Insights

Access a wide range of tips, research and tools designed to support the growth and innovation of the independent workforce and enterprises who engage independent professionals.

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RESEARCH

Client of Choice

The 2019 Client of Choice research report offers insight into what top independent professionals value when choosing their clients.

Research

State of Independence

The State of Independence in America report is the longest-running comprehensive look at the independent workforce. Now in its 9th year, the 2019 survey finds full-time independents are a persistent, confident, and tech-savvy core of the independent workforce.

advocacy

Certified Self-Employed

Innovation within the American workplace has outpaced the evolution of laws and rules, creating regulatory gaps on issues ranging from independent contractor compliance to guaranteed worker protections. MBO has proposed a modern solution—the Certified Self-Employed worker (CSE)—to address these issues and remove the risks associated with hiring independent talent.

Research

Future of Work

In today’s project-driven economy, more businesses than ever are engaging an external workforce to help operate at full capacity and meet demand, positioning independent professionals to continue to be a critical resource for years to come.

CATEGORIES

TOPIC

Creating an Independent Workforce Management Strategy

There are many factors involved in managing your independent workforce. 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 pool of talent and the needs and desires of contingent workers are unique. A…

How to Attract and Retain Great Independent Talent

Five tips for leveraging and engaging top independent talent for your business.

5 Things Independent Professionals Value in a Client Relationship

With each passing year, the nature and culture of independent work is growing more complex and sophisticated. Today, more than 41 million Americans work outside of traditional employment as independent contractors and consultants, statement-of-work-based laborers, and freelancers who provide services to corporations on a regular basis. Companies are increasingly relying on a particular sub-sector of…

How to Find and Keep Top Independent Professional Talent

Independent professionals are a growing part of the workforce for many leading organizations. They offer companies the ability to bring a valuable set of skills to a project for a specific period of time, helping to minimize employment costs with this type of flexibility. But as the demand for independent workers grows—especially the demand for…

3 Reasons to Use a Written Consulting Agreement

Why You Need a Written Contract When engaging independent contractors, it can be tempting to review the work you need done, come to an understanding, and get started as quickly as possible. However, oral agreements can be dangerous and lead to legal headaches for both your company and the independent contractor you are working with.…

Managed Service Provider (MSP) vs. Vendor Management System (VMS): What is the Difference?

Today’s business leaders are experiencing pressure to improve service, move faster, and find new skills in their workforce. With a need to shift strategies to better meet business goals, enterprises are increasing their dependence on contract, freelance, and gig workers—adopting a flexible workforce that is comprised of both full-time and independent talent. Today, there are…

6 Ways to Build and Manage Your Talent Pool

Best-in-class organizations thrive from building a deep bench of talent. Yet many companies today continue to rely on traditional methods without taking the current workforce landscape into account. Work arrangements have shifted to include both traditional and independent work, and so too should talent recruitment and engagement methods. Your next top-performing worker may very likely…

5 Ways to Improve Contingent Workforce Program Adoption

The modern workforce includes 41 million independent professionals—contractors, freelancers, consultants, and more who work with small, medium, and large organizations. Including these contingent workers as part of your workforce strategy comes with many benefits including specialized expertise, staffing flexibility, and lower costs. In order for an independent workforce program to be successful, however, internal staff…

How a Chief Freelance Officer Can Improve Your Workforce Management Program

The independent workforce—freelancers, independent contractors, gig workers, statement-of-work based laborers, etc.—are changing the way we view and understand work. Today, 7.4 million Americans report working full-time providing professional services to corporations on a contingent or contract basis, up from 4.5 million in 2011. The large majority of these workers have chosen this path of independence…

Employment Types: Independent Contractor, Temp, Employee

Companies today can build their workforce in a variety of ways. Increasingly, businesses are relying on the independent workforce—the 41 million Americans who work as contractors, consultants, freelancers, side-giggers, and more—to fill talent needs. In fact, more than 60% of senior executives say the external workforce is important or very important in increasing organizational ability,…

Five Traits of the Modern Independent Workforce

The modern independent workforce embraces technology, works from anywhere in the world, and finds satisfaction in building a career out of their passion. These workers are finding their place in America’s larger workforce, bringing skilled expertise to fill critical job openings while enjoying the flexibility and lifestyle independent work offers. Organizations are increasingly recognizing the…

Independent Contractor vs Employee: Which Should I Hire?

