What: SMA Inc. enlists engineers, project managers, designers and other professionals to provide on-demand work at professional rates of pay

Expected pay: varies

Husl$core: $$$$$

Commissions & fees: NA

Where: Nationwide/worldwide

Requirements: Vary by position

Review:

SMA Inc. enlists highly skilled freelancers to complete project work for aerospace, engineering, construction and technology companies worldwide. The Irvine-based company, in business since 1982, is a long-time defense and government contractor, providing ample work for the 700 or so freelancers already accepted into its system.

The firm launched TOD — Talent on Demand — in 2017 to pull more talent into its pool of ready workers. By clicking on “Jobs at SMA” under the firm’s “careers” tab, applicants can find dozens of open positions paying as much as $156 per hour — the equivalent of $300,000 per year.

The catch? Getting through the application process is time consuming. CEO Ajay Patel estimates it’s a “three hour investment.” However, the more experience you have, the longer it takes to fill out SMA’s resume and project worksheets.

The idea of these worksheets is to get as much detail as possible about your experience — from systems you’ve used to projects you’ve completed to your leadership roles. That takes time. And, of course, there’s no guarantee that your invested time will pay off with a position. 

That said, the interview process for executive level jobs is often time consuming. And once you’ve gone through this once, you’re in the system. So once listed, you only need to update your resume, not start over.

Recommendations:

SMA Inc. appears to offer substantial and well paid opportunity for people with the right skills. If you qualify for any of the positions listed in the site’s Talent On Demand portal, we see no reason not to give SMA a shot. You can also find professional-level jobs with Catalant, Braintrust, FlexProfessionals and Upwork.

What their freelancers say (from Glassdoor)

My first, and I bet only, experience with a company that *helped me to apply*! Also, very slick and innovative virtual interview with an avatar. These guys have really thought about how to recruit and motivate people.

The firm has a diverse demographic and attracts very accomplished people. Most impressive is the collaboration and support across the organization (staff and associates). Bottom line, we play well as a team! The organization has a flat hierarchy, and everyone is very accessible. The Talent On Demand (TOD) system developed by the firm to manage and deploy talent is impressive! It has improved transparency of opportunities, consistently wows clients, and has increased deployment opportunities for all. The recent move of the firm’s entire technology infrastructure is impressive and has significantly improved the end user experience.

SMA Inc. is a great company for retired professionals or those needing occasional work. I’ve enjoyed contract assignments with high-caliber clients, outstanding pay and benefits, and great team members.