3 Ways Gen AI Can Help Manage Independent Talent

By MBO Partners | April 10, 2024

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Key Points

Gen AI can offer significant benefits to enterprises, helping to improve efficiency, productivity, and collaboration between independent talent and managers.

Monitor performance and provide feedback by monitoring project data.

Assist with project communication with a variety of AI tools to schedule meetings, store project documents, or help with task management.

Managing independent contractors can be a tricky zone to navigate. You have to find a balance between giving them the support and feedback you need while maintaining a client-contractor relationship for compliance purposes. Unless it is specified in a contract, independent contractors have the right to choose when, where, and how they work. Over-supervising or treating an independent contractor like an employee can be grounds for a worker misclassification lawsuit.

On the other hand, independents value good communication, regular feedback, and guidance when onboarding to a new company. Gen AI can offer significant benefits to enterprises in this regard, helping to improve efficiency, productivity, and collaboration between independent talent and managers. Here are three ways to use Gen AI when managing your independent workforce.

1. Performance Monitoring and Feedback

Independents place a high value on receiving feedback on their contributions to a company’s strategic performance. This type of feedback makes them feel like they are an integral part of the team they work with and that their work is valued. In fact, the single most important factor independents list in deciding the clients they work with is valuing their work—95% list it as very important.

Gen AI algorithms can be used in conjunction with project management systems to monitor the performance of independents, analyze data, and provide feedback on their work. Performance monitoring tools, in conjunction with AI, can help managers identify areas for improvement, recognize top performers, and help ensure that independents are meeting standards and goals. Data from AI can be used to facilitate and lead performance feedback conversations.

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2. Project Management and Collaboration

More independents than ever before are working together in teams. Our 2023 State of Independence report found that 25% of independents have teamed up with other independent workers or microbusinesses. Teaming allows independents with different skills to work together on projects, offering enterprises a valuable project team that can produce results faster and at a lower cost than working with a traditional consulting firm.

Project management platforms powered by Gen AI can facilitate collaboration among independents, giving them the tools they need for communication, file sharing, task assignment, and progress tracking. These AI-driven tools can help enterprises streamline collaboration among a team of independents, improve transparency, and help ensure that projects stay on time and within budget.

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3. Assistance with Project Communication

Communication is another quality that ranks highly among independents when picking a client to work with. When asked about key satisfaction drivers, 84% of independents said responsiveness, and 78% said a company’s ability to listen to and act on feedback were important.

Good communication starts at the very beginning of a project with contract management and onboarding. Gen AI can help streamline contract management by automating tasks like contract generation, negotiation, and certain compliance processes. This can help managers reduce administrative overhead, minimize legal risk, and ensure compliance.

Throughout the project, Gen AI can help improve communication by automating task management—tracking the progress of tasks and sending reminders to both parties to ensure timely completion. It can also act as a virtual assistant, answering basic questions from contractors, providing updates on project status to a project manager, or scheduling meetings. Gen AI can also store project-related information and documents, retrieving this information quickly and accurately for managers and independents. If needed, Gen AI can help with language translation as well.

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Depending on your project management needs, there are various roles Gen AI can play. Experiment with a few to see how it can help boost productivity, efficiency, and collaboration.

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