Freelance recruiting: More success with your own website

If you are in Freelance Recruiting and want to take your business to a new level, you should work on your findability and your public image. An effective way to do this is with your own website. Alongside your LinkedIn profile, it forms your digital presence. In this article, we look at what you should pay attention to.

Your own website: What do you need it for?

Having your own website puts you as a freelancer in the spotlight. Because you are the product that your customers buy. They are buying your expertise, your skills, your network and you as a person. You can express all of this on your website and give new and existing customers an overview of who they are dealing with. This looks professional and also boosts your customer acquisition. Potential new customers in particular can obtain extensive information on your website before they speak to you directly. Essentially, your website is about brand building, branding and sales.

Your own website: How do you create it?

Today, you no longer need your own software developer to create your own website. There are various website builder systems that you can use for this. These range from WordPress to or Jimdo. Just try out which templates you like and how you get on with the respective tools. 

A meaningful domain is of course important for your own website. Your name is usually a good choice here ( There is probably no better branding. However, you could also choose a fantasy name or your specialization (e.g. in the focus.

Example and analysis:

To give you a better picture of a good website, we will analyze the website of Christina Wilbert ( Christina is a consultant and trainer in recruiting and offers a very good example of a successful website.

Website analysis: Structure & organization

The structure and layout of the website are well done in that they provide all the information clearly without being overloaded. The homepage includes the logo at the top left, the telephone number and the menu in the header, as well as a heading H1 ("Coaching, consulting & training") and the selection "For individuals" and "For companies". 

The two buttons pick up the visitor directly and lead them in their desired direction without having to search for a long time. This differentiation is continued throughout the website, both on the home page and via the menu, so that the visitor is always directed to their respective interest. As a result, every interaction leads to a call-to-action (CTA). As a website operator, you want to encourage your visitors to find out more and then do something. This could be, for example, registering on the website or, as in this case, contacting Christina.

Christina offers both written and telephone contact for this purpose. The integration of the telephone number in the header, which can be seen at any time when scrolling, is very good. Remember: Make it as easy as possible for your visitor to contact you at any time. Especially in the business-to-business (B2B) sector, your visitor is on your website for a reason. Perhaps they are looking for new suppliers or comparative offers. They can quickly pick up the phone and talk to a potential new customer. Here it is even a good idea to communicate a clear order to the visitor. A "Call me!" or "Write me a message!" has even more of an effect on the visitor than simply displaying the contact details. Christina uses this in her CTA at the end of the website with "Let's talk!". Inclusion in the header may also be an option.

She also creates a continuation of contact options via cross-references to her LinkedIn and XING profile in the footer of the website. Here you can find out more about Christina, read her posts and get in touch with her. 

Website analysis: Branding

Christina has chosen a very appropriate branding for her public image. The website, just like her LinkedIn posts and certainly also corresponding presentations, always carry the same colors and fonts. She uses a warm beige as the main color, a slightly darker beige as a secondary color and yellow as an accent color. In UI design, the 60-30-10 rule is used to create harmonious and balanced color ratios. 60% of the content is the main color (here: light beige), 30% is the secondary color (here: dark beige) and 10% is the accent color (here: yellow), which is mainly used for the CTA. The integration of a blue tone during mouse-over, i.e. when you move the mouse over an interactive element, makes a lot of sense in terms of contrast and is also visually very balanced. The choice of color is also very well matched to the photos used and offers a good contrast to the font color used (dark blue).

Christina uses her own name as the domain for her website ( This makes a lot of sense for personal branding. Especially when you google her, her website is displayed at number 1. She also came up with her own logo, which fits in with the branding in terms of both color and content. The staircase within the circle symbolizes the ascent and thus fits the respective target groups of individuals (climbing the career ladder) as well as companies (success through better recruiting). The color and style fit into the overall structure and appear modern. 

Another point regarding branding is that Christina uses first names on her website and also in her LinkedIn posts. The question of "you" or "you" is always one that you should ask yourself at the beginning and then follow through constantly. The "you" creates closeness, the "you" creates distance. For Christina's area of coaching in particular, it makes sense to create closeness right from the start. Furthermore, it fits in with the current times and her overall appearance that she is on first-name terms. 