Learn how to define and when to hire a 1099 independent contractor, temp or full time employee in order to avoid misclassification risks.

How to Evaluate the Right Independent Contractor Engagement Solution for Your Organization

Independent professionals are a steady economic force, bringing in-demand skills, staffing flexibility, and cost control to many enterprises worldwide. As more businesses incorporate independents as part of their full-time workforce, questions about how to best manage this new population of workers is high on the list for many enterprise managers. Why is it Important to…

How to Write a Great RFP for Consulting Services

Requests for Proposal (RFP) and contracts are vital communication tools widely used to find and engage independent professionals. Often, these documents are created as standardized templates that have already been approved by key stakeholders such as legal, compliance, procurement, or human resources. As a result, they may serve your internal requirements but fail miserably with…

Building a Workforce Strategy that Includes Independent Talent

The ability to work independently has become a reality for a significant number of Americans in recent years. Today, 41 million people work independently as consultants, freelancers, contractors, solopreneurs, temporary, or on-call workers, and we predict that this number will rise to more than half of American adults in coming years. Workers who have chosen…

Calculating the ROI of Independent Professional Talent

An increasing number of companies today are relying on independent professional talent for their skilled expertise and on-demand availability. Independent professionals bring many benefits to the table including an effective way to reduce costs, drive product innovation, and expand a company’s pool of available skills. In fact, more than 60% of senior executives say their…

How to Build a Budget for Independent Workforce Management

Best practices and industry standards for engaging and paying independent contractors.

5 Ways to Find Top Independent Talent

Today, independent talent plays an important role in rounding out the workforce of many organizations. Independents offer numerous benefits such as helping companies minimize employment costs through staffing flexibility. Rather than adding to company payroll by hiring an employee, enterprise managers can engage an independent contractor who can bring a specific set of skills to…

Minimizing Independent Contractor Engagement Risk: A Compliance Checklist

When engaging independent contractors, it is important to consider how your organization will comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations. Engaging an independent contractor is different than hiring an employee because different laws apply to each category of worker. While companies have the ability to schedule employees and control how they work, independent contractors are…

Three Ways Millennials are Leading a New Era of Independent Work

There are a number of factors that contribute to the growing independent workforce—the 41 million adult Americans who work as freelancers, consultants, contractors, solopreneurs and more. For many, independence offers the potential for greater work/life flexibility, the chance to pursue a passion, or the opportunity to leave the corporate world behind and build their own…

Determining the Cost of Your Independent Contractor Engagement Program

Independent professionals help organizations realize a competitive advantage among their peers by providing access to specialized, in-demand talent, staffing flexibility, and better control over employment costs. In fact, in today’s project-driven economy, more businesses than ever before are turning to independent talent to fill workforce needs—nearly two-thirds (65%) of senior executives say their external workforce…

5 Ways to Build a Strong Client/Contractor Relationship

Build positive, successful relationships with your independent workforce with these five tips.

3 Ways to Retain High-Quality Independent Consultants

Why Businesses Rely on Independent Consultants On-demand expertise, staffing flexibility, and better control over employment costs are just a few of the many benefits independent talent offer enterprises. Today, an increasing number of Americans are choosing to work independently for the many lifestyle and professional benefits it offers. At the same time, the war for…

The Difference Between an Independent Contractor, Employee and Temp: When to Hire Each

When to consider engaging an independent contractor versus hiring a temporary or full-time employee.

How to Turn Your Independent Workforce into a Competitive Advantage

Realize the competitive advantage of making independent talent part of your workforce strategy by creating a program to that brings top talent to your doorstep, compliantly.

