We have created the Trusted Talent Partner Program to provide freelance marketplaces with a powerful way to establish and publicize the trusting relationship they have established with their clients, and to gain objective, quantitative, and comparable feedback. Young platforms, small platforms, and local platforms in emerging markets don’t have the same resources as large global platforms. We are eager to close the gap by offering marketplaces the chance to be recognized and celebrated globally as a Trusted Talent Partner, and by providing a common measure for client feedback on trust.
This brief survey is the starting point to give freelance platforms of all sizes with incredibly valuable, confidential, client feedback, and provide clients with an opportunity to offer their freelance platform partners an honest and professional assessment of their experience.
Platforms that are consistently rated as highly trusted by clients earn the Trusted Talent Partner designation. Those platforms that earn this designation have the opportunity to publicize this achievement, are invited to prominently place the emblem of Trusted Platform Partner on their website and their marketing and sales materials.
But that’s only the beginning. Open Assembly will announce and help to publicize Trusted Talent Partners, and beginning in 2023 will hold an annual event for Trusted Talent Partners, combining celebration of their achievement and a day of education and best practice sharing.
Moreover, as we build the data base, platforms will be able to compare their overall feedback with regional, global, and category norms. This will provide helpful feedback on best practice and aid platform teams to identify where improvement is needed.
How does it work?
It will take less than 10 minutes to complete. There is no cost during the beta period to participate.
Our beta is in the English language. We’ll add additional languages as we grow our population.
During the beta period, when the survey is completed by a sufficient number of clients, platforms become candidates for designation as “Trusted Talent Partners” based on the survey results. Analysis and reports are provided by Open Assembly.
Only the requesting platform and providing client will see the feedback.
A Trusted Talent Partner badge will be awarded to each accredited platform
A multi-page survey finding report will be provided to each participating platform
Frequently Asked Questions
Why the Trusted Talent Partner Program?
We want organizations of all sizes and kinds to make greater use of open talent, and do with confidence.
Freelancing is just a couple of decades old. While it provides many advantages to organizations – in accessing needed expertise on a contingent or fractional basis – many companies remain reticent. While the concept is attractive, these companies don’t know what platforms to trust.
The goal of the Trusted Talent Partner program is to enable freelance marketplaces to demonstrate their trustworthiness through a survey process that also identifies areas where trust can be improved.
The result: a program that helps organizations to select trustworthy freelance marketplaces, and helps marketplaces demonstrate trustworthiness to clients.
We believe this particularly helps smaller, younger, bootstrapped, and minority-owned platforms to build their brand and expand their reputation. And, it provides a way for client companies to provide valuable feedback to marketplace and platform teams on how to improve their services and relationships.
Can you summarize the benefits of participating for my freelance marketplace?
- Recognition as a trusted talent partner
- More easily attract and retain freelance clients and build stronger relationships
- Survey feedback identifies areas of high trust and also areas where improvement may be needed
- Earning the award is cost-free through the generosity of Open-Assembly
What exactly must my marketplace do to earn the Trusted Talent Partner award?
Participating companies ask 10 of their clients to complete a brief online survey evaluating the marketplace on 13 questions. Platforms that achieve a consistent, high score across the 13 questions earn the award.
Why should I participate?
It’s not easy for organizations to distinguish between different marketplaces, and independent, objective, assessments aren’t available. So, turning to freelancers is still a risky choice for many organizations that rely instead on traditional agencies or consultancies. The Trusted Talent Partner program evens the playing field by providing marketplaces and platforms with an objective means of showing they are recognized by clients as trusted partners. Inevitably, the requirement for demonstrating objective evidence of trustworthiness will grow. Smart marketplaces should take the initiative to be early participants and turn it into a point of differentiation.
What are the categories of the Trusted Talent Partner Program?
There is only one category: trusted platform partner. We considered different categories of trustworthiness, and maybe something we do in the future. But, for now, there is only one.
Is there a limit or ceiling on the percentage of platforms that can earn Trusted status?
Practically yes, in that, not all marketplaces will participate, and not all of those that participate will earn the award. But we hope a high percentage earns Trusted status. We believe there are many excellent marketplaces that need help telling their story, and the Trusted Talent Partner award should be part of the stories of great marketplaces. It would be amazing to learn that more and more marketplaces are trusted by their clients.
