Talent Management Content

New name for SolutionMap category: Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services (DSW/S)

As of Q3 2019, the CW/S SolutionMap category “Independent Contract Workers” will be renamed “Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services” (DSW/S) to better represent the diversity of solutions that Spend Matters has covered to date and those we will cover in the future.

In addition to the name change, we have broadened the SolutionMap definition, in part, because the solution category has expanded beyond the concept of the original “freelancer management systems” (FMS) to include providers addressing a much broader range of use cases.

Check back in with Spend Matters tomorrow for the Q3 2019 SolutionMap release, which will include the latest rankings of Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services solution providers.

CA Assembly Bill 5 passes: Is the gig economy doomed? (Part 1) [PRO]

California Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5), recently passed by the state Senate, changes the definition of who is an employee and who is a contractor. It is expected to be signed by the governor and is slated to go into effect January 2020. The new legislation, which codifies the 2018 state Supreme Court decision in the controversial Dynamex civil litigation case and clarifies its application, is sending shockwaves through the ecosystem of businesses and workers that constitute the so-called gig economy (that part of the labor market where businesses, including online gig platforms like Uber, engage workers as non-employees).

The main issue, one that has become increasingly fraught over the years, is whether a worker should be classified as either an independent contractor (IC) or an employee (EE) of a business, given the conditions and characteristics of the engagement. Anyone who follows this matter knows that determining the classification of a worker is not a simple matter. The presence (or absence) of laws and interpretations at the national, state and even municipal levels and the promulgated regulations of different governmental entities responsible for taxation, unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation insurance, etc. means a worker may be classified differently depending upon the reference point.

In Part 1 of this two-part Spend Matters PRO series, we will cover the background/context of AB-5 and the essential points of the bill. In Part 2, we will examine different perspectives about the law and some potential implications for contingent workforce managers.

VectorVMS: Vendor Introduction, Analysis and SWOT [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on VectorVMS and its capabilities that help companies with their contingent workforce programs. The brief includes an overview of VectorVMS and its solution offerings, a summary solution evaluation, a SWOT analysis and, lastly, a selection checklist for companies that might consider the provider.

GEP: Vendor Snapshot (Part 5) — Solution Weaknesses [PRO]

In Spend Matters’ previous installment of our seven-part GEP review, we called out some of the real strengths of the SMART by GEP platform, including some that are rare in the market today. In this Part 5, we are going to balance our analysis by also pointing out some of the "weaknesses" of the platform, at least against peers. (A weakness isn't a weakness unless you are looking for, or need, a certain capability, which, of course, you may already have in-house in another platform.)

While we may have hinted at these by way of omission of coverage in our solution overview in Part 3 and Part 4, we are going to get more specific so you understand precisely what isn't there (and can make a judgment call as to whether you even need the capability). We’ll look at deep optimization (especially logistics), asset management for direct, VMS, trade financing, T&E and more.

The Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Insider’s Hot List: September 2019 [Plus+]

Welcome to the September 2019 edition of Spend Matters Insider’s Hot List, a monthly look at the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) space that’s available to PLUS and PRO subscribers. For those new to the Hot List, each edition covers the prior month’s important or interesting technology and innovation developments in the CW/S space.

We’ll look at several hot topics: Upwork’s review of disagreements about the size of the freelance economy, changes in worker classification, drone deliveries, a funding round by healthcare jobs marketplace provider Nomad Health, and how freelancers are changing banking and finance.

How to hire contingent workers around the globe — and stay in compliance

contingent-workforce

The world is getting smaller every day, helped along by technologies that allow us to connect to people, activities and companies around the globe. Businesses are able to incorporate workers from anywhere, sometimes as seamlessly as if they were next door. While communicating with workers may be simpler, engaging them for work can be a complicated matter.

Many companies are adopting a flexible approach to the way they want to source, engage and manage their contingent workforces domestically in the U.S. and across the globe. However, those same companies often struggle to deal with the complicated issues surrounding worker classification, including vetting and compliance for a global contingent workforce.

To find out how companies can successfully navigate these tricky issues, we spoke with John Smith, managing director, Americas, at CXC Global.

Shortlist: Vendor Introduction — Analysis, SWOT, Selection Checklist [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to Shortlist, which describes itself as an FMS (freelancer management system) or, alternatively, a software-as-a-service platform for businesses to engage, on-board, manage and pay independent/freelancers. Shortlist was covered in the Spend Matters SolutionMap for software solutions that enable businesses to manage their direct-sourced, independent contract workforce (where it was designated as a Solution Leader, the upper right quadrant for having high scores for capabilities and high customer scores, for all four buyer personas).