Website analysis: Sales

As already described, your website has one main goal and that is to sell. As the first point of contact for potential new customers, it should already contain all the relevant information that is important for your customers. These are above all:

  • Who am I dealing with?
  • Why should I employ this person?
  • What can I expect?
  • What will it cost me?

Christina answers all these questions on her website. She introduces herself with her CV and her previous projects ("Who am I dealing with?"). She describes the client's challenges and offers solutions ("Why should I employ this person?"). She describes what someone can expect from coaching, for example ("What can I expect?"). And it shows various price packages including prices. 

As a visitor, I am guided through the entire process. I understand who I'm dealing with and why she can solve my problems, how she goes about it and what it will cost me. This concludes with a CTA that prompts me to get in touch. 

What she also does well is to put the prices in relation to each other. Directly after the price overview, she has included a summary that explains the prices. This way, the visitor is not left thinking "That's expensive", but is directly put back into the situation that they are receiving "over 10 years of experience and psychologically sound work". 

Website analysis: potentials & options

Christina has created a very good website and a strong general public image that goes hand in hand with her branding. But is there anything she can do even better? And what options are there for developing her website further?

An important component of a website is "social proof". We humans simply work in such a way that we like what others like. On websites, this works primarily through testimonials and customer logos. Christina already describes a selection of her clients in her professional career, such as New Work SE, IDnow, ThyssenKrupp Management Consulting and Tomorrow Bank. She could present these more prominently with logos. Logos and images are easier to recognize than plain text. There may also be testimonials from these companies that she can include here. 

As described above, it could also formulate the CTA in the header more clearly. From just a phone number to an "invitation" to get in touch. This will subconsciously encourage visitors to do something.

To expand her website, she could consider implementing a recruiting blog. With a target group-oriented and SEO-optimized blog, she can gain more reach with her website and thus potential new customers. The search engine links for blog articles then lead visitors directly to her website and thus to her offer. She could also do the same in the form of guest articles that link her and her website to the article. 

Own website: Conclusion

Your own freelance recruiting website is your tool for branding and acquiring new customers. It gives you a new level of professional image and reach for new customer acquisition. If your branding runs through your website, your LinkedIn presence and your documents, such as presentations, your customers will be able to identify with it and contact you. Take advantage of online discoverability and let potential new customers find you. Use Christina's website and other freelancers you come across as a guide. They usually use a similar scheme. Above all, remember to answer the potential client's questions when creating your website:

  • Who am I dealing with?
  • Why should I employ this person?
  • What can I expect?
  • What will it cost me?


How do I create a website as a freelancer?

You can easily create your own website with WordPress or similar tools such as Jimdo or Think about your personal branding and present your offer. Take a look at the example in this article.

How much does it cost to have your own website?

The costs for your own website vary depending on how much you do yourself. With tools such as WordPress and the like, you can easily manage with €20 per month. If you hire an agency to create your website, it can cost several thousand euros.

Is it difficult to create a website?

In principle, anyone can create a website these days. Tools such as WordPress, or Jimdo offer simple solutions for creating a website yourself.

How to calculate my hourly rate as a freelance recruiter

When you become self-employed and start your first job as a freelance recruiter, the question arises as to what hourly rate you can charge. However, you can't start from what you have earned as an employee so far. The financial situation as a freelancer is different. In this article, we'll explain exactly what this looks like and what hourly rate you should charge. (Please note that examples and links are designed for Germany. In other countries, the information given here may vary.) 

Sales do not equal profit

As a self-employed person, the hourly rate forms the basis for your turnover. However, this is not yet your profit or your income from which you live. As an employee, you were provided with a lot by your employer. For example, the workstation with PC and monitor, the license of the LinkedIn recruiter and similar tools, or the proportional payment of social security. As a self-employed person, you bear these costs yourself. On top of that, there are other costs such as marketing, travel expenses and insurance. 

