How the Rising Freelance Economy Will Change Talent Acquisition Strategies

Change is in the air. There is no doubt about it. Forbes, Fox Business, and The Wall Street Journal have all written about the rise of the freelance economy.

Organizations are relying on contingent labor more and more. With that trend expected to continue, HR and procurement professionals tasked with sourcing talent need to get ready. Unfortunately, research indicates fewer than 30 percent of companies have a plan for making their organization more attractive to freelance talent. Identifying, managing, and monitoring freelancers presents a few challenges, but it is possible. Organizations that capitalize on the rise of freelance talent will position themselves for success, especially as the number of non-supplemental freelancers continues to rise. What if your company attracted the best and the brightest freelance workers? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the cost savings, flexibility, and increased efficiency freelancers can bring to your business? Learn more about how to adjust your talent acquisition strategies for the future. Those who wait too long risk getting left behind by the competition.

What’s Changing?

A few factors contribute to the continued growth in the number of freelance workers. These include technological advances, the growth of the online staffing industry, and the advent of Big Data. Most procurement and HR professionals are aware of these trends, but they are unprepared for the ramifications. In addition to more freelance workers, two other trends seem like they will have a significant impact on talent acquisition strategies.
  • Freelancer Management Systems, also known as FMS, will play a larger role. These private Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms will let companies engage, manage, and pay freelancers. As we see more freelance workers, expect FMS to get more attention.
  • Because so many organizations use freelancers for specific, project-based work, the use of Platform Enabled Work Arrangement will increase. From custom, enterprise solutions to niche job boards, platform enabled work will continue to facilitate freelancers connecting with the businesses that need them.
Moving forward, procurement risk and complexity will increase. This is true in all industries, but especially for knowledge-based work. If you are responsible for managing your organization’s extended workforce, you need to get ready because if not, you will be operating at a significant disadvantage.

Why Aren’t More Companies Prepared?

Most companies do not have an adequate workforce strategy plan in place because of inaction. When you don’t know what to do, it’s easy to end up doing nothing. Other firms do have a plan, but they are using outdated strategies. The future of contingent workforce management requires new workforce strategies for knowledge-based workers that take the rapidly changing and technology-driven nature of the economy into account.

What Should You Do?

If you want to be able to take advantage of the talented freelancers that will play an important role in the future of contingent workforce management, follow these five tips.
  1. Prepare your processes. Navigating the increasingly complex contingent labor market in the years ahead will require better processes. They will need to be more defined and robust.
  2. Be ready for risk. It makes good business sense to prepare for the increased risk that is inherent with complex supply chains. Freelancers present unique challenges like confidentiality, security, and increased legal liability. Anticipate them and act accordingly.
  3. Attempt to attract. If you want to attract and retain the top freelance talent, you need to make your organization more attractive to freelancers. Highly skilled workers can work with any company they choose. Why should they choose yours?
  4. Smash the silos. It is imperative you break down silos within the organization. Successful talent acquisition demands agility from your company. That means people must share information.
  5. Internalize the intelligence. Analytics are critical. Business intelligence will be a key differential and firms that rely on data-driven decision-making will have an advantage.
How do you attract and engage freelance talent? Have you considered the benefits of an FMS? Tweet your best practices to us on Twitter using the handle @BeelineVMS!