Four Tips to Secure Buy-In for Your Independent Contractor Program

Forward-thinking companies understand that incorporating independent professionals as part of their workforce is a strategy that can increase organizational agility and give them a leg up in today’s competitive market for top talent. Independent professionals provide a flexible way to secure high-level expertise on an as-needed basis. But in order to easily—and compliantly—find, engage, and…

Independent Professionals: Who They Are and What is Important to Them

The independent workforce is comprised of 41 million people who work as contractors, consultants, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and more. This fast-growing population includes all age ranges, genders, skill sets, and income levels, and spans many different segments of our economy from app-based commodity service like on-demand drivers, to graphic designers, government consultants, and personal finance experts. However, we…

4 Steps to Hiring the Right Independent Professional

You need to find a savvy, highly-skilled independent professional who respects a strict budget and has the specific expertise you’re looking for. Work needs to get done, and there’s no time to waste. So, where should you start looking, and how do you effectively screen and monitor the talent you find to protect your company’s…

Independent Workforce Management: 5 Trends Impacting Workforce Strategies

Learn about the preferences and trends impacting today’s most in-demand independent professionals, and implications for your independent workforce strategy.

Top 4 Reasons Companies Use Independent Professionals

Today’s workforce ecosystem is more diverse than ever before. Enterprises are building a more dynamic workforce with a mix of salaried employees and contract or freelance talent. And the contingent worker side of this equation is quickly growing as companies embrace the skills, expertise, and flexibility of on-demand talent. More than 60% of senior executives…

4 Tips for Successful Independent Contractor Management

Read these smart and effective tips for successfully managing independent professionals. These tips focus on effective communication and defining measurements for program management.

How to Work Effectively with Remote Independent Professionals

Working remotely is an increasingly popular and viable option for all types of workers, especially independent professionals. Our research finds that 4.8 million independents currently describe themselves as digital nomads: workers who have chosen to embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle that enables them to travel and work remotely, anywhere in the world. And 17 million…

8 Ways to Simplify How You Engage Independent Contractors

Independent contractor engagement doesn’t have to be complicated. Yes, navigating the risk of misclassification can be daunting, but as the use of independent talent becomes more mainstream, so has the engagement process. Follow these eight tips to simplify the way you engage your independent professionals. 1. Find an Experienced Organization to Partner With Working with…

5 Reasons to Hire Independent Contractors

There are more than 41 million independent workers in America today. This growing workforce has increasingly become a vital source of talent for businesses. The shift to a project-based economy, combined with technological advances, has not only contributed to the ease of leveraging independent contractors, but it has also expanded the breadth of specialized talent…

3 Best Practices to Follow When Engaging Independent Professionals

Improve independent contractor program adoption, increase talent retention rates, and mitigate misclassification risk with these three best practices for independent contractor engagement.

10 Tips for Increasing Adoption of Contingent Workforce Management Policies

Independent professionals are a valuable resource to many organizations. This component of your total workforce can bring in much-needed expertise, best practices, and delivery capabilities. However, that value can be quickly lost without internal buy-in. Adherence to and understanding of your contingent workforce management program is critical to remaining compliant, attracting top talent, and ultimately…

Building the A-List: What to Think About When Re-Engaging Independent Contractors

Have you ever worker with an independent professional that you wished you could hire on the spot and have around full-time? It’s a blessing and a curse when truly exceptional independent talent comes into your company. Luckily, there are some best practices you can follow to ensure your talent feels appreciated, and your company benefits…

5 Benefits of Contractor Management Outsourcing

Outsourcing engagement and management tasks for your independent workforce can help your company stay compliant, save costs, and be more efficient.

How to Write a Consultant Job Description: 4 Tips

When looking for independent professional talent to incorporate into your workforce, there are many factors to consider. If you are engaging independent contractors for the first time, you may be facing fears about the quality of the final product, cost considerations, or whether or not the person you’re hiring will make a productive use of…

Five Reasons to Outsource Independent Workforce Management

The talent management landscape is changing. More and more companies today are turning to flexible workforce models, incorporating independent professional talent to supplement their full-time workforce with specialized skills and on-demand project availability. In this new world, it’s important for companies to take an agile approach to talent management in order to capitalize on the…

4 Ways Companies Can Attract Top Independent Professionals & Become a Client of Choice

Today more than ever, businesses must compete in a War for Talent that is not just about finding and retaining full-time employees, but also involves engaging and re-engaging top independent professionals. MBO Partners’ Client of Choice research examines why and how independent professionals select the clients they choose to work with. “For businesses to effectively…