Below I'll show you a step-by-step guide that will explain how to calculate your hourly rate. The bottom line is a very simple economic calculation.

Calculation of the hourly rate 

First of all, it is important to get an overview of all the costs you will be confronted with in your private and (future) business life. 

Private expenses

In order to realistically assess your private expenses, get as precise an overview as possible of your current and past financial situation. You can do this, for example, by taking the longest possible time to get a bank statement from your bank. What do you pay for rent, electricity and food? What do you pay for your car? What insurance do you need to pay for? What impulse purchases do you finance? 

This is a good point to become more aware of your own expenses and, if necessary, to tidy up a bit. But also to look into the future and to consider whether larger investments or, for example, family planning is pending. This should all be considered in advance and reflected in your economic plan.

(Future) business expenses

As a freelancer, you will continue to face expenses that you don't have as an employee. For example, recruiting tools or travel expenses. Therefore, make yourself aware of what you need to realize your business success. Think about what it takes to do your job. In the following, I list some topics with suggestions:


  • What tools do you use to achieve your recruiting success?
  • Do you need a LinkedIn recruiter / XING talent manager or is it enough for you to Google Sourcing?
  • Do you need additional software (like Microsoft Office) or access to digital platforms?


  • Do you write your invoices using a (paid) tool or Microsoft Word?
  • How much does your business account cost?

Marketing & Sales

  • How do you reach your customers (see: Sales for introverts)?
  • Are you planning to visit trade fairs & events? Does the visit pay off economically for your company? 


  • Do you need an office with appropriate equipment, if necessary?
  • Do you need access to a coworking space, if applicable?
  • What expenses do you have for technical infrastructure such as PC / laptop and smartphone? How often do you have to replace them?


  • What business travel may come your way?
  • Do you need a company car, if applicable? 
  • What are your estimated costs for hotel accommodations, etc.?


  • Do you need a tax advisor to help you with your tax return and other tax issues?
  • Which costs are tax deductible?

Further education

  • What continuing education opportunities might make sense for you in the future?

Get as realistic an overview as possible. You may also find creative ways to solve one or the other problem elegantly. The access to sourcing tools could also influence your first hourly rate negotiation. The company provides the tool, so you go down with the hourly rate. For a first assignment this can be a good solution.

Social security

A third major point for the calculation of your hourly rate is the social security. As a freelancer, you are on your own. There is no longer an employer who pays a share of your social security. This means that you have to bear the following additional costs.

Health and nursing care insurance

Health and long-term care insurance are mandatory for self-employed persons. This can be done either privately or by law. It is best to contact your health insurance company directly in order to determine your individual contribution rate. You can also get more information here.

Pension insurance

As a self-employed person, paying into the pension insurance is voluntary. You can choose your contribution as long as it is above the minimum contribution of currently 96.72 € per month (as of 2023). You can find more information here.

If you decide against paying into the statutory pension scheme and prefer to make private provision for your old age, make a realistic calculation of the amount you should set aside each month for this purpose.

Unemployment insurance

As a self-employed person, paying into the unemployment insurance is also voluntary. However, you must decide within the first 3 months of becoming self-employed whether you want to continue paying into unemployment insurance. You can find more information here.

Calculate hourly rate

The sum of your private and business expenses as well as the social security contributions result in your total costs, which you have to bear monthly or annually. On the other hand, you have the time to cover these costs and to generate a profit. How many working days do you have available for this?

To calculate the number of working days, you can break down the year into weekends, vacations, vacation, training and sick days. This results in the days on which you can effectively be economically active. A possible calculation could look like this:

365 days 

- 104 days weekend

- 13 holidays (average; depending on state) 

- 25 vacation days 

- 10 Sick days 

- 12 training days

This results in 201 working days per year. 

Of course, this depends on how many vacation and continuing education days you schedule, which state you live in, and whether and how often you get sick.

This hourly rate would be what you need at full capacity to cover all your costs. This does not include: "low order" times, sales days, trade fairs & events and other days on which you cannot work economically for operational reasons. Of course, individual experience values also count here, but it is not wrong to include a buffer.

