As companies attempt to globalize their contingent workforce solutions, they must keep in mind that globalization goes beyond currency, tax and language. Any vendor management system (VMS) worth its salt can handle these aspects of contingent workforce management. Localization absolutely involves the legal constraints and considerations of a country or region for procuring contingent labor, and as businesses start to analyze the companies they work with in different areas of the globe, the real differences rise to the top.
A full understanding of the regional marketplaces and how they are adopting VMS technology is essential to a successful global roll out. Here in North America, the MSP and VMS model is completely accepted and normalized, and we are extremely policy-driven. This is not the case in other regions around the world. For example, although the Netherlands and the United Kingdom were early adopters of VMS technology and process, throughout the rest of Western Europe, adoption has followed more gradually as some countries are resistant to adopt these systems.
Today, Western Europe is where North America was five years ago in terms of technology and process adoption. The APAC region is further behind in VMS adoption and has even less legal formalization. Therefore, a VMS implementation in this area must be even more reactive.
Labor laws and privacy play a significant role in how a VMS will be utilized and the setup required to handle variance. Take Belgium’s new temporary worker regulations as an example. The limitations around one-day contracts must be considered when creating and implementing contingent workforce processes within the VMS. How can you make sure that your VMS technology aligns with their requirements?
When selecting a VMS for a global implementation, you must understand the localization requirements at multiple levels.
- First, you must completely understand the labor laws, privacy requirements and other significant standards for the country itself.
- Within each country, there are additional guidelines to consider at the state, province or regional level.
- Last, review the processes of the companies themselves. Policies can vary from employer to employer within a region. In some countries, companies have the freedom to offer different benefits to their contingent workers, so you might be dealing with differences at that level. In countries newer to VMS, this customer-level variation is often much greater than that driven by the country itself.
In emerging markets like India, Brazil and China, where VMS is just beginning to take hold, policies are a work in progress. Taking your VMS global isn’t a one-size-fits-all model – make sure you fully understand the markets you are attempting to branch into and create a sound methodology to deploy in those areas.
Bottom line – ask the right questions that will enable you to confidently address these unique situations.