Reach Greater Growth and Profitability in Your Contingent Workforce Programs

ThinkstockPhotos-467882604In my 20 exciting years working in the contingent (external) workforce space, I have seen the most dramatic shifts recently. After one of the largest recessions in US history, we are now in a talent war. We are moving toward utilizing highly skilled, knowledge workers and the use of external workforce (contractors, ICs, consultants) will increase dramatically over the next several years; 33% of the average total workforce is contignent and that number is climbing. We are seeing technology changes in procuring this talent; online work platforms, VMS provider evolution, ERP and other system integrations. Clients are pushing to close the gaps around total workforce management.

You know what hasn’t changed? After hundreds of candid and occasionally impassioned conversations, across industry sectors, with C-suite execs, HR and procurement managers, plant managers, technology leaders, they all have one key deliverable: people! Their people are their most valuable asset. They want high-quality talent effectively vetted for skills and culture fit, identified and on boarded that can integrate into the business quickly and efficiently. Their business success depends on getting critical talent, especially now, in the face of talent shortages. When the staffing providers, MSPs, technology providers get this right, the client and everyone in the workforce supply chain enjoy remarkable results. Growth and profit is there for all participants, staffing providers, MSP, VMS, VMO, hybrids, etc.

Here are three suggestions to help meet this key deliverable. It will let your clients know you are listening and ensure growth, new business, and opportunities to introduce other workforce solution offerings.

1. Speed it up, less layers. There need to be fewer layers and steps to connect the talent to the end client. Cycle times need to speed up; the talent and end client need to be connected faster and allow the flow of information on requirements to move easily through the workforce supply chain to ensure right-fit talent is provided the first time. Allow the staffing and other talent providers (direct hire, independent contractors) to talk to hiring managers to enable full understanding of requirements to solution the workforce need. MSPs need to ensure this is part of the process and will demonstrate their value-add as a result. This will not impede the competitive element, it will enhance it.

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2. Collaborate on solutioning. The workforce supply chain and our clients are becoming more sophisticated. Staff augmentation is evolving to workforce solutioning. The current MSP model of “oversight and control”, while functionally effective needs to consider a more collaborative approach with transparency between the technology, end user, staffing and other talent providers. The workforce intermediary (MSP, Staffing Hybrids) can enable synergy with all participants in the workforce supply chain. Staffing Providers and Workforce Intermediaries need to move past the procurement based model to collaborate as solution providers to facilitate work arrangements between the business and critical talent.

3. Technology changes. Need to find a way to integrate new technology into the model as client needs evolve. We are already seeing some of the larger staffing companies invest in online platforms to provide more technologized solutions. Workforce intermediaries have the competencies to make recommendations and assist clients in taking advantage of these technology platforms to optimize and transform current processes.

As John F. Kennedy once said; “change is the law of life.” Exciting changes are coming in our industry and we must be quick to adapt, our clients demand it. For those that understand this and get ahead of the curve, growth and profitability are the reward.

MORE: Culture is the onboarding glue for virtual hires

Terri Gallagher

Terri Gallagher
Terri Gallagher is president and CEO of Gallagher and Consultants, a workforce strategy solutions company focusing on contingent workforce strategies. She can be contacted at terri (at) gallagherandconsultants (dot) com.

Terri Gallagher

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