201 days

- 36 Sales days

This results in 165 working days per year (about 14 days per month).

For example, if you are targeting a monthly revenue of €6,000 to pay for your personal and business expenses as well as your insurance, the following calculation applies:

6.000 € / 14 days = 429 € daily rate / 8 hrs. = 54 € hourly rate

On top of this we calculate another 30 % for "low order" times when you don't earn any money. You can find a study on this here.

54 € hourly rate * 1.3 = 70 € hourly rate

To achieve a monthly income of €6,000, you should set an hourly rate of €70. However, as you want to build your business further and get better recruiting tools, for example, you also need to make a profit and increase your hourly rate.

Increase hourly rate

The basic calculation is the same for all freelancers, no matter what individual cost requirements are determined. With the increase in the hourly rate, you can subsequently build up your business further, possibly afford a trade fair or hire someone to support you. However, when negotiating higher hourly rates, various factors (market situation, industry, network,...) come into play that influence the hourly rate once again.

Know your value

You and your recruiting skills are now the product in a market of many options for how companies can fill their jobs. Therefore, survey the market situation. For the company it is also an economic calculation which option it chooses. For example, it could work with recruiters instead of freelance recruiters. At the same time, there are also various freelance recruiters with whom you compete in the selection process. This is why it is so important that you know your value and can argue for it. Therefore, pay attention to the tips on building your business in this Article. With the right specialization, a good reputation and appropriate recommendations, you can also charge higher hourly rates. Basically, if someone will pay it, you are probably worth it. There is no right or wrong.

Anchor properly

I know from my own experience that negotiations can be unpleasant. Especially in the beginning, when you're still unsure what the right price is, what other freelancers are asking for, etc. You actually want to do everything right, but are swimming in the sea of ignorance. 

Nevertheless, an hourly rate negotiation is always something where you as a freelancer first specify something. You "anchor" with a price. That is, you first say a number and then the conversation and the negotiation is based on that. It always depends on your counterpart and his basis for negotiation. But try to anchor as high as possible within a realistic framework. See also this lecture at Greator an.

Hourly rate: This is what you should take with you as a freelance recruiter

The hourly rate is therefore made up of a hard economic calculation and various soft factors. As a product on a market, you can always start by looking at what other market participants are doing. Gather experience and references and always test higher hourly rates with new clients. The soft factors are influenced by so much that everyone has to find and negotiate their own hourly rate. I know that's a lot of "it depends," but you'll find in practice that it's just like that. Still, to give you some direction: If you go in at €70 to €80, you're in a good place.

From here, you can act flexibly. Lower hourly rates can also be attractive for orders with a longer duration. If you avoid "low order" times, this will balance out or even have a positive effect on you. For short jobs, you can also try a higher hourly rate. Always keep in mind that it is difficult to significantly increase the hourly rate, especially with existing customers. 

Finally, note the topic of taxes. This again depends on your current situation and tax bracket. It is important for you to keep in mind that profits are taxed and that you have to keep an eye on these taxes.


Definition: What is an hourly rate?

An hourly rate is an amount that you pay your clients for the work you perform. per hour in the invoice.

Is the hourly rate gross or net?

The hourly rate for freelancers is always stated net. The sales tax (VAT) is shown separately and is considered a "transitory item". It is therefore the amount that is passed on to the tax office in the same amount.

How do I increase my hourly rate?

If you want to increase your hourly rate, you need good arguments for your next negotiations. The easiest way is to choose the orders and test higher hourly rates. But even without many orders, you can gradually increase your hourly rate through a professional appearance (website, references, recommendations,...).

Freelance recruiting: Sales as an introvert

We all do it every day. Whether at work or in our private lives. No matter who we meet. We sell ourselves and "buy" others by evaluating them for us. One person is a better fit for us and our needs, the other a worse fit. Everyone has something to offer and presents themselves accordingly in the best possible way. Whether privately, for example in dating, or in the job, when we market ourselves and our service in sales. This goes hand in hand with the fact that we show ourselves and approach others, actively present ourselves and our service to others. Always in the awareness that the answer can also be "no" and that this is not a personal rejection. This is easier for some people than for others. And that's why some people find sales easier, while for others it involves heart palpitations and stress. These tend to be the more introverted among us. 

