As curious human beings with varying levels of self-doubt, we’re all a bit taken with “expert” advice. If I see an article about losing weight or getting rich, I’m reading it. Now, I may not qualify as an expert, but fellow procurement and sourcing professionals often ask me for advice on moving from the corporate world to freelancing. Looking back, I can admit that my thought process was probably not as thorough as it could have been. So, in the same vein as lists of what doctors tell their own friends about common ailments, here are three things to know as you determine whether freelancing is for you.
The Services Procurement & Contingent Labor Category
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend VMSA Live in Phoenix, Arizona. Having attended nearly all of the contingent workforce industry conferences (there are not many to chose from), I would describe my experience at VMSA Live this way: It was not your grandfather’s contingent workforce conference. Or to put it another way, as one of the nearly 100 contingent workforce managers in attendance said, “This is the conference of the future.”
Accenture Invests in and Partners with WorkMarket to Help Enterprises Address the Future of Work — Now
Professional services firm Accenture has taken a minority share in Work Market, a “work automation platform” business founded in 2010. Accenture and Foundry Group together invested $25 million in this most recent round. Between June 2010 and January 2015, Work Market raised $41 million in four rounds; this most recent round raises the cumulative total to $56 million.
Beeline, which refers to itself as a global leader in software solutions for sourcing and managing the extended workforce, announced earlier this week that it is introducing a new artificial intelligence (AI)-based “virtual assistant” feature called Beeline Assistant. Beeline and IQN, both recognized technology solution innovators in the space, merged earlier this year. Beeline Assistant has been implemented on both VMS software products.
The world’s biggest companies are undertaking digital transformation projects, and many have chosen 2020 as their deadline. And to follow through on any 2020 digital initiative, an enterprise must fully update its digital workforce strategy, as well — call it Workforce 2020. Contingent workforce and services procurement (CW/S) practitioners thus need to prepare for this new workforce paradigm and fully understand the digital platforms that will enable it.
While protectionist rhetoric has taken over the current political climate, penetrating new markets and otherwise operating in foreign countries will remain a business reality for U.S. companies. Correspondingly, companies will engage workforce on a contract basis when there may not be a business justification to establish legal entities in other countries. However, engaging workers in foreign countries — each with different business practices and customs, labor laws and compliance requirements for social benefits and taxation — can be risky business if mitigation measures are not adopted.
SAP Fieldglass announced Thursday the launch of a data analytics solution called Live Insights. The company reports that the solution “uses machine learning to simulate external talent scenarios in moments” (real time). At this point in time, Spend Matters has not yet been briefed on Live Insights nor seen a demo (something which will likely follow in the future).
In a recent post, Spend Matters’ Andrew Karpie explored the role of digital platforms in sourcing and engaging highly skilled (and often scarce) business talent. In his article on the topic, Karpie explained that many procurement and HR professionals have not yet come into contact with such technologies in the workplace, despite their growing ubiquity in the global economy.
Late last year, at an industry event, I learned that Hired, which I knew previously as a permanent-hire talent marketplace, was now serving the contingent workforce segment. Given that news, I thought it was time to take a closer look. Accordingly, I arranged to meet some of the Hired team at their San Francisco office to get a better understanding of the company. My visit confirmed that Hired is a superlative example of what I would call a next-generation, platform-based staffing supplier, an important emerging category for HR — and now contingent workforce —practitioners to learn about. What follows is a brief introduction to Hired, which Spend Matters will no doubt be covering more often in the future.
Join Andrew Karpie, research director of services and labor procurement at Spend Matters, and Stuart Kliman of Vantage Partners tomorrow for an in-depth look at how organizations like yours are preparing to adopt flexible workforces to succeed in today's evolving work climate. Enabling the Future of Work: What Organizations Will Look Like and How to Drive the Necessary Change will take place at 1 p.m. CDT.!
ZeroChaos is a provider of global, vendor-neutral contingent workforce management services/solutions. Going beyond traditional MSP, VMS, payrolling and agent of record categories, ZeroChaos provides clients with a range of services, which can be assembled into a client-specific solution supported by the company’s own technology platform and analytics. As such, ZeroChaos represents a quintessential integrated solutions provider in a converging procurement world, in which services providers are codifying IP and extending their reach and capability through applications while software providers are embedding additional content and intellectual property in their applications.
Having started over a decade ago in the contractor employer of record and agent of record space and later distinguishing itself as a disruptor in the staffing supply chain, ZeroChaos competes today in a field of evolving solutions providers offering outsourced contingent workforce management solutions to enterprises.
This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions about whether they need a solution like ZeroChaos as an alternative for or complement to their organizations’ incumbent solutions for organizing/managing and assigning work to their own “affiliated” workers or to help control and drive savings across broader services procurement categories. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider ZeroChaos. The rest of this multipart research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.
When it comes to managing your contingent workforce, many practitioners are already aware that using a combined managed service provider (MSP) and vendor management system (VMS) can bring several benefits, especially when coupled with a purely vendor-neutral provider. Yet with this increased awareness comes a more crowded market. Discerning a combined MSP/VMS from a standalone VMS is simple, but identifying a truly vendor neutral provider is often easier said than done. Here’s how to tell the difference along with the benefits and lessons learned.