The global contingent workforce industry is expected to grow to $465.2 billion by 2031. A significant number of organisations, irrespective of size, are now looking to contingent workers to fulfil talent requirements. The contingent workforce provides a dynamic option to handle unforeseen talent challenges, the need for niche skills, top-end expertise requirements and mission-critical projects. Businesses need to derive optimum value from the non-employee talent that allows them to be agile and responsive to customer and market demands. Accordingly, contingent workforce management should be strategic, technology-based and standardised.
Clear goals: Organisations want the right people for the job and getting them will require a mature programme with a clear purpose in hiring the extended workforce, taking into consideration both the short-term and long-term goals. Companies must focus on setting objectives to get visibility into the full-time and extended workers' rosters. Planning aspects like required skills, targeted locations and mission-critical technologies will buy engagement and support for the extended workforce across all levels.
Standard processes and policies: The creation of silos within the organisation leads to inconsistent policies and processes for contingent workers. Such fragmentation and disconnect hinder enterprise-wide visibility, reduce skill quality, raise security concerns and increase costs. For effective contingent workforce management, organisations need collaboration between IT, procurement and HR. A centralised and uniform management process that takes into account the different kinds of contingent hiring and the related clauses is a must.
Compliance: Laws and regulations vary across countries. An organisation is opening itself to compliance risks and legal liabilities if it fails to meet the local regulatory requirements and practices. Accuracy in activities like records of hours, classification of contingent workers and filing of taxes is vital to avoid violations and consequent lawsuits and fines. When it comes to a global contingent workforce, companies need to mitigate business risks by seeking local expertise that provides integrated compliance services.
Tracking and performance management: Fragmented and decentralised management can make contingent workers' data and KPIs seem like a black box. A talent intelligence tool can centralise extended workforce data and help track performance and metrics. Tools that align full-time and non-permanent workforce data can provide an in-depth picture of the performance of contingent workers at the organisational level. Performance tracking and feedback for non-full-time workers should be based on project-specific outcomes, delivered quality and on-time completion. Providing feedback will improve the engagement of the workforce.
Monitoring: Around 70 per cent of US employers find it arduous to recruit a skilled workforce. Data and intelligence about the contingent talent market help organisations get the best talent, compare performance against industry benchmarks, stay competitive and reduce costs. Understanding indicators like hiring demand, market volatility and speed-to-hire allows businesses to make informed hiring decisions and set feasible goals regarding their external talent. Monitoring, analysing and benchmarking aligns the hiring strategy to goals.
Contingent worker experience: Better worker experiences create better business outcomes. Strategies and policies aimed at worker experience are seldom formulated for external talent, even when they are a significant percentage of the workforce. Lack of engagement in this segment will hinder growth. Collaboration between the employee experience programme team for regular employees and the legal, procurement and management teams will enable a strategy customised for contingent workers. The joint effort will ensure that the specific needs and legal regulations related to the contingent workforce is factored in.
Tools and experts: A cloud-based, AI-enabled vendor management system (VMS) tool can be the hub for contingent workforce management, providing end-to-end data visibility and streamlining the processing of contracts, expenses, onboarding, time logs, performance reviews and compliance. The sheer breadth and complexity of the generated data can prove challenging and organisations will need workforce analytics to identify trends and business opportunities, strategise and support decision-making. An employer of record or vendor-neutral managed service provider partner (MSP) can maximise ROI through compliance expertise, multi-channel talent sources, faster hiring, easier benchmarking and quicker replication of contingent workforce programmes globally.
Non-permanent workers are much more than temporary fill-ins. They bring critical skills and form an invaluable element of an integrated talent management strategy, helping solve problems and achieve organisational goals.
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