What Company Could Get You to Switch from Freelance to Full-Time?

By Dillon Baker September 25th, 2015

According to our recent study on the state of freelancing in 2015, 68 percent of respondents would consider giving up their freelance lifestyle for full-time work. If we’d presented them with these 65 companies in the graphic below, that number almost certainly would’ve been higher.

Working Not Working, a freelance creatives networking platform, just announced the results of a survey that asked freelancers what full-time gig could get them to give up their self-employed freedom. This is the second year Working Not Working put out the report, and of the current 65, 28 were repeats from 2014.

Those 28 include some of the biggest and most influential brands in the world: Apple, Pixar, Patagonia, Valve, Tesla, NASA, and Google, just to name a few.

More relevant for freelance creatives, however, are the media brands and agencies that have made both years lists: The New Yorker, 72andSunny, BuzzFeed, Disney, Wieden + Kennedy, Cartoon Network, and yes, Red Bull, who these days is just as much a media house as a sugary energy drink purveyor.

New to the list are big media brands like New York Magazine, The New York Times (and its magazine), National Geographic, ESPN, and Vice, who made it despite their less than savory reputation for mistreating employees.

Some surprising companies dropped from the list as well, including stalwarts like Facebook, HBO, Adidas, and 360i.

A total of 610 freelance respondents mentioned 195 different companies—which suggests there is a concentrated tier of companies with a good reputation among creatives.

In terms of industry, there was a pretty healthy mix of advertising/design, media, and tech. According to Advertising Age, advertising and design led the pack with 22 percent each. Ad Age also reported that 52 percent of respondents wanted to work for a company with 1,000 employees or more—quite a shift for freelancers used to working for themselves.

Almost every company on the list has a reputation for innovation and leadership in their respective industries. They’re the kinds of companies that would make all your friends jealous when you say you work for them (an underrated perk if you ask me).

The respondents also named smart, hardworking people as the number one draw for going full-time:

The most frequent and most emphatic response was—the people. The draw of a team was stronger than pay or perks. As one member put it, "I'd trade salary for a batch of lateral-thinking, risk-friendly, smart people in a heartbeat."

Considering that creative work is usually collaborative, choosing a company based on people—rather than salary—makes a lot of sense. It demonstrates that freelancers are an idealistic bunch. If the situation isn’t right, then they probably won’t compromise their independence.

Image by Working Not Working
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