The Era of the Human Cloud, Technology to the Rescue

This is the the era of the Human Cloud and in which Technology comes to the rescue.  

There is a paradigm shift occurring with the American workforce. With a shift from full time employment to being your own boss as an independent worker, companies are capitalizing on this with a mix of talent providing a more flexible and agile talent base. To further discuss these trends, we have some of the industry leading experts: Jeffrey Leventhal, CEO and Founder of Work Market and Dave Willard, CEO and Founder of Stillwater Human Capital.   

Jeffrey Leventhal explains – One of the major challenges of taking on independent contractors is that the processes of an organization is not really built to receive that kind of workforce in large quantities. In order for the two to come together – the contractor and the company – there needs be a system. From a technology point of view, traditional HR systems have dealt with contractors or subcontractors as a feature, and not as a discipline. HR departments have had add-on tools they can use when engaging a contractor. For the last 15 years or so, we have seen the advent of Vendor Management System (VMS), a platform that manages the contingent workforce, and organizes the independent contractors from a procurement point of view.

But nowadays, you see several labor market platforms that allow companies to directly connect with the contractors. Some of the more established platforms available are Work Market, Upworks and OnForce.  These systems allow you to find people, verify who they are, engage them for work, manage the work they’re doing, pay them for that work, and retain reporting and analytics on the work that was performed. The biggest differences between them is the level of integration with the company’s existing technologies and whether there is a shared pool of talent or not. All do offer an end-to-end solution because most HR departments want to keep the heart of their business separate from their contingent business, partly for compliance, and partly because subcontracting is a different category of talent that is handled and procured differently.

When hiring contractors, you need to see an end-to-end solution that takes into account all aspects of the work. Currently, there are over 250 different new talent platforms in the past two years coming into the marketplace. Some platforms serve the small and medium-sized enterprises; some provide solutions that connect to VMS systems and HR systems.

Classification, Enterprise Management Systems and Human Cloud Total Talent Management

David Willard has spent his career on both sides of the talent management fence both inside the enterprise as well as providing solutions to them. From his perspective –

Talent pools are a big part of these labor market platforms. Curating talent pools and building talent communities is a top priority for most organizations. They want to find people and along the way, they find a lot of good people whom they want to stay in touch with for future engagement.

One of the first things that talent acquisition or recruiting organizations do is to classify their talent. So how do these organizations bucket their talent? A lot of factors need to be considered. Is it an independent contractor? Is it somebody who is inquiring about a full-time opportunity? What are the skills that they bring to the table? What level are they at in their career? What are their geographical thresholds? So one of the things that these labor platforms are doing right now is to offer a way to classify the independent worker using these criteria and then make the assessment. The idea is to break off the talent pool by employment type, by skillset, by their professional level, and by their motivators.

After the classification, these labor platforms can then apply their personal brand, and approach the employment market through social media and cloud engagement. Once you have all of those elements put together and once you have engaged the workforce, more individuals will be interested in joining your organization. Of course, everybody wants in on a growing business. So if you’re establishing a platform of business and you want to scale and expand it, there’s only one way to do that, and that is to get people to join your organization. And one way to do that is to tap into the independent workforce.

In the government sector, the HRIS system is the one most often used. This system is designed to manage the workforce and has all of the fundamental components such as payroll facilities and applicant tracking. But once you get off into a different path such as procurement, you will need to look into other contract management systems, such as a CRM or a contract repository software. With this in mind, the organizations in the government sector, those that belong to the Fortune 500, as well as a variety of industries are going to have to start looking at these different labor platforms.

Another trend we are seeing is HR getting more involved in the procuring independent contractors, depending on where the business driver is. The more freelancers and independent contractors become part of a company’s talent management strategy, the more we will see it as the responsibility of HR and better integrated with the business as a whole.

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