In this blog post, I'd like to give you 5 tips on how to make sales as an introvert and thus make it as a freelancer. But first, let's define what introversion and extraversion actually mean. 

What is introversion?

Introversion (colloquially also introversion) is a term that refers to a person's personality and defines him as rather introverted. That is, he likes to be by himself and doesn't need the limelight with a lot of outside attention. He likes to be in his thoughts and draws his energy from being quiet and alone.

What is extraversion?

Extraversion (colloquially also extroversion) is the opposite term, which also refers to a person's personality and defines him as more outwardly oriented. That is, he draws energy from contact with other people and likes outside attention. He is sociable and talkative and likes to be in the spotlight. 

Why is it harder for introverts in sales?

It is important to note in advance that there is no "right" or "wrong" and that every person has both parts within him or her. There is no such thing as the extrovert and the introvert. The majority of people are somewhere in the middle. However, there is usually a tendency in one of the two directions. And this can be particularly noticeable in sales. It makes a big difference whether I, as a person with extroverted tendencies, like to be the center of attention and approach other people as a matter of course, or whether I, as a person with introverted tendencies, prefer to stay at home alone all day and don't need any contact with other people at all. 

I am writing this blog post based on my own experiences. I consider myself a rather introverted person and remember exactly how nervous I was in my early days in sales. I can practically still feel the palpitations when I finally got around to cold calling back then. But don't worry, cold calling is not one of the tips I'm going to give you in this blog post. In fact, from my experience, this type of sales is more of a burden on both sides.

5 Tips on how to make sales as an (introverted) freelance recruiter

Tip 1: Specialization and network

The first tip goes in the direction of strategy. Before you start selling, define your target audience. As a freelance recruiter, you can naturally say that you serve anyone who needs recruiting services. Regardless of industry or positions sought. For starters, when you're looking for your first jobs, that can make sense. But if you're thinking sales long term, specializing in a particular area makes a lot of sense. For one thing, you position yourself as an expert in your field. On the other hand, you build up a network in this area, which benefits you in every follow-up order. For example, if you are an expert for sales positions in the SaaS area, you will expand your network of candidates in exactly this area with every job. They see your posts and you can always refer back to them. At the same time, you increase your "value" as a freelancer for new customers. In addition to your performance, they also buy your network and your reach. 

Tip 2: Use LinkedIn

How do you build up this network? For candidates, it's usually done via LinkedIn. And it's the same in sales. LinkedIn is the preferred channel. Especially if you are an introvert, LinkedIn is the channel of choice, because the hurdle to contact someone is much lower and you can get in touch with the "right" people directly. Compared to cold calling, where you often have to phone your way through various instances until you get through to the decision maker, a contact request on LinkedIn is easier and better. You have direct access to the decision maker. Your counterpart sees your request in a relaxed state when he is currently on social media. And you can stay in touch with him even if the feedback is negative for the time being. Decision-makers also like to gather a network that they can quickly call on when they need it. A "no" is usually a "not at the moment." Therefore, send him your documents without obligation and inquire once in longer cycles whether something has changed. 

Tip 3: Other freelancers

It continues with networking. Network with other freelancers in your field and the HR field in general. They are all out in companies and they can't always do everything on their own. For example, someone may be more strategically oriented and you could be operationally involved, or several freelancers may be needed because the workload is too high. There are many reasons and freelancers recommend each other. By the way, this goes both ways. If you have options, bring client and freelancer together. This way you do something good for both and strengthen your reputation as a reliable network contact. 

Tip 4: Measure

Visit trade fairs in the HR sector and your field to get in touch with potential companies. Face-to-face contact in sales can again be a hurdle for introverts, but you can help yourself with structure. All you need is a sentence, a question, and a business card that's cleverly designed. Design the business card to briefly explain your service and include your website or contact information. Then create a sentence with a question that you say as an introduction in every conversation. Each introduction is the same. You greet each other and say your sentence and question. For example, you could say "Hi. I'm a freelance recruiter specializing in sales positions in the tech industry. May I leave you my card once?". The reaction of your counterpart either invites further exchange or not. But you've cleared the hurdle of addressing them. You simply use this structure in every introduction and wait for the reaction. And with each new introduction, the fear of being approached disappears more and more.

