Author Archives: Elaine Morris Roberts



Classification Complications: How Companies Can Use Technology to Navigate Stricter California Freelancer Law

sharing economy

There were already abundant federal and state laws surrounding freelance worker classification before California approved the adoption of the country’s most stringent test. In the recently passed Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5 or the “Uber bill,” as it’s commonly called), the state tightened the rules to close what they saw as loopholes hurting workers and the state.

Growing from the 2018 California Supreme Court decision Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, AB-5 establishes a new three-part test — dubbed the ABC test — that employers must satisfy to classify workers as freelancers or independent contractors. If even one part of the ABC test isn’t met, the worker is considered by the state to be an employee of the company engaging them.

So what are companies supposed to do? Set a policy and add the right technology to manage freelancers.

With the number of freelancers on the rise, companies need to take action to be sure they have visibility into and control of their independent workforce.

While companies continue to use VMS technology for certain worker management functions, there is now technology specifically geared to freelancer management. By adopting a cloud-based freelancer management system (FMS), companies can take a major step in reducing risk and meeting compliance requirements while managing their total freelancer population from a single platform.

Procurement’s technology revolution needs digitally literate workers with highly refined soft skills to succeed, Efficio report finds

Procurement is facing a turning point, one that gives it the opportunity to become more integral to the success of businesses than ever before, according to a survey by Efficio, a consulting firm that works with procurement professionals around the world.

Technology, like it does in many other internal departments, plays a major role in procurement’s transformation, but the Efficio survey states that a focus only on technology misses the point: People and their ability to capitalize on the benefits of technology will be vital to success.

“The procurement function can become more effective through an operating model that achieves the right mix of technology, insights and expertise” and puts people at the center, according to the authors, who analyzed feedback from 500 procurement professionals who participated in the survey, “The Human Factor: Strategic Procurement and the Leaders of Tomorrow.”

The experts at Efficio recently teamed with the UK’s Cranfield University School of Management to poll the procurement pros and find out how to craft that operating model. Researchers looked specifically at the need for future procurement leaders to have people skills, strategic abilities and digital fluency.

Beyond savings: How procurement departments can digitally transform and elevate to world-class status

Business competition across industries is intense, so companies are looking to their procurement departments to increase capabilities, become even more efficient and save money. To meet those demands, many are turning to technology, seeking ways to implement digital transformation. While few organizations have fully made the shift to digital, many are taking steps to move their departments forward.

A recent webinar, “World-Class Procurement: Redefining Performance in a Digital Era,” sponsored by the business spend management experts at Coupa and presented by Amy Fong, senior procurement adviser and P2P program leader at The Hackett Group, looks at current research data and where it situates procurement departments now and into the future. The webinar grew from the 2019 Hackett Group report of the same name, where procurement executives were asked about their views on trends impacting their departments and how they see their futures.

While today’s procurement departments are still tasked with finding cost-savings, Fong said savings alone are no longer the primary driver. Meeting the needs of customers, both internal stakeholders and external clients, is quickly rising to the top of the list. In previous years, The Hackett Group found that efficiency and effectiveness were the top performance metrics, but in the recent report, customer experience is now an equal factor.

How risk, technology reshape the CFO role

Traditionally, chief financial officers have spent their time poring over budgets, auditing seemingly everything and ensuring compliance. In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, their role is shifting, incorporating strategic planning, risk management and predictive analytics.

To find out what CFOs are facing and how they’re making changes, the survey “The Strategic CFO: Thriving with Risk” compiles the answers from 500 CFOs and global financial executives about their evolving experiences. The survey was prepared by The Wall Street Journal Custom Content group in association with Coupa, a business spend management technology solutions provider. In a webinar, Coupa CFO Todd Ford and Wall Street Journal contributor Rosa Harris discuss finance’s role as it tries to take on risk and other findings from the survey.

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.

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.

