How to quickly onboard and offboard a fast-growing freelance workforce
American workers are embracing independence in this era of remote working, with the number of freelancers projected to reach 86.5 million by 2027.
Image: iStock / fizkes
With the help of a fast-acting and competent IT department, companies quickly switched to remote work in the past year, as the company has made its contribution to containing the spread of the coronavirus. Despite a few shortcomings – related to connectivity and security, which were quickly addressed – working remotely was a success. Both employers and employees overcame trust issues and showed comparable or better productivity while not being comfortable being in each other’s field of vision.
It’s a model that not only worked, but worked well enough for companies to allow employees to keep a remote schedule or adopt a hybrid one. 62 percent of working parents said they would rather quit than give up remote work. If so, it would create a new, large-scale adaptation for organizations and HR departments.
SEE: IT Pros Roadmap to Remote Work (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Statista estimates that by 2027, 50.9% or 86.5 million people of the total US workforce will be freelancers. Businesses should be advised that they are complying with or expected of regulatory standards; it starts with freelancers getting on board (and later offboarding) properly.
The process of onboarding freelancers differs significantly from traditional employees in terms of documentation (legal, tax and payment). It has the potential to provide flexibility as well as being a major challenge for companies that may be exposed to significant compliance risks.
SEE: Working from Home: The future of business is distant (ZDNet / TechRepublic special function) | Working From Home: How Remote Works Properly (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)
The boom in the freelance and contract world has led developers to create platforms and programs to ensure a proper onboarding process. On Tuesday, Stoke Talent launched the customizable and automated workflows for onboarding and offboarding non-payroll employees, described as freelancers, contractors, consultants and agencies, to make this process easier and less risky for businesses.
Stoke Talent’s new program automates the signing of legal documents, payment information and tax documents. It can perform background checks and track deployed devices (e.g. laptops, company IDs). The platform also automates the offboarding process for the end of a contract / order and ensures that the contractor does not have access to sensitive materials once the project is complete.
“With the freelance revolution, companies must be able to manage freelancers on a large scale,” said Shahar Erez, CEO and co-founder of Stoke Talent in a press release. “Our automated workflows will not only increase productivity and reduce business risk, but also make finance and legal executives more open to the professional world.”
SEE: 7 steps to onboarding remote workers (TechRepublic Premium)
In a study by Pepperdine University, researchers found many case studies that suggested that successful and well-thought-out onboarding can increase productivity and reduce unwanted turnover by up to 50% in the first two years. While onboarding experience is so important, fewer than a third of companies have a formal onboarding program in place.
Clockwise, on his most recent blog, “5 Can’t Miss The Best Remote Onboarding Best Practices,” reported “Tech companies bringing in new remote workers tend to be most focused on more formal onboarding efforts like training, Orientation sessions, one-on-one meetings, and group meetings, “but Clockwise emphasized the importance of” prioritizing culture when onboarding. “Introducing new employees to corporate culture will help them” contribute to your success faster. ” Culturally onboarding can encourage a sense of belonging “and avoid feelings of isolation in the future.”
The onboarding process has already changed and during the pandemic almost all employees experienced virtual onboarding. A study by Hired found that 97% of employees served were either “very open” or “fairly open” to remote onboarding, “as long as they have the resources and support.”
Another hired study showed that while employers find remote interviews challenging and persuade candidates to fill a position without face-to-face meetings and virtual onboarding, “it is still possible to develop a world-class remote hiring process that In-person interviews can be just as effective without sacrificing a company’s candidate experience. “
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