However, approach the topic carefully at trade shows. The above method is deliberately kept short and to the point, as sales activities are not very popular at trade fairs. Therefore, with one sentence and one question, you steal a maximum of ten seconds from your counterpart. But: It doesn't cost anything to ask.

Tip 5: Databases & freelancer portals

As a final tip, it is recommended that you simply let others do the selling and let yourself be approached. You can register yourself in various databases of personnel service providers and freelancer portals and let them find you. This has the advantage that you are constantly present for others and receive regular inquiries over time. A disadvantage, however, could be that you have to adjust your hourly rate, since your counterpart will calculate a commission to refer you. 

Sales always has to do with people. As a freelance recruiter, if you want to have permanent contracts on your hands, you should make sure to network and acquire new customers on a regular basis. It's rare that you'll inquire today and it'll go off tomorrow. Therefore, keep sales as an ongoing practice. There comes a point when you "live off your network" and need to do less sales. But you have to work this one out. It's doable even if you're an introvert. Use the tips and establish yourself in your field.

Little Tip:

If you plan to go into business for yourself, start networking or acquiring clients before you actually go into business for yourself. The acquisition process can take several weeks or even months. In the best case, you start your self-employment and can immediately fall back on a small network and one to three orders. This gives you courage and overcomes the initial lean period. You can find more information about your start as a freelance recruiter in the blog post Become a freelance recruiter: Everything you need to know now.

Want to know more about freelance recruiting? Then have the upcoming articles sent directly to your email.


What characterizes an introvert?

Introversion (colloquially also introversion) is a term that refers to a person's personality and defines him as rather introverted. That is, he likes to be by himself and doesn't need the limelight with a lot of outside attention. He likes to be in his thoughts and draws his energy from being quiet and alone.

What characterizes an extrovert?

Extraversion (colloquially also extroversion) is the opposite term, which also refers to a person's personality and defines him as more outwardly oriented. That is, he draws energy from contact with other people and likes outside attention. He is sociable and talkative and likes to be in the spotlight. 

How do I do sales as an introvert?

You can also be successful in sales without cold calling. To do this, build up a network via LinkedIn, for example, or work together with other service providers. Freelancer portals are also interesting for regular incoming orders.

Become a freelance recruiter: Everything you need to know now

30 degrees, sun, beach, feet in the sand. The umbrella provides shade, nature sounds in the ears. Waves, birds, wind. Sounds like a vacation, but it could also be work. You would have to be a freelancer. Work, no matter how and where. You want that too? Then read here how you can soon get started as a freelance recruiter.

What is a freelance recruiter?

A freelance recruiter is a self-employed person who supports companies in recruiting as an external employee. Due to their qualification and specialization in the topics of recruiting and HR, they can be quickly deployed in the company without much training. This means that growth phases or "peaks" in which many hires are planned can be supported without having to search for, hire and train permanent employees. Freelance recruiters work on a temporary service or work contract and are billed on an hourly or daily basis. They are not integrated into the organization and are not bound by instructions. 

Advantages and disadvantages of self-employment

For companies, the use of freelance recruiters is very interesting in order to flexibly compensate for personnel bottlenecks without having to rely on notice periods and social security obligations. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of working as a freelance recruiter?

Advantages of self-employment

One of the most significant advantages of self-employment is definitely the freedom of action. You are not bound by instructions. You can decide with whom you want to work and with whom not. You can scale your income. There are few limits. You are also completely flexible, rarely bound to working hours or location. Whether you work at home, in a café or under palm trees in the Bahamas - you decide. Of course, everything is subject to the condition that you produce your best performance. Because that's what you depend on. 

