Managing Contingent Working

Do you spend too much time managing your contingent workforce?

In a recent report published by HR.com, 68% of recruiters said finding candidates with the right skill is their biggest hurdle. Resultingly organizations are increasingly going beyond full-time employees and tapping into contingent workers for hard to find skill sets. They are easy to find, require minimal training and can be engaged on a short-term basis. It lends agility to businesses for getting things done and bring in operational and productivity improvement.

Given the positives contingent workforce brings in, it’s fair to expect, it also comes with its own set of challenges. The challenges include quickly hiring a worker, scheduling and tracking work, payments and compliance. These challenges become multifold if your contingent workforce is a mix of freelancers, contractors, remote workers and so on, does different tasks and is spread across multiple locations.

Cloud and mobile technologies are playing a huge role in the way organizations hire and manage their contingent workforce. Below we will look at ways how technology is helping the organization to cross different hurdles while working efficiently with contingent workers.

1.Hiring Contingent Workers: The dynamics of hiring a contingent worker is different. Job descriptions are replaced by statement-of-works, resume is replaced by portfolio, concept of passive candidate is no longer relevant, and proposals come in. The tools and technology built for hiring employees does not fit the new needs. A hiring solution for workers would enable organization tap into sources such as freelancer platforms, specialized job boards for skills, remote workers and so on. Organizations can put out their assignment, review proposals, negotiate, sign contract and get them onboard. Workers can put up their portfolio, submit proposals and apply.

2.Scheduling and Tracking Work: The work done by workers could include driving, designing, copywriting and what not. Scheduling and keeping a track of work for such different jobs is difficult for the organization. The work could be measured per project, per hour, per piece, per milestone etc. With technology all this is a simplified. Organization can schedule shifts, setup ways to record work and workers can then record their hours or progress of work and upload any supporting documents. Workers can do all this using mobile 24×7 irrespective of their location.

3.Tracking and Making Payments: Invoicing and payments of contingent workers is an area where there are more questions than answers. Technology can help find answers to ‘How payment to be done?’, ‘When is the payment due?’ and ‘How much is to be done to whom?’. Using software’s organization can track workers opting for direct deposit and the ones opting for paycheck and can then make deposits and print paychecks respectively. Depending on the engagement with the worker, the payment frequency could be different. One may pay a worker at the start of the engagement or pay at milestones or pay at defined time intervals. Through payment schedules and automated reminders organizations can easily track upcoming payments and make sure they do not default on any payments. Workers on the other hand can easily track the payments received and view their paystubs.

4.1099 Forms: Organizations are required to generate and deliver 1099 Forms to the contractual workers paid more than $600 in a year. Leveraging all the payments records, technology can get 1099 right for all workers right, the very first time. Information in W-9 can be collected electronically from workers. Using this information and payment records of the year 1099 can be generated for all workers. These can also be delivered electronically to workers. IRS also allows to electronically file 1099 forms if they are prepared in the required file format. A software can help with bulk filing of these 1099 forms.

As we continue to see more contingent workers in our workplace the expectation is the more tools and technology will come to efficiently manage and deliver value.

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