3 Reasons Independent Contractors Are Cost-Effective

Many of the key benefits of incorporating independent professionals into your workforce strategy center around cost savings. For instance, independent talent can offer staffing flexibility and access to skills that might be hard to find among current employees. These types of financial factors are motivation for businesses to engage independent workers—60% of senior executives say…

5 Effective Strategies to Attract the Best Talent

In today’s project-based economy, the independent workforce is a growing and vital source of talent. Independent contractors provide access to in-demand skills without adding to company payroll, they offer staffing flexibility, and can help companies minimize employment costs. But as more organizations become aware of these benefits, competition for top independent talent is growing. The…

How Technology is Changing Workforce Management and Increasing the Use of Independent Contractors

Why More Companies are Using Independent Workers There have been dramatic changes in the workforce landscape since the Great Recession ended in 2009. In order to embrace the new normal of our current workforce, we must acknowledge that it demands a broader talent management plan that integrates a dynamic mix of temporary and full-time workers.…

How to Overcome Barriers to Implementing an Independent Workforce Engagement Program

Companies that engage independent professionals to incorporate needed skills, specialized expertise, and on-demand talent as part of their workforce strategy stand to greatly benefit from a centralized program that is designed to manage the engagement and compliance processes needed for these types of workers. An independent contractor engagement program serves to minimize a company’s exposure…

Four Benefits to Re-Engaging Independent Professional Talent

When independent professionals are satisfied with their client relationship, they are more likely to return to that same client for future work. Re-engaging with independents can save your business both time and money. For organizations that are engaging independent professional talent, re-engagement should be an important priority. For companies that are just beginning to work…

4 Steps to Reducing Compliance Risk

The modern workforce has seen a dramatic shift away from the salaried 9-5 employee, and towards a mosaic of independent contractors engaged by enterprises for specific projects. While the gig economy is in many ways a more efficient and productive model, it’s also a less secure one. That’s not to say that engaging independent contractors…

4 Ways to Become a More Agile Enterprise

Achieve Workforce Agility by Engaging Independent Contractors

As the independent workforce continues to steadily increase year after year, it is quickly becoming an indispensable source of talent for business. More than 40% of workers in the U.S. are now employed in alternative work arrangements made up of contingent, part-time, or gig work. Independent workers are a growing economic force, providing businesses with staffing flexibility, in-demand…

Should Your Independent Contractors Have Cyber Insurance?

Cyber insurance helps protect your company from costly data breaches not covered by general or professional liability insurance. Learn the benefits of cyber insurance, what it protects, and why you should consider it if your company engages independent contractors.

The Costs of Engaging Independent Contractors

Learn about the costs associated with different independent contractor engagement methods and review a case study to see cost savings in action.

Three Key Themes from the 2018 SIA CWS Summit & GigE Events

The growing independent workforce, moving beyond direct sourcing, and prioritizing the needs of talent for a successful contingent workforce program: a recap of key themes from the 2018 SIA CWS Summit and GigE events.

Compliance Risk Assessment Tool for Independent Workforce Engagement

Because there is risk associated with hiring independent contractors, preparation is key.  There are many factors to consider and many steps to take to create an effective program. These include: Support from executive leadership Company-wide policy creation Engagement criteria creation Creation of processes to ensure fast onboarding time and payment Identification of key program management staff…

Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Are Independent Contractors Covered?

A common question on the minds of enterprises, staffing firms, and on-demand platforms is: how do we solve for worker injury and workers’ compensation when engaging independent contractors? It’s a hot-button problem with tangible risk, particularly in light of the many lawsuits continuing to underline the issue. As an enterprise, it’s time to start thinking about the risks…

4 Tools for Managing Independent Workers

It’s no secret that organizations across the country have been struggling to find, engage, and retain skilled talent. In fact, 73% of CEOs say the availability of skills is a serious concern—so where are the resources to fill this need? We believe the answer lies in the continued rise self-employed professionals, a population that brings highly specialized…