Disadvantages of self-employment

Self-reliance can be tough. It's the free wilderness, where there's no protective, comfortably warm nest. No hand to hold you. Just you alone. You're sick and can't work? You don't earn any money. You're not doing well because things aren't going well in terms of sales? No one is interested. You have calculated wrong and the tax is due? The tax office takes your money anyway.

It can be hard to be alone. But by the same token, it also means that you're in control. Whether you manage well or badly is up to you. From freedom comes responsibility and you can use this. You are responsible for your income, for your insurance coverage, for the growth of your business and also for taking time off.

Become a freelance recruiter: The most important at a glance

If you are considering or have already decided to work as a freelancer, there are some preparations to make. Please note that the explanations in this article apply to Germany. 

Before the foundation

Before anything is registered or invested, network! This point is deliberately at the top of the list. Your network determines your success. Especially in the beginning, where you still have to build up a reputation, can't fall back on recommendations and clients aren't beating down your door, you have to keep your cost base low and your motivation high. It can take time before the first orders come in. Therefore, start networking as soon as possible, talk to the right people about your project and land potential orders. The necessary formalities are quickly cleared up and then you start directly with an order. The most important thing for an entrepreneur, which you are as a self-employed person, is liquidity. If you can start in the plus, do it. But for this you must first and permanently invest time in networking.


Trade Office

Your first order is on the horizon. Now you need to clarify the formalities. To be self-employed, you must register a trade. To do this, you go to the Trade Licensing Office and register a trade as a main or sideline business, stating a business purpose and personal data about yourself. With the registration you are a trader and can go directly. At the same time, however, this also triggers further processes in other authorities, which will subsequently come your way. For example, you become a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry, receive mail from the waste disposal and the tax office.

Tax office

The tax office requires you to fill out a tax registration form. However, you do not have to wait for the tax office to contact you directly. You can also find it on the Internet and fill it out directly and send it to your tax office. For example, you can indicate how much turnover you expect for the current and coming fiscal year. You will then receive a new tax number that identifies you as self-employed at the tax office. You must indicate this number in your invoices. Therefore, it must be available at the latest during your first invoice run. Please note the "speed" of the German bureaucracy.


As a self-employed person, you are essentially confronted with three types of tax. On the one hand, you show your invoices with sales tax (19 % or 7 %). Depending on your expected turnover, you can also apply for the small business regulation and be exempted from the VAT. 

Second comes the income tax. Just like employees, freelancers pay between 14 % and 42 % in taxes (plus solidarity surcharge and church tax, if applicable). The tax-free amount is €10,908 in 2023. 

Thirdly, you pay business tax. This is levied by the municipality and varies depending on the municipality in the trade tax rate. However, the tax-free amount of €24,500 is the same for all municipalities.

Excess income statement

As a freelancer, you generally use the net income statement to determine your profit. You simply compare the operating income with the operating expenses and determine the profit. You were paid for a successful assignment? Operating income. There are annual costs associated with a recruiting tool you use? Operating expenses. The difference achieved is the profit (or loss) and is accordingly the annual income and thus the basis for calculating income tax.

Building your business

You've done a lot of networking, you've got your first job lined up and you've registered your business. Let's move on to building your business. 

Hourly rate

For your first assignment, you need to determine an hourly rate. When calculating the hourly rate, you need to take into account that you will cover, for example, days off work and sick leave, as well as training and the purchase of a new laptop. All of this is financed by your turnover, which is determined by your hourly rate. As a freelance recruiter, the average hourly rate is between €70 and €80.


The freelancer market is similar to the employee market. There are many people vying for jobs and many who are very good and offer good value. So how do you stand out? What makes you special? Why should I choose you as a business? Take time to consider these questions. Develop a brand, your own branding and specialize. Maybe you're particularly good at recruiting SAP profiles. You know every shortcut and have an initial network in this area. Expand it. Position yourself and you will attract the right clients and emerge as a specialist.


With every completed job, no matter how short, someone has experienced a work sample of your skills. Ask for references! References are the foundation of your success. It helps a lot more to have someone else say about you that you're good than it does to say so yourself. Use this as much as you can.


