Working with freelancers

Life at BrewDog - scaling our team with freelancers

How BrewDog Scaled its Team with Freelancers
Kat Shepherd
Kat Shepherd
January 15, 2021
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To scale a business, you need to ensure you have the capacity and capabilities to do so, especially if you want to scale quickly. We met with Chris Ashby, UX/UI Design Lead at BrewDog to understand how they use YunoJuno to scale their teams and grow their business with freelancer

What advantages do freelancers bring to a scaling business?

Simply put, freelancers allow us to quickly scale our resources across a wide variety of skill sets, based on the needs of any given project or product. At BrewDog we are always exploring, designing or building something new, working rapidly and setting ourselves crazy goals, meaning our priorities and focus often changes on a daily basis. This also means that to accomplish those goals we often have to push ourselves beyond what we can personally achieve, and beyond what is possible with our internal teams. Freelancers offer us the perfect balance of short term flexibility combined with brand knowledge and industry experience. What’s more is that by hiring freelancers, it also gives us the chance to work with a multitude of people, across multiple projects, in a very short space of time, giving us a much quicker view of who are great cultural fits. We have a very fast paced culture, and are uncompromising in our approach to our work, which makes this an invaluable tool.

AspectEmployeeIndependent Contractor
Control and supervisionDirect control over how, when, and where to workFreedom to set their own schedules and methods
PaymentRegular wages; taxes withheld by employerPaid per project; responsible for their own taxes
BenefitsHealth insurance, retirment plans, paid leaveMust arrange their own benefits
TerminationOften requires notice and may include severanceCan usually be terminated at any time without benefits
Tools and equipmentProvided by the employerTypically use their own tools
Freelancers allow us to quickly scale our resources across a wide variety of skill sets, based on the needs of any given project or product.

What steps do you take to ensure you book quality to ensure your scaling is not affected by bringing in the wrong person?

This depends on the project, feature or product we are hiring for, but generally, work ethic and work quality are often fairly easy to spot, and YunoJuno makes this very straightforward. Because we work quickly, and often require work done on short notice or under a short timeframe, we generally hire freelancers that know the brand, have an up to date and detail oriented portfolio (showcasing their geeky side!), and also respond to messages promptly and proactively. Freelancers who ask lots of questions, challenge any assumptions in our briefs, and show an appetite and excitement for a brief go quickly into our good books. 😊

Have freelancers helped BrewDog grow? Can you think of a specific project/campaign as an example?

We work as a small team internally, with a huge list of projects and tasks given to us from all units within the business, from our bars, to ecommerce, marketing, and more. What this means is that we sometimes need to outsource work to ensure that we can deliver against internal stakeholder deadlines, and to a level of quality that we are happy with. Recently we redesigned the landing pages for our DogTap bars in the run up to the opening of our new flagship DogTap at our brewery in Ellon (featuring a beer museum, beer library and drive through!) YunoJuno was fundamental in ensuring that we had enough UX & UI design resources to complete the project, and deliver it to our development team in the short time frame that we had.

How do you shortlist a freelancer?

Reviews help, but I think often a much better indicator is just to speak to freelancers directly, or work with them on shorter projects, as an indication of how well they fit with the brand or our ways of working. Reviews can help narrow the search for a very specific skill set, but for the most part direct and proactive communication, alongside an impeccable portfolio, is best.

What are the benefits of using tech like YunoJuno?

For us, the benefits of using YunoJuno are across the board. It allows us to brief and hire freelancers quickly and easily, making it very simple for us to scale resource on any given project at any time, as well as allowing us to keep contact with freelancers who we have existing relationships with, and who have a deeper understanding of the brand, all on the same platform. It also allows us to quickly find freelancers across multiple industries, all from the same place. On the freelance side they also ensure that freelancers get paid fairly and on time, and help us in quickly identifying and selecting the best candidates for the job, massively streamlining the process of finding and hiring the best freelancers.

We’d love to hear about your startup challenges to see how we can support you on your journey.


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