A Busy October In the Independent Workforce Solutions Space (Part 1) Kaitlyn McAvoy - October 28, 2015 6:31 AM | Categories: Industry News, Services Procurement & Contingent Labor | Tags: L2, Sourcing and Categories Over the course of October, we have seen a flurry of activity in the independent workforce solutions space, demonstrating a gathering interest in the engagement of independent/freelance workers versus contingent workforce provided by traditional suppliers. Spend Matters has been tracking this phenomenon, describing it as the filling out of a “white space.” From mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and solution improvements, Spend Matters has stayed on top of new developments in this rapidly evolving space. In case you missed any of the announcements coming from independent workforce solution providers lately, here is a roundup of all the latest news. Two Independent Workforce Reports MBO Partners and Upwork/Freelancers Union each published survey-based reports focusing on the independent/freelance workforce in the last month. Both the MBO Partners’ report, “State of Independence in America 2015,” and “Freelancing in America: 2015” from Upwork/Freelancers Union, present a picture of a vibrant, growing independent/freelance talent population. Spend Matters Analyst Andrew Karpie wrote about the two reports on Spend Matters. He said, the studies suggest that the independent/freelance workforce “has become a rooted component of the labor market, which, driven by demographic shifts, economic factors and new enabling technology, appears primed for future growth. Even now, the independent/freelancer population represents an enormous pool of untapped skills and talent. Contingent workforce managers cannot ignore this opportunity to bring talent, efficiency and competitiveness to their companies.” Read more about each report here: MBO Partners “State of Independence in America 2015” and Upwork/Freelancers Union “Freelancing in America: 2015.” MBO Releases MBO Connect Independent contractor engagement solutions provider MBO Partners, recently announced the release of its MBO Connect solution, which gives users the ability to directly engage independent workers. It is another significant development in the independent space. and one that should attract contingent workforce management professionals looking for a new way to engage talent. Andrew explained the solution further: “From what we understand, the MBO Connect technology-based solution enables enterprise managers to build private online talent pools of their valued and trusted independent workers. Managers can directly source and engage those independent workers through the MBO Connect platform, while MBO provides essential payment and other services to ensure correct worker classification.” Read more about it here: MBO Partners Launches MBO Connect — A New Way for Enterprises to Directly Source Independent Professionals IQNavigator Partners With 3 New Firms Vendor management system (VMS) and contingent workforce platform provider IQNavigator recently announced new alliances with Genesys, Montage and HireRight, a move that continues the development of IQN’s contingent workforce ecosystem. Genesys offers a new avenue for IQN to source non-employee workforce. Montage offers video interviewing capability to IQN’s solutions, and HireRight provides new tools for worker background checks and screening. Andrew wrote in recent coverage of this news, “Each provider plugs into and performs a value-added function at different stages of the non-employee sourcing and engagement process. Genesys provides new talent pools from which companies can efficiently source. Montage enables hiring managers to engage with contingent worker candidates, helping to ensure a narrowing down to appropriate applicants. And HireRight ensures that, prior to actually starting work with the company, selected candidates have been subjected to background checks.” Read more about it here: IQNavigator Continues Its Ecosystem Development With New Strategic Alliances ICon Acquires Synergy Services Independent contractor compliance provider ICon Professional Services announced its acquisition of Synergy Services this month as well, a move we thought should be “complementary” for the two companies. ICon CEO Teresa Creech told Spend Matters the deal would broaden the client base and market reach, accelerate the achievement of scale and support more investment in technology, services and support and deliver more value to clients. The contingent workforce solution space has been expanding rapidly as of late, and this acquisition deal represents a significant development in this area. As Andrew Karpie wrote in his coverage: “The deal brings together two strong independent workforce solution and service providers, combines their depth in compliance assurance and payments and augments ICon’s sales and service expertise to accelerate addressing the growing market. We believe the combination is accretive — certainly with respect to addressing the expanding market.” Read more about it here: ICon Acquires Synergy Services — Independent Workforce Ecosystem Continues to Take Shape. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this roundup, where we will highlight even more deals and news in the contingent workforce space from this month. 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