Call it an on-demand workforce or whatever you’d like, the freelance economy has thoroughly taken hold in many sectors of the U.S. In fact, Harvard Business Review indicated late last year, citing data from Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk, that more than one-third of the entire American workforce is composed of freelancers.
It’s an astounding reality, one that bucks the idea of the traditional nine-to-five employee looking for a 401(k) and benefits. While, these are components of work that job seekers still appreciate, the Great Recession has forced many companies and candidates to adjust their priorities. For businesses, that means becoming more agile and lean, seeking out specialists in a particular field. It’s not that much different from the way patients seek help from medical specialists for specific ailments.
Imagine a pool of 53 million doctors having their roles reversed, where they’re the ones trying to find patients to hire them for their unique skills. That’s the situation that many jobseekers face today. But unfortunately, many organizations aren’t prepared to handle the freelance economy with the speed and accuracy required to maintain efficient business processes.
How many applicant tracking systems does one company need?
With Forbes reporting freelance labor is expected to jump to 50 percent of the total U.S. workforce by 2020, there’s a question in some employers’ minds whether to expand their applicant tracking system to include freelance management systems. Admittedly, some companies have gotten by using “home grown systems, single-use point solutions and spreadsheets,” wrote Jeff Wald and Jeffrey Leventhal for Forbes. However, these Band-aid solutions aren’t going to cut with the expected flood of contractors and freelancers.
Still, this doesn’t necessarily mean that companies should add system upon system to handle multiple types of job seekers. Modern recruiting software provides employers with the tools necessary to find precisely the right talent for a given role, regardless of employee type. What’s more, the best technology will include all back-office tools to maintain compliance with federal regulations, whether you have a small team or thousands of freelancers to manage.
The point of tapping the unique skills of freelancers shouldn’t mean adding on complexity to the talent management systems that companies already have in place. As too many organizations have found out, multiple systems running concurrently breeds informational silos and poor communication across the business.
Jobscience | Beyond the Applicant Tracking System