FAQ

What is a fixer?
What is The Fixer List?
What should I look for in a fixer?
I’m looking to hire a fixer. What do I do next?
OK I found a candidate, what next?
I have a great fixer who is my secret weapon, why would I ever want to share him/her?
Why did you start this service?
How do you make money?
What is the distinction between a fixer and a trend scout?
What is the distinction between a fixer and a guide?
How much is a fixer paid?
How much is a guide paid?
How good are the fixers on @TheFixerList, the public list?
Who is behind the service?
What is next for the service?
 

What is a fixer?

A fixer is someone who helps make arrangements for other people.

They are often hired by foreign correspondents (where the practice and nomenclature started), consumer research consultancies conducting multinational research, NGOs, and in the film industry where they are postioned somewhere between location producers, scouts and gophers. They range from students through to industry veterans with many years of war zone experience.

What is The Fixer List?

The fixer list is a free service to help people looking for work as a fixer meet those looking to hire them. There are different aspects to this service:

Anyone on Twitter can post a request to @TheFixerListPro. If we think its appropriate we’ll retweet it and share it with our networks.

If you are a professional looking to hire you can request access to @TheFixerListPro here.

What should I look for in a fixer?

A good fixer is smart, articulate and curious, has a social and work network that is appropriate to the work, and a desire to work with an international individual or team. Most speak two or more languages fluently.

I’m looking to hire a fixer. What do I do next?

Simply post a request to @TheFixerList and if we think it’s appropriate we’ll retweet it to the list. Even if there’s no-one from that locale on the list, followers do share it with their networks. Once you have a name, you take it from there.

OK I found a candidate, what next?

You need to vet them for suitability. We suggest starting with a Skype call.

Figuring out what questions to ask and whom to trust is an art form in itself and can take a lifetime to master. It starts with that first conversation.

I have a great fixer who is my secret weapon, why would I ever want to share him/her?

We don’t suggest you share. We all have people that are part of our trusted inner circle that help us get things done. This list doesn’t replace the time and effort it takes to build and maintain that trust, but it doesn’t make it easier to find a pool of candidates from which to choose.

We also recognise that due to the nature of the work some fixers don’t want to be easily traceable and would shy away from being on this list. There are ways to mitigate the risks associated with traceability. To start with we recommend fixers understand the basics of Tor and PGP (tutorial here, we assume that most VPNs are compromised).

You should bear in mind that in due course your preferred fixer will hear about this site and may ask you why you didn’t introduce them to the community.

Why did you start this service?

Work as a fixer can be highly intermittent. We hope to provide good fixers with more opportunities for interesting, well paid work. Yes, it increases the likelihood of them being busy when you next need them, but it also in increases the likelihood that they’ll stay and evolve in the industry.

We also recognise that there is overlap between fixer roles across journalism, media, consumer research consultancies and NGOs and that each community can benefit from the knowledge of the other. By sharing information on the list fixers have the opportunity for more work and they are easier to find. Everyone wins.

How do you make your money?

Consulting with commercial clients and various global organisations. Our work requires an active network of fixers and this service makes our work easier.

What is the distinction between a fixer and a trend scout?

Most trend agencies maintain a “global network of scouts”. In our hands-on experience the quality of these networks is oversold. The veracity of the data that is collected and the insight (and therefore the value) that can be drawn from remote trend scouts is relatively weak compared to other readily available sources if you know where to look. Trend scouts have a place in the world, just not for the work we do.

A competent fixer is well motivated, highly skilled and well remunerated.

What is the distinction between a fixer and a guide?

We use the definition supplied by the The Field Study Handbook: a fixer will figure out a way to get anything you ask done, illicit, nefarious or otherwise; while a guide is more suited to discrete tasks.

Many of the people starting out on @TheFixerList list will be closer to guides. We’ve seen guides morph into fixers over the course of a few days, it comes down to interesting work, good people management skills and being able to bring out the best in someone.

One way to think of a guide is as a junior fixer.

How much is a fixer paid?

Pay rates are something to be negotiated between the fixer and the person that hires them.

It typically depends on experience, how interesting the work (and hiring team) is, workload, and how risky the work is. Having worked in this space for many years The Fixer List team has a good sense of what is appropriate globally and for what kinds of work. Pay too much for the locale and they’ll think you’re a schmuck and treat you accordingly. Pay too little and you’re creating problems down the line.

How much is a guide paid?

Less than a fixer.

How good are the fixers on @TheFixerList, the public list?

They range from novice to highly experienced. Being on (the private) @TheFixerListPro will give you access to other people who have hired and who can recommend people in different locales.

Who is behind the service?

Industry veterans that prefer to remain behind the scenes.

What is next for the service?

We’re going to see how it evolves and consider the needs of the community. Use the following form to request a feature.