Recap: #31 - Rishon Blumberg / 10x Management: Representing Tech Stars!
 #31 - Rishon Blumberg / 10x Management: Representing Tech Stars!

The Technical Experts are the company Clients and the corporations which have pains that can be addressed by such experts are the Customers

10x Management promotes the bridge between high talented freelancers, which bear a unique skill set and companies that are searching for someone who can best fit towards supporting their existing problems to be solved.

This is done in a manner that all the paper work and bureaucratic work that precedes being hired is accounted for (from contracts to rates, legal stuff and NDAs, other) as well as, after the job is accomplished, the invoicing and collecting effective payments, does not weight on the freelancer’s workload or schedule.

Additionally, the company plays the role of “communication liaison” during the project, to ensure that everything is on track.

Having started by promoting Music Stars

The endeavor in fact started as an agency towards music stars and even today, some 80% of the clients are also musicians.

Rishon finds a similar pattern both in terms of personality as the creative momentum between artists and Tech experts. As also the main identified distinction pertains the ego, for a musician since early age is encouraged to evolve by friends and family with cheers about the way he/ she performs a piece, while most Tech Experts do things in a manner that very few people are able to clearly assess how perfect or efficient or functional the concept behind it.

Nevertheless for 10x Management, the Tech clients are referred to as “talents” in the same manner as the musicians.

Going beyond staffing

Representing talents are not the same thing as staffing customers with resources. 10x Management establishes a close and transparent relationship with its Clients where even the financial commissions are crystal clear.

Also, having started in the artistic context, the agency works for its Clients and not the opposite, actively seeking for the best opportunities towards matching Customers.

Having a professional 3rd party entity representing a Top Talent, will (as previously mentioned) ensure that work time is focused on core competencies and not sideways parallel activities, but also that someone will be actively networking towards finding best-fit opportunities towards that given Top Talent.

At the early stages of representing Tech Talent, there was some reaction from Customers about getting an agent in between that business relationship, nevertheless, Rishon clearly states that currently it is perfectly normal and accepted by Customers to work like this.

Why use this type of agency representation and not just look for a job?

Top Talented Tech Freelancers are not usually looking for job positions, they want to work mostly remotely, in several challenging contexts over several market verticals where from they can both learn and contribute by leaving their “signature”, no strings attached and without the boring stuff of having to “sell themselves” and take care to get paid and so on.

Some of Rishon’s clients will work (heavily) for 6 months in a year and then go on holiday for the remaining half year. So, it is not about security, but about the challenge and the ability to be in charge of their lifestyle while doing as they please.

Additionally, 10x Management does not force assignments on its talents, the assignment is presented and the Client decides to go for it or not. Nevertheless, it is the role of the agency to actively promote the gathering of matching between most suitable Client’s profiles and Customer’s needs.

Although many not being millennials, the millennial mindset is a common trade of Top Talents

Talent Acquisition

Rishon, starts by pointing out that some 90% of current Talent that 10x Management represents has been found through trusted referral sources (either Clients or Customers).

There is also a queue of around 4000 “applicants” who have reached out to the agency in hope of becoming represented by it and an average of 20 to 30 applications on a weekly basis.

The company motto is nevertheless to maintain the quality standard and not to gather a large pool of expertise, which accounts for the extra care applied when considering getting resources from a pool of applicants.

Bringing someone on board requires not only exceptional Tech Skills but also an extraordinary ability to sort out personal problems and challenges, therefore assuring no personality issues. This does not mean, to be a yes-man, yet to entice the proper communication tone as per the circumstances requirements.

The existing represented Client are key to both perform Technical related admission tests as well and in fact most relevant, to account for the personality trades of acquaintances of their own who are referred for a potential representation by the agency.

Rishon, also mentioned “Cyber Stalking” as part of the evaluation process, by going after character trades and public interests that account for one’s personality.

The relevancy of exclusivity

From Rishon’s standing point, in the same manner, that if someone is looking for an artistic talent, like a Hollywood actor/ actress it will need to mandatorily go through his/ her agent, the same rule must apply for Tech Talents.

Additionally if the Client gets a Customer directly and worst at a lower rate, that will jeopardize market positioning as well as the ability to timely fulfill any commitment through the agency and that is why the agency makes sure to properly manage the Client Schedule while assuring a steady revenue stream.

The agency role during a project

The agency does not assure project management, there are nevertheless represented resources that do it. The agency’s role is to forecast, plan and match market needs while establishing the bridge between best fitting Clients and Customers. The only steady active support is the invoicing component that happens weekly since Clients are required to report week work evolution and consumed time, so Customers may also be fully aware of the involved effort.

Since most Customers require a dedicated timeshare from Clients, the base of work tracking as well as invoicing is in fact work hours. Also, this prevents unforeseen deviations that lead to problematic situations, so, unless the Client is absolutely sure of how long will it take to solve a given Customer’s pain, there are no fixed price projects.

The market trends

Rishon confesses that there are a big trend and expectation in the market towards the AI, Machine learning and augmented reality topics. Yet, there are still a huge amount of “traditional” opportunities that represent current effective pain points for the market.

So, although the future in half a decade to a decade and the half-time line will shift to those new Technologies there is a huge market for expertise in areas like Python, Ruby, Java, Java Script, Mobile and so on…

The changes to the Visa status pose a serious threat to competitiveness since it will limit the access to the best skills which may not be within the U.S. territory.

Companies are also becoming “aware” of the fact that having mixed teams, with full-time employees and freelancers may leverage their competitive status while assuring access to scares expertise while lowering operational costs.

Workplace automation is likely to represent several serious “earthquakes” in the market as in fact it has been doing so for the last decades at an Industrial level.

The future may reserve peeks of unemployment due to Automation and AI, with the difference that the economy will be doing better, driven from cost optimization. So, a new king of challenging social circumstances. Rishon points out that the event of driverless cars and trucks alone may represent an impact towards as much as 5 million U.S. jobs vanishing.

I'm an Outsourcerer. I'm a DNN Geek. I help people with their sites @ DeskPal. I'm a #Pomodoro practitioner. I'm a husband and a father of 2 beautiful girls.

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Aderson Oliveira
Aderson Oliveira