I was lucky enough to attend Staffing Industry Analyst’s Contingent Workers Summit Europe earlier this month. This is a must-attend event for those responsible for or investigating the non-permanent resourcing areas of their business. This year saw 500 procurement professionals, HR leaders and industry experts come together for two days of debate on how to address the rapidly evolving demands of the contingent workforce.
While the summit is always full of lively discussion the energy at this year’s event was palpable, a reflection of how organizations have really stepped up their commitment and focus in this area and testament to how significant these programs within organizations. Below are just five of the trends I took away from this year’s summit:
1. Organizations are turning to statement of work (SOW) to help them achieve their business goals. As they seek increasingly cost-efficient and streamlined workforce strategies more and more companies are using Vendor Management Systems (VMS) and external providers to manage and support the tracking and payment of SOW talent. However, what SOW means varies from business to business. Use of SOW is projected to increase further over the next 10 years, so if you think you want to incorporate SOW into your program, now is an ideal time to agree what this means for your business, and create business rules and the platform for control and management.
2. Companies are increasingly seeking benefits across multi-country service solutions that provide visibility and control, as we live in a world where the workforce is ever more mobile. As technical developments change how we work and communicate it makes sense, but many organisations are finding navigating the different laws, regulations and cultural divides difficult. This is making their ability to effectively develop and implement these programs without the support of providers with a true global footprint.
3. How businesses develop the best solution for their workforce needs is evolving. The onus is no longer purely on the procurement or HR functions. Interdisciplinary groups supported by external MSP and VMS providers are involved earlier than ever in the development of workforce solutions. This roundtable approach sees representatives from all stakeholder groups meeting to discuss the challenges that need to be overcome to create the best fitting model before going to market. This is allowing for a more open minded approach that delivers increasingly innovative solutions to better meet the needs and improve efficiency.
4. Everyone’s bored of the term big data; what they need is insight. In one of the sessions groups were asked to identify if they were in ‘Transformation’ or ‘Adaptation’ mode when looking at their data, both in understanding the future for their contingent workforce and in shaping their business case. It is about using the data to look holistically at the business and make informed decisions with planned for outcomes. Insights gained from quality, experience and external data streams should ensure an agile solution that adapts to the dynamics of the evolving marketplace.
5. You need to be freelancer ready, Self-employment is growing faster than traditional employment and the number of freelancers has gone up by 6.2 million to 8.9 million in nine years according to the Payoneer blog. With this set to grow further you need to make sure your business is set up to compliantly engage and manage freelancers, read my blog on getting ready for the freelancer economy.
This is just a small sample of the trends, topics and advice that is available at the Contingent Workforce Summits. Whether you are looking to outsource your resourcing for the first time, and want advice on how to get started, or you’re an established outsourcing veteran, seeking to learn best practice tips, network with peers and evolve your thinking, you are certain to find value in attending.