Despite power of data, many organizations lag in making it key to their decision-making culture, a Deloitte survey finds

In today’s hyper-connected, data-driven business world, the amount of available data is overwhelming. And while the concept of “big data” has been around for more than a decade, many companies are still lagging when it comes to using that data to make decisions. Insight-driven organizations (IDO), according to a recent Deloitte survey, are those that have made a transition to relying on data and analytics, instead of intuition, to make many of their business decisions. Technologies, led by artificial intelligence (AI), have the ability to support these insight-based decisions, giving companies a competitive advantage when they integrate them.

‘There is so much opportunity to leverage high-skill, high-value talent,’ MBO’s Bryan Peña says of independent workforce

Technology is changing the way people in the independent workforce find work, and companies face challenges finding that talent, says Bryan Peña, Chief of Market Strategy at MBO Partners.

"Technology is also becoming ubiquitous, and the discipline of managing a talent pool is becoming an organizational competency," he says. "So what we see is a lot of technologies that have been around for a while taking off because there’s more of an organizational demand for them as jobs become harder and harder to fill. And now that some of the basic problems are solved, you can point to more advanced ones. So many technologies are evolving to solve very discreet, unique problems — it's an exciting time."

Freelancer Management Systems: How Companies Can Find and Retain Independent Contractors via Direct Sourcing

As technology changes the work landscape, as companies seek more specifically skilled workers and as those workers push for non-traditional work arrangements, companies need to find effective ways to meet those changes. Direct sourcing is emerging as a viable, practical option to fill on-demand and other staffing needs.

When used alongside traditional hiring methods, including third-party staffing firms, direct sourcing allows companies to find and hire previously untapped independent contractors.

For decades companies have relied on staffing firms, managed service providers (MSPs), and other internal HR or procurement processes to handle their hiring, so how can they successfully integrate new technologies and methods? A readily available and reliable choice is to enlist a third-party technology provider that specializes in freelancer management systems technology (FMS). This technology can be integrated into an existing vendor management system, allowing companies to glean data from all sources to support the entire contractor management program.

Direct Sourcing of Labor, Total Talent Management Strategy Help Companies Improve Independent Contractor Success

talent management

When companies decide to engage contractors, the strategic approach should include methods for compliant engagement and management throughout the talent lifecycle, which incorporates sourcing and re-engagement.

So how can companies achieve this? Direct sourcing is becoming a more common option. This approach allows companies to seek out their own candidates to fill contractor roles, bypassing traditional third-party methods.

Will an Internally Managed Contingent Worker Program Work for Your Company?

It’s becoming an everyday occurrence: Businesses are hiring more and more freelancers, contractors and temporary staff — but they’re struggling to manage the process. Contingent labor experts talk about how in today’s workforce there are companies that have as many as 50% of their workers from non-employee sources. So how do companies determine the best way to locate and manage those workers while keeping a focus on what matters to the company: visibility, cost control, compliance and productivity?

Some companies still rely on more traditional externally managed programs, but the tide is changing. Companies using a managed service provider (MSP) often benefit from the provider’s expertise and broad supplier networks, but there can be difficulties with employee buy-in, staffing supplier relationships and costs.

GDPR compliance can be complicated, but VMS technology can ease process of protecting personal data

As more businesses collect personal data, the concerns over privacy and protection continue to deepen. Social media outlets are failing to protect sensitive personal information, and hackers seem to easily find their way into retail and financial databases.

In response, governments are instituting policies to protect personal data. Some individual states in the U.S. are passing legislation, but the most sweeping effort to date is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect in the European Union about a year ago.

So, how are companies handling the collection of data and protecting that information?

Take freelancer websites, for example. Those companies collect candidate information for use in their contingent worker programs, and that data is especially sensitive. Every person applying for work is required to submit personal information during their application process, so companies impacted by GDPR must now more closely manage that. Companies have to monitor who has access, determine what data can be shared, establish proper channels for sharing, have a plan to erase data and set a specific storage term.