Is Contingent Labor Management HR’s Job? It Should Be!

Who holds primary responsibility for managing the contingent workforce in your organization – HR or procurement? Historically, HR has owned the permanent workforce and contingent labor has been under procurement’s domain. However, with contingent labor playing an increasing role in the world of work, it’s time for HR to take a leadership role in managing the flexible workforce.

Separation between the traditional and flexible workforce results in a lack of visibility into the total workforce, increases risk and reduces an organization’s ability to effectively source the best talent while optimizing costs. Putting total talent management in HR’s domain can help organizations understand the entire spectrum of talent they have access to as well as what they are spending on contingent workers to ensure they get the right talent in place at the right cost where and when they need them.

How can HR’s involvement improve the contingent labor management process?

Source the best talent through social tools. Staffing agencies are a key source of flexible talent; however, some organizations choose to source contingent workers directly. Social media is increasingly used by job seekers and organizations with social collaboration tools can promote the employment brand and optimize talent sourcing through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other networks. This increases speed and efficiency in connecting with passive and active candidates and enables organizations to interact with all talent sources, raise brand awareness and create a streamlined talent acquisition process.

Understand the skills available and those needed.– A single solution for managing both temporary talent and the permanent workforce along with a robust vendor management system can provide a complete picture of skills that are available and whether or not talent is on site. It can also provide visibility into the associated spend to ensure organizations are getting the best talent at the best cost.

Cost control and spend optimization. Organizations require better insight to understand their total workforce and be able to control, contain or optimize costs and ensure alignment with business objectives. Visibility into the flexible workforce also allows organizations to determine the talent they have and where there are opportunities to redeploy skill sets upon project completion. With visibility into what they are spending and on what type of talent, whether that’s permanent, temporary, consultative or professional services workers, organizations can make more-informed decisions when it comes to human capital investment.

Minimize Compliance Risk. With a clear snapshot of the total workforce, organizations can efficiently track onboarding and offboarding activities, such as ensuring new hires have completed a background screening or that onsite workers have required certifications and adhere to regulations such as the EU Temporary and Agency Workers Directive. A holistic approach and access to detailed information about the workforce also enables organizations to determine the best labor type for a particular role (permanent or contingent) and facilitate correct worker classification.

As the flexible workforce gains a more permanent place in how work gets done, and competition for top talent intensifies, giving HR the reigns for contingent workforce management can help organizations get to the best talent faster than the competition. Looking holistically at the workforce, organizations can reduce costs, minimize exposure to risk and create new opportunities for competitive advantage.

What’s your plan for improving the way you manage your total workforce to support business goals?

Tom Tisdale
Tom Tisdale is senior vice president of sales at Peoplefluent. He can be reached at tom.tisdale (at) peoplefluent (dot) com.

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