4 Critical Requirements Every RFP for a Freelancer Management System (FMS) Should Include

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So you decided it’s time to take control of your contingent workforce spend and engagement processes. And you know a Freelancer Management System (FMS) will help you do it. But which one?

Ensure you get the solution you need by including these four requirements in your RFP. Forget them, and you may end up with an FMS that’s just meh. Include them, and you’ll end up with a robust end-to-end solution that may elevate you to company hero.

Along with your other requirements, be sure your RFP includes…

Requirement #1: Provide a quality talent source

Handling your contingent workforce starts with how you source talent. Not only can this take a lot of time, it can also cost you more money as hiring managers may unknowingly pay more than the average rate for that skill set. To save time and money sourcing talent, request your FMS include a talent marketplace with the skill sets you need. Often, this provides a much larger pool of skilled professionals than agencies and other resources.


An FMS standardizes and dramatically shortens the onboarding process for your contingent workforce. But make sure you can process ALL of your contingent workforce through your FMS. Specify that you need to be able to onboard as much talent as you need at one time…from any source (e.g., your own flexible talent or people from online marketplaces)…and from anywhere in the world. And be sure your FMS helps keep you compliant by providing worker classification.

Requirement #3: Include online collaboration technology

When working with multiple people, you could end up using several different methods of communicating with them. From Skype to email to Google Chat and more, all of these different sources can become cumbersome. A full-service FMS will provide a single hub for communicating and collaborating with all of your flexible talent.

Not only does this serve as a record of activity, but it also saves considerable time when checking project status, sharing ideas, and answering questions. And it bypasses the headache of juggling multiple time zones. Always ask for an FMS that includes easy-to-use collaboration and communication resources. And access options that best suit how your company works. Such as via PCs, tablets, and smartphones.

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Most Freelancer Management Systems are cloud-based. This makes implementation much easier because it integrates with your software using APIs. In turn, the implementation requires less time from your IT department. And the entire process can be completed in a fraction of the time required by traditional systems like a Vendor Management System (VMS).

Be sure your FMS technology provides the APIs you need for automating workflow and reporting. This helps all relevant departments, such as accounting and procurement, and cuts administrative time spent engaging and paying freelancers. An added bonus: APIs can automate specific processes that your company handles manually now. Also, request the FMS provide ample support for setting up tailored workflows and reports for each department, migrating existing freelancers onto the platform, and training your hiring managers on using the technology.

Free download: How to Improve Your Business with a Proper API Strategy

Don’t fall for this trap…

It may be tempting to bypass an FMS and go with a traditional solution like a Vendor Management System (VMS). But flexible talent has different needs than large vendors. This requires a different technology specifically designed for today’s growing contingent workforce. A technology that enables you to assign variable rates by project, collaborate online, and pay talent in real-time.

Upwork is the largest online talent solution. Through Upwork, it’s easier and more cost-effective for any-sized businesses to find, work with, and pay talent. Connect with us.

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Brenda Do

by - Copywriter

Brenda is a direct-response copywriter who loves sales. She is the president of BL Copywriting, LLC and enjoys helping companies increase revenue by communicating with… more