All indications point to a larger percentage of the workforce transitioning to Independent contractors. Almost one out of three workers in the US economy are utilizing at least one of the 150 apps or their own personal sites to offer services. The US Department of Labor concludes in a recent release that workers providing services to consumers through a company’s virtual platform are in fact Independent Contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act. As such, not being employees of the company offers an additional layer of protection for risk adverse organizations.
So why should companies… why should YOU embrace the gig economy?
Expertise: An independent contractor has developed a niche skill or expertise that they feel is worth marketing. It could be anything from selling photos on Shutterstock or contingent workforce consulting expertise. Just like you wouldn’t hire a general handyman to remodel the master bathroom in your home you would NOT send your marketing director to take head-shots of your executive leadership.
Flexibility & Cost Savings: Having experts on your staff gets costly. Maybe you want to enhance your normal response to a sales opportunity with a video to engage a prospective client. You could employ a full-time videographer and photo editor or you could engage one through Fiverr. If that sales opportunity lands and you decide to continue with your new sales process of customized videos you can do a cost analysis to see if you can retain those same resources. Some independent contractors offer discounts to return customers. Their work become streamlined as they learn how to best partner with you. And of course they appreciate the recurring income.
Speed: Once an organization has identified a gap that needs to be filled by talent there is typically an approval process to go through the expenditure. Then on to align the proper job title, recruit, interview and identify the proper resource. Paying an independent contractor is a capitalized expenses that often bypasses or greatly reduces internal approval processes. Sites have recently emerged like Upwork and Workmarket where you build out your own talent pools. These can feed into specialized sites like Hellotech for tech support. Now one is able to engage workers, see work samples, and schedule interviews or appointments within 15 minutes after a few clicks.
These days it seems that there are as many ways to engage an Independent Contractor as there are to skin a cat. So if you are unsure of where to start or how to ensure you are compliant when engaging Independent Contractors? Contact Tracz Consulting for support, we offer a free one hour consultation to review you current needs and access how to build a path to optimizing your IC engagement strategy.