What Are Contingent Workforce Solutions?

Contingent Workforce Solution

Your contingent workforce is anyone who works for your business but is not on the monthly payroll. Think about seasonal workers, independent contractors and freelance talent, consultants, agency workers and more. 

Leaning on a contingent workforce can offer a wide range of benefits for a business, adding flexibility to scale up and down as needed, reducing the cost of full or part-time employees, and providing access to specialist niche expertise when it’s required. Using a contingent workforce also reduces time to hire, as it can take weeks or months to compliantly onboard a new employee, while a freelancer can start working within days. 

For enterprises looking to onboard a solution to manage a contingent workforce, there’s a lot to think about. Let’s break it down. 

Elements of a Successful Contingent Workforce Solution

Contingent workers are a whole different ball game from on-payroll employees, so it’s important to think about a specific strategy for onboarding, classifying and managing this part of your workforce. Technology can play an essential role here, handling elements such as: 

Efficient Recruitment Processes

Fast and flexible hiring is a competitive advantage for any enterprise. You simply can’t find freelance talent in the same places you look for full-time employees. Look for a tool that provides an intuitive and simple talent search functionality, alongside the ability to create a talent pool of workers moving forward, with their skills and availability included.

Proper Workforce Classification

The rules are changing all the time regarding the correct way to classify independent contractors and employees. If the IRS considers your freelance or contingent workforce to be acting as employees, you could end up with back taxes and penalties to pay. A smart contingent workforce solution takes this off your plate, automatically auditing your workforce and flagging any risk. 

Effective Management and Control

Once a contingent workforce is onboarded to all of your systems and processes, it’s time to think about managing their workload and milestones moving forward. From one dashboard, your teams need to be able to manage budgets and approvals, as well as track project progress and delivery. 

Learn more about contingent workforce management.

Compliance with Relevant Laws and Regulations

A contingent workforce will not work exclusively for your company — they have other clients to consider, so getting all your documentation in a row is critical. Your contingent workforce solution should handle this during onboarding, getting intellectual property agreements or NDAs signed on arrival, as well as ensuring the business has everything they need when tax filing season rolls around. 

Different Models of Contingent Workforce Solutions

Not all contingent workforce solutions are the same, and you’ll need to do your research to work out which is the right fit for your business. In some cases, you can tell from the name on the tin. Here are a few examples: 

  • Vendor Management Systems (VMS): VMS are legacy tools that are heavily focused on Procurement, and don’t usually serve hiring managers or HR. They can take more than 12 months to onboard, and usually focus on automating the internal procurement and compliance processes of a business. 
  • Managed Service Providers (MSP): An MSP is an external organization that works to support an enterprise with its contingent workforce. Like a staffing agency, they will provide specific talent to meet different needs. An MSP may handle hiring and payments, but usually not ongoing management or compliance. They can also be a barrier between you and your talent. 
  • Human Cloud Platforms (HCP): Human Cloud Platforms are a catch-all term to cover online sourcing platforms like freelancer marketplaces and staffing agencies. Organizations can search and filter to find a wide range of talent, but these disparate platforms don’t offer much in terms of holistic management of freelancers internally and across the business. 

How to Choose Contingent Workforce Solutions

Before you make the leap to choose any specific contingent workforce solution, it’s critical to evaluate your resources. How many non-payroll workers do you currently have, and are you considering scaling up or down over the next 18 months? Put flexibility high on your list of must-haves, as you can’t always know what’s around the corner for your organization. 

Make sure to research available solutions, including drawing up the pros and cons of each option. While an MSP might be great for sourcing specific talent, will they be able to meet all of your emerging needs, and will you end up onboarding disparate solutions for management, compliance, or budgeting? A Vendor Management Solution might make sense for Procurement teams, but will it check all the boxes for HR when onboarding, meeting compliance, and making payments? A single tool that does it all is the Holy Grail, so a specific Freelancer Management Solution like Fiverr Enterprise, one that’s built for purpose, will be your best option. 

It’s also important to consider the cost of your solution. Generally speaking, working with a contingent workforce saves the business money, as you only hire talent when you need it, and you can reduce the full-time employee overheads of taxes and benefits. However, if your contingent workforce solution charges you heavy fees or ties you into a long-term commitment, these savings could quickly disappear.

Fiverr Enterprise Makes Compliance Simple 

One important consideration where you can’t be too careful, is around compliance. Many contingent workforce technologies will handle the practical side of things, but leave the compliance risk firmly in your court. Suddenly, you’ve lost your visibility but retained all the liability. Fiverr Enterprise takes on your tax and legal compliance, automating document collection, the signing of essential legal forms, and misclassification audits. We store all documents securely, and let you know when any updates or changes are necessary. 

Fiverr Enterprise is a single SaaS solution that holistically manages your contingent workforce from end to end. We streamline the way that you hire, onboard, manage and pay your freelance workforce — compliantly and at speed. For managing your freelance talent, you won’t find anything more built for purpose.

Ready to see how it works for yourself, and learn more about managing a contingent workforce with Fiverr Enterprise? Talk to one of our workforce experts today! 

Related content: Read our guide to contingent workforce management

Related content: Read our guide to contingent workforce program