Are you specialized, have you thought about your own branding and ideally already have references? Summarize all this on your own website together. Here you can present yourself and showcase your services. You can include these on your LinkedIn profile and in your sales process. Potential customers may also be able to send an inquiry via your website to get in touch with you. Use your website to show the world what you do, why you are good at it and which projects you have already successfully mastered. You can also pack the same into a sales presentation that you can send to your contacts.


Cash is the fuel that keeps the business running. For this reason, you need to ensure a steady flow of orders. The Distribution will therefore be your everyday companion. 

Job fairs

As a freelance recruiter, you're looking for recruiting or HR jobs. To do this, go through the popular job boards to see where recruiters are currently being sought. Even if they're posted for permanent positions, it's worth networking with the recruiting lead in charge. Introduce yourself to him, send him your website and presentation. Even if he is not interested in freelance work at the moment, this may change at a later date. And then he will have you in mind and your contact details at hand.

Sales are a long process. Sometimes a collaboration doesn't take place until years after the initial contact because there was no need beforehand. But as soon as the decision is made to involve freelancers, you are ready.

Database entries

But since this should not be the standard and you need business in the short term, use databases. There are many freelancer portals or staffing agencies where you can submit your profile. They will then approach you directly and offer you options. This can be very attractive, especially for an entry-level position. You can also approach staffing agencies directly and submit your application for the freelancer pool.


As already mentioned: "The network determines your success". Therefore, network as much as you can, but always with the relevant people. Approach decision makers in HR, especially in the companies that fit your specialization. But also approach other freelance recruiters. Especially with your specialization it happens that you are asked by other freelancers if you can support a project. For example, because several freelancers are needed or because the other freelancer does strategy and you could take over the operational side. 

Continue to build the pool of candidates in your specialization. The company always buys into your network in addition to your expertise. If you can come up with a good network, you're in demand.


As a self-employed person, you are responsible for everything. Also for the acquisition of your infrastructure. While in your private life you often already have a laptop or PC with which you can start your self-employment, there are some tools that you probably don't have. Very few people probably use a LinkedIn recruiter or XING talent manager privately. The purchase may also be far too expensive for the beginning. Therefore, use other options. With Google you can source free of charge, for example. If necessary, you can also obtain an order where the company gives you a license for Active Sourcing-tools, such as LinkedIn or XING. This could affect how you negotiate your hourly rate. It's just important to be clear up front how you're going to manage your work in the beginning until you can afford the tools you're probably used to. You may also need to set aside some start-up capital for your self-employment first.

Freelance Recruiter: Tips & Tricks

Now you are ready for the start of your self-employment. Finally, a few tips.


As a freelance recruiter, you work on an hourly basis and bill according to your working hours. At the same time, you can also use the possibility of recruitment. If your sales activities show that a company is interested in recruitment, support them. This can scale with your network building and support you well financially. Optimally, your hourly based business becomes your base business and staffing is pure profit.

Become a brand

Continue to focus on your expertise. Build your brand by, for example, creating a blog and writing about your specialization. This way you reach your target audience and show them why you are good. At a certain point, this can also be reflected in your hourly rate.

Multiple clients

One of the most important words you should know as a self-employed person is "bogus self-employment". You absolutely have to pay attention to this. As a freelancer, you are not bound by instructions and are free to choose your clients. If you work permanently for only one client who tells you where and how to work, this can be interpreted as pseudo-self-employment. If this is established, you may have to pay additional social security contributions. So make sure you have several clients and contracts that identify you as a freelancer. 


What does a freelance recruiter do?

A freelance recruiter is a self-employed individual who provides recruiting support to companies as an external workforce.

What are the advantages of self-employment?

A big advantage of self-employment is freedom. You are not bound by instructions, you can decide with whom you want to work and with whom not and you can scale your income almost arbitrarily.

What are the disadvantages of self-employment?

Self-employment can be tough. You work alone and have no safety net if you're ever sick or unable to work.

What hourly rate can I charge as a freelance recruiter?

As a freelance recruiter, the average hourly rate is between €70 and €80.