The Future of Work

A Guide to Managing a Gig Workforce in the Gig Economy

Read our guide today to discover how organizations like yours are leveraging gig workers.

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Updated January 2022

In This Guide

This is an abridged version of our guide.  For the full article, please download the PDF version.  This guide has the following sections:

Section 1 - Future of Work Aspirations

In this section we describe ‘environmental factors’ that shape enterprise demand for talent technology such as Vendor Management Systems.

The Temps are Now Permanent

A Total Talent Management Approach

Hybrid and Remote Workforce

Hyperautomation and AI

Learning and Improvement

Section 2 - Architectural Considerations

In this section we outline the key architectural considerations that underpin the performance, scalability, security, extensibility and usability of a modern Vendor Management System tech-stack.

Embracing Familiarity in User Interfaces

Mobile-First Accessibility

User Group Personalization

Modularity/Embracing Best-in-Class

Ease-of-Use that Leads to Popularity

Section 3 - Functionality

In this section we describe ‘environmental factors’ that shape enterprise demand for talent technology such as Vendor Management Systems.

Dashboard/Reporting

Order Management

Candidate Management

Applicant Tracking

Scheduling

Background Checks and Credentialing

Float Pool

Time/Expense Management

Invoicing

Evaluations and End-of-Term

Direct Sourcing

Statement of Work

Section 4 - Procurement Considerations

In this section we cover some of the more obvious selection decisions based on what today is state-of-the-art in Vendor Management Systems.

Supporting the Lifecycle of Contingent Workforce Sourcing, Management and Exiting

Speed-to-Value

Configuration, Not Customization

Responsiveness and Uptime

Interoperability Standards

Data Security and GDPR Compliance

Internationalization Features

Section 1 – Future of Work Aspirations

If we’ve learned anything from the 2020 Pandemic is that external market forces are unpredictable, and they can forever change the make-up of markets. COVID-19 led to a rush indoors. Closeted people became online shoppers and remote workers overnight.

 

The Temps are Now Permanent

There are a number of ways you can read the term ‘flexible workforce.’ One perspective is that your full-time contracted employees are afforded more flexibility in when and where they work. Another is more fundamental: fostering a workforce that adapts to change as it needs to.

These days, when a task or activity needs to be done, there are many mechanisms that can be employed to completing it including various forms of automation, knowledge markets, crowdsourcing platforms, task portals (like Fiverr and Upwork, etc.), contingent workers, and workers employed on full-time contracts. A flexible workforce should be able to dovetail into work allocation systems to deliver best-fit talent to the right task at the right time.

A Total Talent Management Approach

Total Talent Management (‘TTM’) describes the implementing a uniform operational behavior to evaluate talent needs, design, operate, and review talent operations in such a way that combines all available sourcing options.

Hybrid and Remote Workforce

More than 20 percent of the workforce could work remotely three to five days a week as effectively as they could if working from an office. Covid-19 has broken through cultural and technological barriers that prevented remote work in the past, setting in motion a structural shift in where work takes place, at least for some people.

Hyperautomation and AI

Nobody wants workers to perform mundane tedious tasks. The best interface is NO INTERFACE. If machine-to-machine integrations are possible, they should always exist. Hyperautomation recognizes there are many technology, people, process and data mechanisms to get work done thanks to the digital revolution. 

Learning and Improvement

Every business should think about ‘doing better things’ not just ‘doing things better.’ While improvements to how things work today can be useful and bring quick win returns with little pain, generally richer rewards comes from asking the harder questions like ‘why do we do it that way anyway?’

Book a Test Drive

There’s no substitute for a test drive so why not take a tour?  In addition to web demos and webinars, we also arrange for a trial system – so you can see our system with your data, protecting the personal data of candidates and workers.

Section 2 – Architectural Considerations

Like Pavlov’s Dogs, We’re Trained to Use Modern Browser Interfaces in a Particular Way. Consumer facing technologies, like Google Maps and Facebook, have educated a generation of people to learn and use applications in a certain way. That’s important knowledge for User Experience (‘UX’) designers, because any system that works in a different way isn’t ‘innovative and refreshing’ anymore, it’s just annoying.

Embracing Familiarity in User Interfaces

The quality of browser interfaces has come on leaps and bounds over the years. Those of us who used Internet Explorer version 1 will know it was essentially text on a page with a few kludgy data fields and buttons. At best, browsers replicated hard-copy forms and documents on a screen. Today, Users enjoy the luxuries of transitions, drag-and-drop interfaces, animated charts, and voice interfaces.

Mobile-First Accessibility

While smartphones are as common as COVID-19 these days, they haven’t been supported by enterprise IT particularly well until the last few years. Pre-2010 and you would find most enterprise systems lacked ‘designed for mobile’ features. Today, it’s not acceptable to use desktop formats on mobile. The usability just isn’t there. If you want to keep Users happy, you need a software architecture that adopts a mobile-first persona.

