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BizReport : Research : July 01, 2011

Platform to help independent contractors grow faster

The biggest buzz over outsourcing and downsizing from a corporate standpoint may be over, but the practice of outsourcing some components of business is going strong. From outsourcing online content to hiring creative types for campaign creation, big businesses are increasingly turning to freelancers and independent contractors to fill the void.

by Kristina Knight

A new platform may help independent contractors better serve their clientele, thereby helping their business grow faster.

About one-third of the US workforce is currently independently contracting work, most of these by choice. But businesses are also finding more to offer in freelance employment as well. It may make more sense for sales staff, for instance, to be located in different regions than within company headquarters where they may spend the bulk of their time traveling to meet with clients. The question remains, though: are both freelancers and their employers making the most of a situation?

With the changing workforce, employers and workers have been forced to use new tools to connect. Social and professional networks are one way. To that end, Monster Worldwide has released a Facebook app which helps job seekers connect with potential employers; the app is called BeKnown.

"While it is crystal-clear that there is a shift toward independent work in the past five years, there is a lack of meaningful research examining this trend - even from top organizations like the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)," said Gene Zaino, CEO of MBO Partners. "The State of Independence in America study will shed light on this influential career movement and help pave the way for independent professionals."

The MBO Partners offering will have dedicated operating units so that independent contractors will have access to advisors in their field; it will also offer education opportunities. From the dashboard, users will have access to tools to help manage their careers and clients. The platform is geared toward freelancers who are building a professional services practice. The inaugural State of Independence in America study will release in September 2011.

Tags: indenpendent contractors, MBO Partners, Monster Worldwide, online job seekers

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