Aquent Logo
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LAST UPDATED: June 27th, 2019
Founded in 1986 by three Harvard University students, Aquent is a staffing agency for freelancers in the following fields: video production, digital design and content, web and mobile development, and writing and content. Aquent works with both government and commercial customers. Aquent claims to help provide the right talent for customers' jobs, by reviewing talents' soft and technical skills and reviewing their work portfolio, so they can provide customers with a "talent profile" that will help them find the right employees. Aquent talent has worked on projects for large companies, including:
  • Group Health
  • Health and Human Services
  • HP Healthcare
  • MSN
  • Pepperidge Farm
  • Rockwell Automation
  • USDA
You can use your LinkedIn or Facebook account to join Aquent and your LinkedIn profile can be used to fill in your Aquent profile. Aquent has offices in the U.S. in:
  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Connecticut
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • New Jersey
  • New York City
  • Orange County
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Portland
  • Richmond
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Silicon Valley
  • Washington, DC
  • Wisconsin
It also has global offices in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

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The Good

  • Free membership
  • Personalized service
  • Benefits
  • Education
  • Talent and customer satisfaction
  • Global perspective
  • Mobile app
  • Feedback encouraged
  • Talent rewards
Aquent has almost 30 years of experience placing creative talent and web designers. The company has relationships with many large companies. Aquent claims 90 of the Fortune 100 companies have used its talent. Here are the features we like about Aquent: Free membership: There is no cost to apply for jobs Aquent features in its job search. When you apply for a position at you are required to join the site. Once you have a profile with the company, you can also create a job search agent, where you specify what keywords locations, and job terms (temporary or permanent) you want to search under. Personalized Service: When you apply for a job through Aquent, you are assigned a representative who looks for work that meets your skill. Benefits: Aquent states it offers its freelance talent health, dental, vision, and a 401(k) plan. Education: Aquent has an online school, called the Aquent Gymnasium. At Gymnasium, you can sign up for free classes on skills Aquent's clients need You do not need to work for Aquent to take the free classes at Gymnasium. Recent Gymnasium classes include courses on:
  • JavaScript
  • UX
  • JQuery
  • Website Design
  • Coding for Designers
The company also has blog postings with information about finding work and finding the right talent from job postings. Talent and Customer Satisfaction: Aquent received Inavero's Best in Staffing Talent and Client Satisfaction Awards in 2015 based on satisfaction surveys conducted by Inavero. Global Perspective: Aquent has offices in many countries outside the U.S. and its job search offers the ability to search outside of the U.S. for jobs in Australia, France, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Mobile App: Aquent offers a mobile app that allows you to:
  • Search for and apply to jobs
  • Notify Aquent of your availability
  • Submit timecards
  • Contact your representative from inside the App
Feedback Encouraged: Once you have a profile on Aquent, there are links to submit feedback directly to the president of the company, Ann Webster. Talent Rewards: Aquent gives its freelancers money for referring companies and talent to the site.

The Bad

  • Provide transparent job statistics
  • Reveal the terms of service
  • Increase user interaction
Aquent keeps a lot of information about the jobs it has available hidden from the applicant. Job listings do not contain company names, but instead contain information about the industry they are in. There are no salary ranges listed in the jobs, so when you apply, you are in the dark about the company you might be working for and how much you will make. A recent search of available jobs on the site also turned up many jobs that were onsite, with some being for just a few months duration. The heavy weighting of jobs that require you to work onsite in a specific location limits the amount of work freelancers can do. Here are other areas where we think Aquent can improve: Provide Transparent Job Statistics: We recommend knowing:
  • How many members are applying for available jobs
  • How many jobs are available
  • Who is hiring
  • What the job pays
When you initially apply for a position that is posted on Aquent, none of these statistics are revealed. Reveal the Terms of Service: When you search for and initially apply for a job with Aquent, the company's terms of service are not available. You do not know what percentage Aquent takes as a commission for finding you work, how payment works, or if there is any dispute resolution policy should you and the client disagree about your work or the end result. Aquent should also reveal if they offer a money back guarantee for the client or the talent, and specify how or if they guarantee payment for the talent should the client not pay. Increase User Interaction: You can search for jobs on the site and read the blog posts, but there are no discussions boards, which could be useful places for users to share tips on how to get hired, ask questions, or rate companies based on how they treat their employees.

The Bottom Line

Aquent has decades of experience providing temporary and full-time staff to companies looking for creative talent. Freelancers who specialize in video production, digital design and content, web and mobile development, and writing and content can apply for positions for free on the site, but Aquent does not reveal who the clients are, what the salary is, or what percentage they make off of the agreement. Many of the positions are also on site in various locations, so freelancers may have to relocate for the work. The company does offer free classes in skills its clients are hiring for, and its representatives try and place members in positions based upon their skillsets, experience, and availability. Freelancers need to decide whether the security of having a staffing agency handle the negotiations with potential clients is worth the cost of the agency's fees.
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