User Group Personalisation

It is likely stakeholder groups will have differing needs when it comes to their information and data processing demands. To serve these varying aspirational outcomes, your VMS should be equipped to tailor landing pages, features and User journeys according to the common demands set out by these communities.

Modularity/Embracing Best-in-Class

Software companies often possess a psychology towards building everything themselves using their own coders and software platforms. Your VMS should focus on Ecosystems and outcomes, not tools and coding, means the management team is wholly committed to embracing the best third-party tools in the market.

Ease-of-Use that Leads to Popularity

If Users don’t like using a VMS, or see no personal productivity dividend from doing so, they can easily revert back to their own self-authored tools, third party apps—or worse still, fail to get tasks done. Usability REALLY matters.

How can the right vendor management app help drive your talent strategy?

We look at how finding the right vendor management tool can improve the performance of your indirect staffing vendor management program.

Vendor Management System Features

What are the key features of Vendor Management Systems (VMS) that businesses should know about in 2022? What makes a VMS great, not just good?

What makes the best VMS in 2022?

Looking for the best VMS in 2022? In this article, we highlight the 5 key factors to look for in a Vendor Management System (VMS).

Our Most Popular Articles from 2021

Take a look at our best articles of 2021. Read insights on the topics of VMS solutions, workforce management and recruitment.

Talent Technology and diversity goals

Employees respond positively to employers who value diversity. How can talent technology be utilized in creating a fairer workplace for all and at the same time help achieve diversity goals?

Our top 3 articles this quarter

It’s been a busy period for Simplify VMS, and 2021 promises to continue in the same manner with the upcoming CWS Symposium Online event. Here, we’ve handpicked three of our hottest articles from the last quarter we think are worth revisiting. Topics include, talent...

Talent Technology and the Future Workforce

The world of work has rapidly moved from long employment contracts and commutes, to bite-size gigs and work sessions punctuated by walking dogs, picking up the kids and taking a break in a caffe. The little legs of employer talent leaders are paddling like crazy under...

VMS platforms now support hybrid working

A VMS for Hybrid Working There are a great many ‘hybrids’ in the digital age—hybrid cars, hybrid cricket pitches, and, more recently, hybrid working practices. A hybrid is qualified as a thing made by combining two different elements. In the working world of 2022, the...

Benefits of Capturing Global Indirect Staffing Spend

What are the benefits of building out a global picture of your indirect staffing spend and what opportunities does it bring to your business?

VMS solutions: Tech for the future of work

Here, we look into VMS solutions and what they have to offer organizations. More specifically, how are they adapting to the future of work

Section 3 – Functionality

Presented with a PowerPoint filled with program performance stats, QBR participants and bystanders are generally left with a feeling of emptiness and the constant question of ‘so-what?’ on their minds.  Does it matter that you’ve hired X-number of people, or that P2P costs have peaked at Y-dollars this quarter?  Without some comparison to previous trading periods, or competitive peers, or market rates, these statistics on their own give up little useful insight.

Dashboard/Reporting

No-matter how good a premeditated reporting system design might be, there will always be a need for custom reports to respond to the diverse variations within talent sourcing contracts (and supply-chains) and deliver the means to respond to new situations as they occur.

Order Management

Hiring talent starts with identifying a requirement and scoping the work to be done. Ordinarily, this happens through discussions between hiring managers and either HR, Procurement, or both. Once a requirement has been formalized, it needs to be written up as a job description and an order created.

Candidate Management

It’s never easy to find good talent. Finding talent that not only fits your competency and experience aspirations, but work ethos and cultural fit demands—available at the right time, in the right place, and at the right time—is even harder.

Applicant Tracking

The task of managing a series of recruitments at the same time can be overwhelming. At any point in a recruitment, Hiring Managers, Candidates and Staffing Vendors need to be kept informed on how things are progressing; a task usually performed by a Program Manager.  An Applicant Tracking Module makes list work of discharging this task. Modern systems will use software robots and email alerts to manage updates and progress escalations.

Float Pool

Float Pool Management creates a constantly updated list of approved providers to fill open shifts. It’s become an important aspect of a strategic staffing plan, particularly in industries like education, retail and healthcare, where large numbers of contingent workers are available to work against shift patterns that vary in terms of resourcing needs.

Scheduling

Anyone who’s tried scheduling a series of meetings with multiple stakeholders know how time consuming such a simple task can be. Modern VMS systems use federated calendaring to allow participants to suggest and confirm dates. Use of automating tooling, then automates confirmation emails and arrival instructions to minimize the administrative overheads of this task.

