No Employees? How Technology Can Help You Manage Your Freelancers


The “job” of the future will not be taking place inside a large office building with employees at little Dilbert like cubicles. What it will be are thousands of professionals, who by choice or by force, operate as consultants/free agents and work for smaller businesses and even large ones.
Think of all the layoffs that are happening across a variety of industries. Many of these professionals will start their own business and sell their services.
Maybe you have an accounting practice and need graphic work, book keeping, a new web site and etc. You don’t need to hire full time staff to do this work but can use free lancers. The challenge for many growing businesses, working with free lancers, is managing the work, paying them, finding new free lancers for new projects and measuring the work that has been done.
As your business grows and you work with more free lancers, or even a few free lancers on more projects you need a system that can help you manage the entire process.

Fabio Rosati, President and CEO of Elance sees the dawn of a new era of “work” – the virtual workplace. Using Excel and file folders to manage the new virtual workplace drives inefficiencies.

Elance’s Remote Work System helps business work with providers on an on-going basis—from workrooms, escrow, status reporting and invoicing. New features in the Elance Remote Work System include allowing tiered access to an Elance account. This “team” feature allows providers to give access to their Elance account to multiple people. This is turning the workrooms into a conference room.
Why is this work system important? Developing trust between provider and employer is important. In fact Stephen Covey speaks with John Jantsch about trust here.
Another Elance tool is SkillsCentral which tracks the skills that are in high demand by small businesses in this “virtual economy” and the skills that are being offered most by service providers on the site Check it out here.
Although the economy is sour and employees in many sectors are fearing for their jobs, businesses still need human resources to function. This leads me to the aspect of Everything On Demand which is a big trend that Elance is seeing and Fabio believes that:

It includes the concept of SaaS and cloud computing but goes far beyond just delivery of technology. The on demand concept has greatly impacted day-to-day life. From Tivo to ZipCar, the ability to instantly take advantage of goods and services, has spread across a wide range of industries. The next frontier for on demand is the world of work. The way businesses hire and work with staff is fundamentally transforming in the on-demand universe enabled by the continued evolution of the Internet.

So, you knew technology was great for CRM, mobility and online marketing. But did you know that you could use technology to manage a diverse and virtual workforce? Now you do.