Achieve Workforce Agility by Engaging Independent Contractors

By MBO Partners | June 14, 2022

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As reliance on independent professional talent becomes more common throughout a wide range of industries, companies are putting strategies in place to successfully attract, engage, and retain top talent.

The independent workforce is steadily increasing, providing an indispensable source of talent for businesses. Here’s what you need to know about how independent talent can benefit your company.

Contingent Talent: Who Are This Group of Workers?

While many different types of people work as independent professionals, it is easiest for businesses to divide this group of workers into two categories.

Gig economy workers

On one end of the spectrum are commodity platforms, where buyers primarily engage independents to perform an undifferentiated service such as driving a car, walking a dog, or assembling furniture. This type of independent work has been rising rapidly and is categorized under the gig economy umbrella.

Workers typically use a mobile or online platform to participate in this type of work, and do so for a variety of reasons including generating extra income or filling a gap between jobs. In general, these jobs tend to be low-dollar value, short-term engagements that workers pursue on a semi-regular or part-time basis.

Highly-skilled independent professionals

On the other end of the spectrum is the high end of the market. We call these workers independent professionals. Independent professionals have made careers out of the specialized knowledge and value they provide.

Many workers have chosen to go independent as a way to make more money while enjoying the many lifestyle benefits independence offers. Businesses typically engage these workers for long-term projects that require specialization in a particular area of expertise.

Be sure to check out MBO Partners’ latest State of Independence research for more information on the independent workforce.

How to Create an Agile Workforce with Independent Talent

The ability to bring in skilled workers as needed allows companies to be more agile, increases supply chain control, and boosts overall efficiency. Organizations are finding that independent talent allow them to improve the financial performance of their companies and increase organizational agility.

1. The benefits of independent professional talent

Independent professionals simply give businesses a competitive advantage—they fill needs both for skills that may not be currently present in a company’s workforce, and they can complete tactical projects that may be outside of a company’s scope.

Staffing flexibility, better control over employment costs, and access to in-demand skills without adding to company payroll are some more benefits of engaging independent professional talent.

2. Attracting the best talent to your company

As the independent workforce continues to grow, it will begin to account for an increasingly larger portion of economic activity. As businesses begin to incorporate contingent labor into their workforce, they will need to have a well-defined strategy to manage contractors, freelancers, and gig workers.

Independent professionals are in demand, and that means they often have the upperhand when it comes to choosing the clients to work with. In order to be competitive for the top tier of this talent pool, enterprises will need to take the specific needs of independents into account.

The long-term solution here is creating a centralized program for independent contractor engagement. A program allows companies to connect with and hire the talent they need. Working in the background is the infrastructure for finding, sourcing, engaging, paying, and managing talent.  Having these policies and procedures in place is attractive to independent professionals and will help keep your company compliant and running smoothly.

To learn more, check out: How to Create a Contingent Workforce Management Program

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