5 Key Procurement Insights from Upwork’s 2017 Freelancing in America Study

Lystable Bits and Splits/Adobe Stock

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Contingent workforce procurement practitioners are increasingly encountering the idea that freelance/independent workforce is growing in importance. This idea comes from many sources, including business users who are strapped for the skills and talent they need, media and analyst coverage of a new “gig economy” and, last but not least, new workforce solution providers that specialize in the provisioning of skilled freelancers and independent professionals.

For procurement practitioners — who for many years tolerated the use of independent contractors (1099 ICs) as a necessary evil and a last resort in exceptional cases — the idea of increasing use of the independent workforce can be challenging in a number of ways. One of those is figuring out whether this phenomenon is real and important enough to be spending more time on and enabling rather than minimizing. Practitioners might think, “Sure we’re hearing that skills and talent are migrating to an independent workforce. But is that true? Is there data to support this?”

In this article, we turn to fresh data on this subject and try to provide some helpful insights for practitioners grappling with this issue.

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