FMS solutions began to emerge about eight years ago, when the rise of the gig economy called attention to the lack of solutions designed to enable organizations to engage and manage their independent/freelance workers. Vendor management systems (VMS) solutions did not provide fit-for-purpose solutions; and many companies managed with spreadsheets, other kludged systems or nothing at all. In any case, it became increasingly clear that organizations of all sizes had neither adequate visibility into their independent/freelance workers nor the tools to manage and fully leverage that population of talent.

Over the past eight years, various solutions emerged to attempt to address these requirements. Today they now number on the order of 20 providers, depending on how the category is delimited, based in North America and elsewhere. These solutions have taken a variety of forms, often going beyond the classical definition of FMS[1]. Some arose in tandem with their proprietary, pre-populated online freelancer marketplaces (e.g., Upwork). Some were geared to enable mobile field contractors/gig workers (e.g., FieldNation, WorkMarket). Some, including Shortlist, began supporting small-scale service providers (like boutique creative agencies, small specialized consulting firms) in addition to individual independent/freelance workers.

In this Vendor Introduction, we will zero in on Shortlist and provide an overall understanding of the company and the solution. The brief includes a summary assessment of features and functions, a SWOT analysis as well as a selection checklist for companies that might be considering Shortlist. In this brief, we will abbreviate individual independent/contract/ freelance workers as ICWs and small-scale service providers as SSPs (collectively, we refer to them as “providers”).

VMSA West — A Breath of Fresh Air for Contingent Workforce Conferences

This week, on Aug. 14 and 15, I had the opportunity to attend the VMSA West conference held right on the coast in beautiful Half Moon Bay, California. This was the first conference on the West Coast for VMSA, which wanted to create a contingent workforce event more accessible to businesses on this side of the country (the annual flagship conference VMSA Live is held annually in Florida). About 130 ecosystem professionals (a balanced mix of buy-side, MSP, supplier and other providers) met in an intimate setting to breathe, explore topics and learn from one another.

Upwork Enterprise’s customer reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Upwork Enterprise, the solution provided by the global online freelancer marketplace. It combines technology and managed services to enable enterprises to source and engage freelance talent. The applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in Independent Contract Workers. SolutionMap Insider members can read about Upwork Enterprise's reviews in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of information from the SolutionMap peer review process. It includes ratings on how well the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

How to prepare for the IR35 reform, the UK’s freelancer work-status mandate for the private sector

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Martin Konrad, co-founder of Shortlist, a freelancer management system provider based in San Francisco and with an office in London.

The UK government has announced that the IR35 reform introduced to the public sector in 2017 will also be rolled out to the private sector in April 2020.

What does this mean? In less than nine months, all medium and large private sector businesses using freelancers will be responsible for checking their employment status with every engagement. If it is determined that freelancers should be treated as an employee for the purposes of IR35, the business will need to deduct income tax and national insurance contributions from payments made to freelancers.

In this article, I would like to discuss how companies can determine their freelancer's IR35 status, and how your company can prepare for the upcoming reform.

Struggling to find the right workers? Create an alumni network from your retirees and former employees

LinkedIn ProFinder

Companies need skilled employees, but with unemployment numbers at the lowest levels in decades, available candidates are in short supply. And people with the skill sets needed for certain jobs and industry sectors are just not there. The hiring professionals are feeling the stress. The situation is compounded by the fact that Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age in large numbers. Finding workers to fill positions vacated by retirees will continue to present challenges, so companies that set up systems to keep retirees and other alumni as part of their contingent workforce will have a competitive advantage.

Afternoon Coffee: Fiverr reports rapid growth; Seal Software joins SAP App Center; Beyond Meat a no go in Japan; La-Z-Boy to close plant

The online freelancer marketplace Fiverr, which released its Q2 2019 financials this week, reported continuing high top-line growth. Q2 2019 revenue came in at $25.9 million, an increase of 41% over Q2 2018. Seal Software announced that SAP users can use its contract solution now that Seal is on the SAP App Center. Supercomputer maker Cray gets an Air Force contract. La-Z-Boy is optimizing its supply chain. Afternoon Coffee: A jolt of news for procurement and supply chain professionals.