You can get the human cloud to be more collaborative for your enterprise. This can help maximize value and optimize the talent supply chain for your company. There are a variety of options and tools at your disposal, such as talent pools and freelancer management systems and more. Here are some suggestions:

Talent pools. Using talent pools can be a proactive approach to creating a community of engaged talent for your brand. As defined by Staffing Industry Analysts, talent pools are passive and active sources of talent who are categorized based on common interests, location or skills and who are potential targets for the sourcing of future candidates.

Start by organizing known passive and active candidates into interest groups. The next step is to create communities of prospective candidates to support the candidates’ interests and to meet client objectives (e.g., diversity, skills, location, seniority). Here is how you might get started.

  • Engage professionals who know talent pool acquisition and management tactics
  • Include metrics that monitor the size of the pool against targets, including new additions as well as how many drop out of the pools.
  • Have a communications plan (supported by CRM technology)
  • Make sure potential candidates can join and leave the pool easily and when they wish
  • Keep pool candidates engaged and active with communications that relate to their area of interest or expertise.

FMS. If your company uses many independent contractors and needs to manage the process more effectively, a freelance management system is a good tool to engage. Freelancer management systems are cloud-based workforce management platforms that help businesses like yours initiate, manage, complete, track and analyze engagements with individual independent workers — who may or may not be sourced by your company. A sub-category of online staffing platforms, freelancer management systems are end-to-end technology systems that enable hirers and workers to enter into, complete and transact work arrangements, from finding the candidates through paying for the work.

Inhouse Model. More and more enterprises are exploring taking their program management inhouse. Doing so will require internal knowledge, budget and tenacity. You will probably need additional headcount as well as a business plan that you must sell throughout the organization. Taking such a step is rarely about cost savings; rather, companies that do this typically are more interested in using internal expertise and collaboration to get the best possible talent. The maturing of our industry, along with the growing prevalence of Certified Contingent Workforce Professional accreditation among tenured, experienced professionals makes this something to consider. Just don’t forget that there are a whole range of companies whose core competency is doing just this — so it may end up not being your best option for the time being. Always consider leveraging the experts when you need them, internally managed programs are definitely not for everyone.

Collaboration is a necessary part of the modern work environment and provides solutions every day on many levels. Technology and collaboration drive transformation across industries and continents and the workforce solutions ecosystem is finding new ways to automate the connection to talent. SIA estimates that total human cloud spending reached between $47 billion and $51 billion globally in 2016. You can find out more in our report: “The Human Cloud, the Gig Economy & the Transformation of Work.”