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Underwater Agency

By Rob Williams

In this episode, I talk about how I’m helping design agencies fix painful staff shortages with my referral community for product designers.

“The recruiting fee I paid to find a designer was 45% of their first year salary”

That’s a real quote from an agency owner I recently helped find a designer. While I was blown away by that number, most of my friends were not.

Yep, that’s about much what it costs.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


I get agencies see immense value in expanding and contracting their workforce quickly to match supply and demand.

But paying a 45% first-year’s salary fee cements it for me: hiring through traditional models is broken.

Obviously, recruiter, job boards, and freelance platforms aren’t solving the problem since according to Forbes an estimated 80% jobs go unadvertised.

The result is design agencies in chronic staff shortage – where profits are dictated by your ability to time hires with the peaks and valleys – NOT do the actual work effectively.

You end up paying your team to wait around while you find something for them to do – or worse, underwater gasping for air from another staff shortage.

Finding the right balance is enough to keep you awake at night as an agency owner, because there’s always another ebb and flow around the corner.

The truth is, the best hires don’t come from clicking hire on someone’s profile – or having a spammy recruiter “network” for you.

The best hires come from personal referrals.

Someone who understands what type of person you’re looking for personally matching you with someone a trust designer.

Spoiler alert: that’s what Folyo does.

I’ve already helped hundreds of companies hire a designer faster by personally matching them with someone who:

  • is available right now
  • is interested in the project
  • has the right experience level
  • has an awesome portfolio

We send projects to a small, curated community of designers – and personally vet responses – so companies are connecting with the cream of the crop specifically for their job.

It doesn’t even take very long (less than 5 days usually) and there’s no need for us to take a cut. We want to help more companies so we charge a flat-fee that you only pay after you’re 100% happy with the designer you’ve found.

So far the case studies have been so amazing that I’m developing a new podcast specifically to document them one by one. But we’re looking for more.

You can currently get early-access to this service here and finally match supply and demand, on-demand.

Looking forward to introducing you to the community.

About Rob Williams...

I run Folyo which helps freelance designers find the work they were meant to do. I also host Freelance a podcast about how to be more effective at independent work featuring remote companies like Disney, Basecamp, YNAB, ConvertKit and more.