a few days. In addition, freelance contracts specify the payment terms that suit the talent.
“From a payments perspective, we try to standardize these payment terms as best we can, and we have quite aggressive payment terms,” Blumberg said. “It’s really structured to create the greatest certainty and frequency, so our clients get their money as quickly and as often as possible.”
Blumberg said bills 10 times a week, even though payment terms aren’t that frequent, which helps ensure businesses stay on top of what they owe their customers. It also reduces the amounts billed, which reduces the likelihood of a problem occurring.
Contracts typically specify payment terms of five or 10 business days, Blumberg said. The agency will not work with a company that wishes to take more than 10 working days to pay a freelancer.
“If a client is like, ‘Well, we can only make payments in 45 days’, that’s fine, you know, find another entity to work with,” he explained. “We’re not the right people you can associate with on this.”
Blumberg said having contracts with such strict payment terms helps prevent many of the common issues that can arise for contractors and freelancers.
“We’ve found that it’s the best method that works for our clients, and frankly, I think it’s a better method for clients, too,” he said. “These weekly bills [are] another communication touchpoint: how much someone worked, what they worked on during those hours. They receive this report every week.
10x rarely has significant issues onboarding companies with reasonable timelines and payment terms, Blumberg said, but there are plenty of companies in the market with an outdated approach to engaging tech talent. When it comes to attracting and retaining the best and brightest talent, the same old way of doing things will no longer suffice.
“With the frequency with which we make payments, we are aware of the challenges in processing invoices and making payments, but that’s no excuse for having blatant payment terms,” he said. “That’s really the message we’re sending to the market.”
Sometimes 10x still comes across a company that pays freelancers by check, but most of its companies make digital payments. Even with the increased reliability and speed that comes from carefully crafted contracts and regular billing, Blumberg said there’s a huge difference between digital and legacy payments in terms of processing, simplicity and speed.
Companies need to take certain steps if they want to hire the most capable tech talent — enough for Blumberg to say he’s written a book on the subject. The most important step, however, is overhauling procurement processes, including how companies pay contract workers.