An article in Forbes today suggested the title of this post, that companies need a new operating system for the Gig Economy. The article entitled, "How Businesses must Adapt to Accommodate the Growing Freelance Workforce", http://www.forbes.com/sites/under30network/2016/12/05/how-businesses-must-adapt-to-accommodate-the-growing-freelance-workforce/?utm_source=TWITTER#17edc57f42f5 was written by Peter Johnston, the CEO and Founder of Lystable, one of the companies that now comprise what I like to call the Gig Economy EcoSystem.
These firms and their founders, like Peter, have recognized that the independent work trend in the United States is not going away. Between workers wanting more flexibility, technology reducing the market frictions of just in time expertise and a highly mobile workforce the usage of independent workers will only increase. Given this expected growth, there is money to be made in creating enabling mechanisms to make it easy more more companies to jump on the band wagon.
Lystable, https://www.lystable.com along with others like ShortList https://shortlist.co/about/ promise to eliminate the logistical problems that can make engaging consultants a human supply chain nightmare. For unlike employment and its sourcing partner, recruiting wherein a centralized corporate solution is offered, securing independent consulting services often tends to be a one-off endeavor in most companies. Procurement ( and not recruiting typically) may imposes guidelines and rules that may be followed or not; many savvy managers have figured out over the years how to get around those pesky rules in order for the department to bring in their talent of choice. These external workforce platforms capture contract details, engagement letters, Statements of Work (SOWs)and payment details. Many handle on-boarding and post project reviews. Perhaps most importantly though, they provide an overall dashboard for how external expertise is being deployed in the enterprise.
Johnston points out thee business benefits which are real. Speaking as someone who dealt with the initial forays of procurement in the vendor management world, creating an appropriate environment for independent talent us well overdue. Changing that operating system is key, but so too is changing the mindset. Efficiently and effectively using independent talent is a competitive advantage. And now, as deployment methods are becoming more enabled and thereby making the workers more mobile, those workers have more options. They can go to their client of choice. So just as employers want to be the "Employer of Choice", they also need to give some thought to being the "Client of Choice. " For many firms, that will be quite an operating system change.