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A recent report from the Dutch bank ABN AMRO concludes that companies should maximize their relationships with freelancers, or ZZP’s as they are known in the Netherlands, in order to foster entrepreneurship.
Organizations have been forced by the economic crisis to rethink the role of flexibility and some companies are using freelancers as a tool for change. Specialists contractors used on a project basis typically work with a diversity of clients and thus gain extensive knowledge, so the report argues that they are best able to provide high quality and results-oriented added value.
Although freelancers can be seen as catalysers for change, these highly skilled professionals often lack entrepreneurial skills. The report highlights that online portals can be used by companies to interact with freelancers and provide training options to improve their entrepreneurial skills. The added advantage being that the tool can be used to quickly scale up or down the number of external specialists. Staffing Industry Analysts has written a number of reports on these freelance portals (referred to as ‘online staffing platforms’) for its research subscribers.
ABN AMRO also supports freelancers with tailored services by means of an app: the Freelancer Assistant (‘ZZP Assistant’) which also simplifies the payments of contractors.