Improve Workforce Management with a Chief Freelance Officer

By MBO Partners | September 16, 2021

professional consultants in group working at desk

Freelancers, independent contractors, gig workers, entrepreneurs, etc. create the independent workforce and are changing the way we view and understand work. Today, millions of Americans report working full-time providing professional services. The large majority of these workers have chosen this path of independence and are happy with their choice.

From the perspective of enterprises, there are many advantages to engaging independent workers such as the ability to bring top talent on board for a limited period of time. But because the independent workforce as it exists today is relatively new, there are many challenges in finding the right person for the job and then properly managing the engagement once that person is found.

To solve these issues, many organizations have created the role of a Chief Freelance Officer. The Chief Freelance Officer is responsible for building processes to successfully find, engage, and manage independent talent. They make sure independent professionals have a positive experience with the company, and act as a liaison between the pool of active independent talent and managers in need of that talent. Here are five ways a Chief Freelance Officer can improve your independent workforce program.

1. Be Clear About Company Needs

In order to properly work with independent talent, it is first important to make sure everyone who will be working with that talent—enterprise managers, employees, etc.—are on the same page. A Chief Freelance Officer can speak with managers to understand their goals and accurately translate and align those needs with available independent talent. This will enable the Chief Freelance Officer to find the right person for the job from the start, rather than leaving managers to try and find independent talent to fit their needs.

2. Create an Efficient Onboarding Process

Independent professionals value an onboarding process that is smooth, simple, and quick. This includes defining project goals and objectives, ensuring a clear project scope during engagement, and providing timely feedback both during and after the engagement. A Chief Freelance Officer can act as a communication link between independents, managers, and permanent employees, helping to answer questions and ease any tension that arises. They can work with managers to create a plan to integrate independents into a project and facilitate an onboarding process that meets everyone’s needs.

3. Create Practices to Remain Compliant

In order to operate legally, organizations must comply with the laws, policies, and regulations that relate to independent contractors. These laws can be complex to tackle and differ widely from compliance measures for traditional employees. Rather than taking on unnecessary risk when it comes to compliance, a Chief Freelance Officer can help make sure the company is operating within legal bounds by using the right contracts, enforcing consistent engagement policies, and facilitating partnerships that help protect against misclassification. On the other side, they can also educate independents about working with the company to understand what is expected of them before, during, and after the engagement process.

4. Build a Positive Experience for Independent Talent

Independent professionals have a choice when it comes to choosing who they work with—over half say they have a lot of choice in picking the clients they work with. They will seek out organizations that understand their unique needs, where they are most likely to have a positive experience. Just like any employee, independents want to be respected and trusted. They want to be treated as a member of the team, work in an environment where they can thrive, have access to opportunities to learn and build new skills, and be compensated fairly and quickly. A Chief Freelance Officer, who understands how to treat and speak with independent talent, can help put measures in place to increase levels of satisfaction and make a company more attractive to top talent.

5. Plan for the future

Just as onboarding is a key moment in a client-contractor relationship, so is offboarding. The end of a project signals the opportunity to gain feedback that can be used to improve the experience for manager and independent talent, and build a long-term relationship. When independents have a positive experience at a company, they will be more likely to return for future work.

And there are many benefits to re-engagement: it is easier to bring talent onboard who already know what it’s like to work for the company, and they have already proven their expertise and established trust. By placing a strong focus on offboarding and relationship building, a Chief Freelance Officer can help a company retain the best talent that can be engaged for future project needs.

Whether a Chief Freelance Officer is one person or many people, or goes by a different title entirely, the needs of independent talent remain the same. In order to successfully incorporate independent professionals as part of a workforce strategy, organizations must ensure all staff understand the role of independent talent, build necessary policies and procedures for engagement, follow legal processes, create a positive work environment, and encourage future relationships.

To learn more about how to build a sustainable program for independent talent at your organization, reach out to one of our advisors today.

Related Posts


What is Workforce Optimization and Why Does It Matter?

October 14, 2021

In response to this widespread challenge of COVID-19, today’s organizations are struggling to do more with less. Forward-thinking companies are leveraging new technologies and experimenting with modes of working, such as virtual meetings and remote work. This new paradigm has highlighted the vast chasm between the traditional business model and the emerging modern one.  One…

man standing working on tablet

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Managing Remote Workers

October 13, 2021

Remote work is more common than ever before and many enterprise managers are finding the need to shift their mindset and policies to align with a virtual work environment. There are many benefits to remote work including increased work/life flexibility, lower costs, and often greater productivity. Of course, there are many challenges as well. In…

people talking at desk in office

How to Create an Independent Workforce Management Strategy: 6 Steps

October 7, 2021

When you engage independent workers, it is critical to have an independent workforce management strategy so that your program can be effective and successful. Whether you work with independent contractors, freelancers or consultants, contingent workers must be engaged and managed differently than traditional employees. There is a distinct level of compliance risk associated with this…

Learn more about the MBO Platform

For Independent Professionals

Start, run, and grow your independent business with MBO

For Enterprises

Find, manage and retain top-tier independent talent