Do you need a Freelance Management System (FMS)?

The discussion about the future and consequences of the platform economy is growing. In addition, the number of freelancers is increasing nationally and internationally. But how can these developments be integrated in existing strategies for hiring staff or outsourcing work?

According to Eurostat, the share of freelancers in the employed labour force has increased in half of the EU Member states over the past ten years. In the Netherlands and Belgium the increase has been 3,7 % and 0,5 %. Freelancers are indispensable for a flexible and future-proof Talent Management Strategy. But the existing talent management systems are not always suitably designed.

Over the last 10 years many organisations have implemented a Vendor Management System (VMS), often as part of an MSP. The VMS supports the entire hiring process, the supplier management and the financial processes like hour processing and invoicing. But these systems support new developments, like outsourcing work via ‘Gig platforms’ and active sourcing of individual freelancers, to a very limited extent.

Freelance Management System (FMS)

We now have Freelance Management Systems. They are specifically designed to support this type of hire. The market for FMS and associated propositions has developed strongly in recent years and is still changing.

Are you considering an FMS for your company? Then take a look at the following questions:

“Will I use a general platform / service provider (like Jellow, Planet Interim, Upwork, etc) or do I need my ‘own’ freelance platform such as  companies like Philips have developed?”

Over the last years many new providers for freelance platforms have emerged. A platform with a strong proposition for the required target group of freelancers can guarantee sufficient supply for the future. Downside is the fact that many other clients also look for talent on those platforms, so the competition for the right talent is stiff.

Having your ‘own’ platform is an advantage if you want to build your own freelance proposition and start a specific taget grouped-oriented recruitment. Aditionally, you can fully integrate the platform in your total recruitment strategy.

“Do I wait for a concrete assignment before qualifying freelancers? Or do I prefer active pool management?”

With most freelance platforms and marketplaces the freelancer gains access to available assignments after a simple registration. In many cases qualification and selection only takes place when an assignment is available. The advantage of this is that it’s easy to set up large pools with relatively little effort. The disadvantage is that one cannot be sure that the pool of freelancers is suitable and available.

Actively setting up and managing a pool of qualified freelancers for specific competences will increase the odds that the right freelancer will actually be available, qualified and have a shorter lead time. Costs preceed the benefits. The return is mostly determined by the specifice target group and/or competences that are selected.

“Do I only want to add a system? Or also outsouce the management to a service provider?”

A number of VMS suppliers (like for instance Nétive) have integrated FMS functionalities in their VMS system. Others offer connections with most common FMS systems by default. The best choice depends on the system landscape you already have in place.

It’s important to define in advance what the active recruitment and management of the necessary freelance network looks like. Is it carried out internally? Or by an MSP partner or specific FMS service provider?

Additionally to supplying the system, some FMS service providers (like for instance Twago) can also unburden. They do this with a complete freelance recruitment strategy, marketing and active management of determined pools with the right future competences.

Finally

If you’ve the defined the answers to these questions, you can determine if an FMS system will add value, and what system or which service provider will be most suitable. Does your organisation hire many freelancers? And does is have a mature hiring strategy and a strategy for the way in which you work with freelancers during an assignment? Then you probably cannot do without an FMS in the future.

About the author

Ron Bosma is Managing Partner at TalentIn. With more than 30 years in the industry and has an extensive experience in RPO, MSP and SOW solutions, having served client’s like Philips, Siemens and PWC to define and execute their contingent talent management strategy including supportive technology systems like VMS and ATS. His previous roles have spanned across numerous EMEA markets and provided an opportunity for him to work with a variety of companies in many sectors.

TalentIn can help you develop or update your contingent labour recruitment programme, for example by assessing your current plans or programme with our Talent Management Maturity Model that delivers results and stays ahead of the paradigm shift.  We are happy to discuss this topic more in depth with you. Please visit us at www.talentin.eu , mail us at info@talentin.eu or call us on +31 10 307 54 22.

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