How can I use Trusted Talent Partner status in marketing?
Please! We hope those who win the Trusted Talent Partner award will prominently place it on the landing page of their website, will be mentioned in their marketing and sales collateral, and will be communicated to current clients and potential clients.
Will clients be annoyed filling out the survey?
The survey and survey process is as automated as possible to make it easy. Standardized materials will help marketplaces ask their clients to participate, and express the value they’ll receive as a result of a very brief effort. One click and the client is ready to fill out the survey. A few demographic items and 13 questions later, the survey is completed. Another click and it’s sent.
How much time will it require from each client?
The survey can be completed thoughtfully in less than 10 minutes.
Can you give an example of the questions asked?
Below are five of the 13 questions asked:
- Are talent costs, fees, and contract terms are fair and reasonable?
- Are freelancers are generally available to begin work with only reasonable delays?
- Are contracting is relatively easy and painless?
- Did the platform staff and talent I deal with keep their commitments?
- Did the platform provide sufficient data privacy and data security?
How will the Trusted Talent Partner help if we don’t “win” trusted status?
In several ways. Look, not every marketplace will win the award, at least the first time they participate. The bar is high but not unrealistic. If a marketplace doesn’t achieve a high enough average score, the marketplace will know why in specific detail by receiving the survey results – honest, clear, transparent feedback on what needs to change. That feedback is gold. By participating in the Trusted Talent Partner survey process, your marketplace or platform will know what it needs to fix in order to win the award in the future.
How much time will it require from my clients?
One survey per client annually. The survey can be completed in less than 10 minutes.
What if I disagree with the result and believe my platform is more trusted by clients than the results indicate?
Mistakes are always possible, and if clients incorrectly complete the survey, we will fix it. But while mistakes occur, they are rare.
Perhaps you are working very successfully with most clients, but some are dissatisfied, pulling down your scores. You will know this from the survey results, and will be able to rectify the problems that have caused low scores.
What percentage of platforms will achieve trusted status?
We cannot know. We will learn quite a bit in the first year. We want the trusted status to remain attainable but meaningful, so fewer platforms will obtain trusted status than seek it. But, we hope for more and more platforms to achieve trusted status.
How will you help award winners to take advantage of the award?
In a variety of ways, Open Assembly will congratulate marketplaces and platforms that achieve trusted status:
- Through social media congratulations and help with press releases
- Through prominent use of the award logo
- Through recognition opportunities at regular Open Assembly community events
- Through events over the course of the year that bring together Trusted Talent Partner award winners to share their story
Will you protect the confidentiality of my client’s feedback?
The survey results help in two ways: first, to determine award winners, and second, to help marketplaces know what they are doing well in order to earn client trust, and in what areas they can do better. It’s essential that the marketplace sees the results of the surveys and we will provide that to them. But, we will strictly maintain the confidentiality of the data, and not share information on specific client organizations or marketplaces with third parties.
Are there any other benefits to participating in the Trusted Talent Partner program?
Yes, for example:
We hope to annually publish findings of interest to the community e.g., which trust items have changed the most – up or down – in the past year? Or, are clients becoming tougher or more positive evaluators of marketplaces?
We hope to be able to connect marketplaces with coaches in expert areas who can help founders and teams when the Trusted Talent Partner survey points out a problem.
We can imagine other initiatives as we get rolling, for example, an annual conference of past and present award winners
How often must the award be renewed?
It must be renewed annually.
How is the Trusted Talent Partner program financially supported?
It is currently free to marketplaces, funded by Open Assembly as a service to the global freelancing community. In the future, individual marketplaces will be asked to pay a small fee for participating.
Will you offer non-English versions of the survey and international versions of the trust designation?
Eventually yes, but currently we are beginning with an English-language version
If I want my marketplace to participate, what’s the next step?
Contact Tom Matthews, Trusted Talent Partner Program Leader
If I want to learn more about the technical aspects of the Trusted Talent Partner Program , what’s the next step?
Contact Jon Younger PhD, Expert-in-Residence