Time/Expense Management

Timesheet modules capture, track and pay workers for worked hours easily through an application available on multiple platforms seamlessly (mobile phones, desktop, and browser extensions).  There are many ways to implement timesheet systems. They vary in their complexity, but also have to cope with multi-current, multi-disciplinary and multi-locational variations.

Background Checks and Credentialing

The world of business has never been more unpredictable. To make sure your organization can navigate the bumps in the road, you require a flexible workforce. But with hiring comes risks. As legislators increase compliance to ensure everyone pays their share of the tax burden, it’s important that background checks and compliance are performed to ensure your hires don’t come with undesirable risks. Your VMS should help with this.

Invoicing

Gone are the days when companies were happy with a printed invoice. These days, platforms like LinkedIn, Amazon and Facebook have raised the bar on what to expect when it comes to online account management, billing and access to statements, invoices etc. VMS User companies, vendors and MSP partners will want P2P to be transparent in its operation, but always visible and accessible online.

Evaluations and End-of-Term

A VMS should support features to manage worker evaluations and address end of term activities, such as running an experience interview to learn from the experiences of the placement. 

Direct Sourcing

Direct sourcing describes the activity of harvesting the talent pool formed by their internal recruiting activities and brand reach to source gig workers. This talent pool might include individuals who’ve approached an organization through its social media presence, former employees, retirees or applications within the company’s own applicant tracking system.

Statement of Work

A Statement-of-Work (SOW) is a form of contract between a company and a staffing provider or individual that agrees to pay a contract worker for their efforts based on the achievement of pre-determined project outcomes. Typically, these outcomes are formed around project way-points (sometimes called ‘Milestones’).

10 facts about Gig Economy

1. Companies, gig workers, and consumers all make up the gig economy. The types of organizations that the gig economy can apply to range from technical positions to transportation positions. (Whatis.techtarget)

2. Studies have shown that men tend to take more labor-based gigs and try to rely on this for income, while women will be more likely to take sales or marketing gigs for supplemental income. (Whatis.techtarget)

3. Over 50% of fulltime gig workers felt more financially secure than those with traditional jobs in 2019. (Goremotely

4. 70% of freelancers cite a better worklife balance as the reason they choose the gig economy. (Flexjobs

5. 67% of regular fulltime employees intended to leave their fulltime jobs for a gig. (Goremotely

6. Gig economy income statistics show wages and participation have grown by 33% in 2020. (Goremotely)

7. The gig economy is expected to reach a worth of $455.2 billion in the US in 2023. (Statista

8. 40% of companies see gig workers taking a more significant part of their workforce in the coming years. (Goremotely

9. More than half of gig workers are Gen Z and Millennials (1839yearolds) and have an annual household income of $50K or less. (Businesswire

10. 50.9% of the U.S. population will be freelancing in 10 years if a current uptick in freelancing continues at its current pace. (Forbes)

11. When comparing the period Pre-COVID to the period during COVID, the average number of gigs completed per day during COVID was 24.94% higher. (Hubspotusercontent20

Section 4 – Procurement Considerations

In this section, we’ve summarized the most common ‘hygiene factors’ that should be included in a procurement.

Supporting the Lifecycle of Contingent Workforce

Your VMS should support all phases of the Contingent Workforce Management lifecycle.  In the table below, we’ve put together to highlight some of the areas where economies should be anticipated.  Not all are bottom-line financial impacts, but all are worthy of consideration.

Speed-to-Value

Achieving economies quickly should always be a target.  For any major technology deployment, it’s important that stakeholders see quick wins materialize to demonstrate a clear early-stage Return-on-Investment (ROI) and offer encouragement to project leaders and champions. 

Configuration, Not Customization

In the software world, there’s a big difference between configuration and customization.  Configuration suggests that software can be tailored to do what you want it to do by choosing some options and ‘flicking switches.’  Customization, on the other hand, means someone is going to have to get their hands dirty coding or scripting. 

Responsiveness and Uptime

You’re likely to find all of the modern platforms are deployed as Software-as-a-Service or private-cloud platforms.  In both cases, it’s your provider who is specifying the hosting service underpinning the platform you’re going to be using.  Like any mission-critical enterprise platform, how your platform is maintained; and its performance maximized matters. 

Interoperability Standards

Technology rarely works well in isolation.  Achieving tight integration with best-of-breed applications and back-office systems streamlines workflows.  It means your organization can maximize the productivity of its procurement teams and hiring managers. As the bare minimum, your VMS should support Web Services and a RESTful API.

Data Security and GDPR

Data Privacy features should also be incorporated into the design of the VMS (often described as Data Privacy by Design), and this should be evidenced through regular Data Privacy Assessments.

Internationalization Features

Even if you’re not currently operating overseas, it’s as well to future-proof your platform by ensuring it supports the most popular languages and use of multiple currencies.  Also consider that the way dates and currencies are presented in databases varies from. The most common languages are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

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