TalentWave is the new name and identity of the combined independent workforce solution firms ICon Professional Services and Synergy. The two businesses merged in October 2015 under the auspices of Serent Capital, which in February 2015 acquired a majority equity share in ICon. Talent Wave CEO Teresa Creech told us in an interview that the rebranding marks a major milestone in the integration of the two businesses and their teams as well as the launch of new strategy aligned to accelerating changes in the independent workforce solution space.
“In our first six months together, we have integrated our back-office systems and expanded our solutions portfolio to better serve our clients, contractors and partners,” Creech said in the press release. “Our company lives at the center of the contingent workforce ecosystem and makes it possible for our clients and partners to gain flexibility and grow their businesses through the talent, passion and expertise of independent workers. The new TalentWave brand was designed to reflect these market forces and the exciting role we play in the middle of it.”
The growing independent (non-employee) workforce has been much discussed in recent years. On the one hand, it provides businesses with a way to address critical talent needs in a time of scarcity, as well as another path to achieving workforce flexibility. Being “independent” also offers workers a different, and frequently preferred, way of engaging professionally with businesses.
On the other hand, these new work arrangements have been fraught with complexity. Worker classification and legal compliance challenges have now come to the forefront for businesses that are strongly motivated to tap into the independent workforce. These businesses also need a new model and channel of engagement to utilize workers that are neither employees of the business nor agency temps.
This is where a business like TalentWave comes in. Creech sees TalentWave as more than a traditional — and mainly administrative/transactional — IC compliance assurance business (that would determine the proper classification of a given worker and act accordingly as either Agent-of-Record or Employer-or-Record/Payroller). Instead, the rapidly changing market requires a new kind technology-enabled work arrangement intermediary that can reduce and sometimes eliminate the complexity and challenges businesses face as they start to engage the independent workforce. Creech speaks of TalentWave as a provider of independent workforce solutions (that go far beyond the administrative and transactional) and which, as the press release states, are “delivered through the company’s award-winning and proprietary iConnect SaaS technology platform.”
From the Spend Matters perspective, contingent workforce and procurement practitioners can view the emergence of TalentWave as an example and further evidence of “a new wave” of innovation and transformation that is now arising in the existing contingent workforce supply chain. (See The Digital Evolution of the Contingent Workforce Supply Chain: What Does It Mean?)