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 2020 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

Five Reasons to Outsource Independent Workforce Management

All forward-thinking organizations today are aware that 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…

How to Overcome Barriers to Implementing an Independent Workforce Engagement Program

Many organizations today engage independent professionals to incorporate needed skills, specialized expertise, and on-demand talent as part of their workforce strategy. These companies 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…

5 Effective Strategies to Attract the Best Talent

Today, more than ever before, 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.…

How Enterprise Organizations Can Benefit from Engaging an Executive Coach for their Workforce

In today’s post, Melisa Liberman, host of upcoming MBO webinar “Using an Executive Coach to Accelerate Your Career Revenue”  and an executive coach specializing in tech leaders, offers actionable tips for enterprise organizations considering engaging an executive coach for their workforce.  What does an executive coach do? At a high level, an executive coach helps guide…

Independent Contractor vs Employee vs Temp

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

Achieve Workforce Agility by Engaging Independent Contractors

The independent workforce continues to steadily increase year after year, and 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 skills,…

How to Find and Keep Top Independent Professional Talent

For many leading organizations, independent professionals are a growing part of the workforce. Independent talent 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 and increase flexibility. But as the demand for independent workers grows—especially those with high-end skills—how…

Post COVID-19 Workforce Trends: What Might a “New Normal” Look Like?

There have been non-stop updates about our current status here in the U.S. and globally over the past couple of weeks— both from a health and economic perspective. However, I’d like to take a few minutes to think about the future of work, and what a ’new normal’ could look like. Returning to Work Those…

4 Tips for Managing Contractors

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

Four Forces Key to a Modern Business Model

It’s no secret that the world of work as we know it is changing. The current COVID-19 situation has certainly exacerbated problems, but it has also brought opportunity. Opportunity to widely adopt remote work, to stress-test business models, and to find new ways to connect with customers,  clients and employees. In many ways, shifts like…

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Managing Remote Workers

As remote work becomes more common, 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 particular, it is…

What is Workforce Optimization and Why Does It Matter?

Today’s organizations are struggling to do more with less in the face of COVID-19. In response to this widespread challenge, 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…

Communication through Crisis: Keeping Project Management Effective in the Wake of COVID-19

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In today’s post, Ken Schlechter, change and compliance management expert and owner of Kenneth Michael Consulting Services, LLC, shares insights from more than three decades of experience with companies like Morgan Stanley, The Blackstone Group, and Credit Suisse. The advice provided in this key Insight can apply both to enterprise organizations now navigating a 100…

5 Benefits of Outsourcing Contractor Management

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

Four Benefits to Re-Engaging Independent Professional Talent

Re-engaging independent talent can save your business both time and money. When independent professionals are satisfied with their client relationship, they are more likely to return to that same client for future work. If independent professionals are already a part of your company’s workforce, re-engagement should be top of mind. If your organization is just…

How to Build Strong Relationships When Managing Remote Workers

Most independent professionals work remotely—it’s part of the appeal of pursuing an independent career. But managing remote workers isn’t always easy to do. Tracking deliverables, building teams, and forming relationships online can be complicated. It’s hard to get to know coworkers on a meaningful level through a screen or a phone call. Time zones and…

How to Retain Top Independent Talent

Skilled talent is in short demand these days. That means organizations are turning to external talent to fill skills gaps. Independent professionals bring flexibility, lower employment costs, and a cadre of talent, helping companies remain agile and competitive among peers. If your organization is engaging independent talent, you’re likely already aware of these benefits. But…

Tips for Managing Remote Teams

As COVID-19 (coronavirus) spreads, many people are working from home as a precaution. Stay safe while keeping your business running smoothly. More people than ever before are working remotely. In fact, over the last ten years, remote work has grown 91%, and research indicates that we are well on our way to half of the…

Modernizing Business Models to Manage Risk is as Old as The Dutch East India Company

Uncertainty causing boards and managements to change the business is as old as the public company itself.  If we look to history as an example, the creation of the first publicly listed company in the world was the result of investors and management modernizing the business structure to manage uncertainty—the same situation we are facing…

Managing Remote Teams: How to Work Effectively with Remote Consultants

More workers than ever before, particularly independent contractors, are choosing to work remotely. In fact, 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 more aspire…

3 HR Trends Impacting Businesses Today

Traditional hiring models are shifting—that comes as no surprise to savvy businesses. More and more, organizations are taking an integrated approach to talent management. By 2020, the number of self-employed workers in the US is projected to increase to 42 million people. Independent professionals offer flexibility and give enterprises access to in-demand skills that they…

6 Ways to Build Better Relationships with Independent Talent

If you’ve incorporated independent talent into your workforce—or if you’re considering doing so—you’ve probably discovered the importance of building a strong foundation that supports these types of workers. Independent contractors have specialized expertise in a particular industry. They are small business owners who likely engage with a few different clients, and determine how and when…

3 Reasons Independent Contractors Are Cost-Effective

There are many benefits to incorporating independent professionals into your workforce strategy—many of which center around cost savings. Independent talent, for example, can offer staffing flexibility and access to skills that might be hard to find among your existing employee base. These financial factors are motivation for many businesses today to engage independent workers. It’s…

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…

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.…

MSP vs VMS: Managed Service Provider vs Vendor Management System

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…

Improve Workforce Management with a Chief Freelance Officer

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: Determine if You Need an Independent Contractor, Temp, or 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 an 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 Including 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 ROI of Using Contractors

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…

Use our Compliance Checklist to Minimize Contractor Risk

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…

3 Ways Millennial Consultants are Driving the Independent Economy

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…

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 Trends 2019

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…

8 Ways to Simplify Independent Contractor Engagement

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. Partner with an Experienced Organization Working with an established…

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 for Independent Contractor Engagement

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

Increase 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…

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…

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…

How to Mitigate Risk through Compliance

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

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 Independent Contractor Engagement

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 Comp for Independent Contractors: Are You 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…

Should I Hire a Consultant? 10 Myths

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,…

What to Know 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…

Recruiting Contractors: 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 Pool

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 pool is quickly becoming key to being a best-in-class…

4 Contingent Workforce Engagement Strategies

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…

Increase Return on Investment Using 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. We will discuss how…

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…

Defining the Human Capital Market: How it’s 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.