Should You Hire a Consultant? 10 Myths About Hiring Independent Contractors

The prospect of engaging independent contractor talent can bring up a lot of questions, especially if this is new territory for your business. There are many common misconceptions about the independent workforce—a rapidly-growing, nearly 41-million strong talent pool. One important distinction to note is that independents don’t just make up the on-demand economy—Uber and Lyft drivers, Task Rabbit-ers,…

5 Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring through a Freelance Marketplace

Why Hire Through a Freelance Marketplace? If your organization is not already using a marketplace to source independent professionals, you may be missing out on great talent. Freelance marketplaces—online platforms that connect independent contractors with projects—are quickly growing in popularity. As many as one in five independent contractors said that they had used a marketplace…

Finding the Right Consultant: Staffing Agency vs Job Marketplace

There are an expanding number of ways to reach independent professional talent. Knowing the key differences between staffing agencies and online marketplaces can help you determine how best to reach independent talent for your unique project needs.

Preparing for the Future of Work: Recapping the 2017 SIA CWS Summit & GigE Events

Last week, MBO Partners® traveled to Dallas to participate in two Staffing Industry Analysts events focused on contingent workforce professionals: the Contingent Workforce Solutions (CWS) Summit and Collaboration in the Gig Economy. Below is a recap of key themes from one of the sessions, “Future-Proofing: How Savvy Organizations Can Prep for the Independent Workforce of Tomorrow”, moderated…

Recapping Key Themes from the 2017 SIG Global Executive Summit

At the recent Global Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) Summit, MBO Partners CEO Gene Zaino sat down to discuss the rise of self-sourcing and what it means for the traditional services supply chain. The theme of the summit was innovation in the workplace and workforce and how with both, the future is now. In an intimate…

6 Ways to Build a Virtual Talent Bench

As recruitment and engagement methods shift to align with the needs of the ever-growing independent contractor workforce, competition for top talent is increasing. Independent contractors provide unique access to specialized, industry-specific skills, and are a valuable alternative to investing in a full-time resource. Building a virtual talent bench is quickly becoming key to being a best-in-class…

What are the Different Levels of Contingent Workforce Engagement?

The independent contractor-client relationship has made some dramatic shifts in the past several years. In the war for talent, enterprises once pursued becoming an employer of choice in order to attract and retain top talent. The same companies that once fought a war for FTEs are now fighting to attract and retain the best of…

How to Increase Human Capital ROI by Using Independent Contractors

There are a variety of dynamics and nuances with different marketplaces, but the three components that investments share are: Acquisition, Enablement, and Management. Our first post on human capital detailed the acquisition process, while our most recent post a few weeks ago dove into enablement. Today, we conclude our series with the final dimension: management. Define the Value of Independent…

How to Streamline Onboarding Independent Talent

When managing the lifecycle of independent talent recruitment, there are many dynamics and nuances to talent investment, which can be described by three phases – Acquisition, Enablement, and Management. In my last post, I focused on the acquisition phase of the lifecycle, and today we will dive into the next element: enablement. Back to our financial capital parallel, enablement is the second…

How the Human Capital Market is Similar to the Financial Market

When developing strategies to maximize the value of independent contractors, as with many situations in business, it is best to understand the dynamics of the marketplace. To help describe the “human capital” market, a parallel can be drawn to financial markets and the basic elements of managing investments. Whether you’re building your personal portfolio or executing…

Independent Contractor Classification: How Certification May Help Reduce Compliance Risk

The growth and innovation of the American workplace has outpaced the evolution of laws and rules. A modern solution is very necessary to (re)stimulate this innovation. With this in mind, this week, we released a proposal, the Certified Self-Employed (CSE) solution, to modify how the U.S. government classifies and regulates independent workers. The growth and…

Top 3 Freelance Management System (FMS) Solutions and Trends

The modern enterprise understands the glaring need – and associated pressures of – engaging the best independent contractor for your project. The systems by which the independent workforce is managed often referred to as a Freelancer Management System (FMS), has drastically evolved in recent years. This blog takes a look at the key components that have…

How to Manage Independent Contractors: 3 Approaches

Learn three approaches to independent contractor engagement and tips for how to best manage your independent workforce.