Why new contingent workforce managers can’t afford to wait to implement external workforce management

Learn more about why you need an external workforce management system now

June 19, 2024

More than 90% of executives expect risk management to become more important to achieving their goals in the next five years. And 80% of major corporations plan on greatly increasing their use of contingent workers in the coming years. But between these statistics lies a pretty large gap in how most companies are operating. 

The thing about growth is that for larger companies, it feels like it snuck up on them. In the beginning, they probably don’t even realize how much they’d need to rely on a contingent workforce and why they need to plan for that. This means implementing them later and trying to play catchup and fix problems that have been allowed to grow larger and larger 

And as each new freelancer is brought on — completely in a silo of their own — the web of freelancers gets more and more complex. And before you know it you’re spending a lot of money outsourcing a web of complex tasks. A vendor for worker classification, to ensure that each worker is being classified and treated correctly based on the local laws for where they work. A different vendor for background checks, slowing down hiring so that your teams are waiting days or weeks to onboard the talent that they desperately need to move forward. 

Once freelancer spend is big enough and the problem is completely out of control, a company brings in a contingent workforce manager. And that’s where you come in. You need to solve a massive problem with many different aspects to it. But with the right tools in place, it can be a breeze. 

The problem here is that timing is everything. The sooner you implement external workforce management, the easier it is to stop this from getting too out of control. For many companies, it already is out of control by the time a contingent workforce manager is brought in. They’ve either been sacrificing compliance to bring freelancers on quickly enough or sacrificing speed in the name of compliance. If they’re doing the latter, chances are they’re losing out on a lot of great freelance talent because they’re working for other companies who offer them a better experience and onboard them more quickly. Worksome can solve all of this at once. Let’s talk about how. 

Everything in one place makes everyone’s lives easier

The problem here, of course, is scale. When each aspect of how you work with freelancers — finding them, contracting them, paying them — is done separately, it becomes more and more inefficient to outsource each of these tasks. It gets more and more costly, too. And when you have different systems and vendors that do not talk to each other, the sheer amount of communication happening between teams aligning on everything isn’t just inefficient. It’s incredibly frustrating for everyone involved. 

Has this freelancer been paid? Can you verify the work this freelancer did before I send out the payment? Is this worker correctly classified within local regulations so that they can get started? Does anyone know which team was working with this freelancer? And the back and forth doesn’t just exist between your internal teams. Your freelancers are also constantly asking why they haven’t been paid yet or when they can get started on their projects.

Moving each part of freelance management into one system eliminates all of these problems at once. There’s no more back and forth trying to verify that all of your boxes have been checked because everyone has access to all of the information in one place. With Worksome, contract information, payment status, and even all of the communication around a project itself are done in one platform. So no one is ever scouring through email threads or slack messages to remember what was said or what wasn’t. There’s no need for alignment because you always have full visibility into each aspect of freelancer management, from the moment a project begins. 

Stay compliant, use contractors, and onboard quickly

When a company is smaller, bringing on freelancers is as easy as sending a contract and them getting started. But by the time a contingent workforce manager is brought on, it involves countless hoops like background checks, payrolling, onboarding them, and ensuring everything is compliant. And each of those is owned by a different third party, so you need a VMS to manage all of that. And even if each step went quickly and smoothly — spoiler alert, it usually doesn’t — it’s still a matter of following up and checking off each box before the freelancer is able to actually get started. 

And the fact that it’s frustrating for everyone involved isn’t even the worst part. It’s also really slowing down your hiring and onboarding. This often means losing talent to other companies that are able to provide them with quicker onboarding and a better working experience. Because you’re probably currently doing one of two things. You're either managing this yourself in a VMS or you've outsourced your VMS to an MSP. Either way, this is typically taking 4-6 weeks. Using Worksome with your VMS reduces that to about three days. 

Risk is a problem here as well. When everything is outsourced and done separately, you’re opening your business up to a huge amount of risk in terms of independent contractor compliance concerns. This increases the risk of error and miscommunications, two of the biggest nightmares for anyone working in compliance. 

But doing all of this in one system eliminates the back and forth and time spent reconciling information, speeding up each step of the process and giving your team full visibility into each part of freelance management. It also means that in the event of an audit you already have everything in one place and a documented paper trail for things like worker classification.

A better experience for your people — both internal and external 

It’s pretty clear at this point that the endless emails, meetings, and headaches trying to constantly make sure your internal teams are aligned are incredibly inefficient. But that’s not even the worst part of all of this. The real risk here comes down to your people — both your freelancers and your full-time employees that work with them. 

You’re offering them an incredibly poor and frustrating experience and it really gets in the way of everyone doing the work they were actually hired to do. No one wants to spend their time on manual admin work or pointless alignment. 

And right now, with more workers than ever realizing that they can and should find work that fulfills and satisfies them, writing this off as something unfortunate but unavoidable is a really terrible business decision. 

Enabling you to work more effectively with your contingent workforce

Worksome takes finding, contracting, and paying independent contractors and consolidates them into one system and process. Because these processes are typically so fragmented within an organization, this just removes back and forth. On the surface, this may not seem that sexy or exciting. But once you eliminate all of the back and forth, save time for all of your internal teams, and have full visibility into your freelance management it will feel nothing short of groundbreaking. Particularly when you look back and realize how little control or visibility you had over your contingent workforce program beforehand. 

Request a demo today to learn more about how to get started today.