Workers Move Between Contingent and Perm – and Employers are Moving with Them

Remaining connected to talent they need when the workforce is constantly changing and evolving is a challenge many employers face. But a large part of the story is in how people choose to work.

Full-time employees are taking on contract positions, and contractors are moving freely into traditional employee roles. According to Deloitte’s “Human Capital Trends” report, 55% of surveyed workers will likely embrace alternate employment models in their careers, switching between full-time jobs and flexible contract or freelance work.

When attracting talent, employers considering both contingent workers and permanent employees for open roles will have a distinct recruiting advantage over those that limit their roles to one option or the other. Over the years, we have built a holistic model into our client relationships that combines permanent and contingent hiring. This total talent acquisition model gives employers full access to available workers and enables flexibility to secure the right resource at the right cost to get work done.

Thanks to advances in practices and technology, total talent acquisition is now a practical and cost-effective option with the right support. Success hinges on two primary demands: data and analytics for visibility into the entire worker supply and capabilities for implementing and managing the process. 

Data and Analytics

Total talent acquisition begins with accurate and predictive data-driven intelligence, which comes from multiple data sources and systems that, when viewed together, can provide a complete picture of the talent supply.

Sources of data feeding into the total talent function include HR systems, applicant tracking systems, recruitment marketing platforms and vendor management systems. Add external data from social media, market data on worker availability, bill rates and compensation, and a complete picture emerges.

Bringing those systems together, syncing the data and analyzing information to create meaningful intelligence is essential. The advent of AI-driven analytics started to bridge that gap, but advances in predictive analytics take data and workforce intelligence a necessary step further.

In the case of our own Sevayo Insights platform, predictive analytics enable us to determine available options and project the right mix of talent for achieving a specific goal.

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Total Talent Capabilities

Building a total talent acquisition capability can be challenging to do on your own. HR, procurement, hiring managers and business leaders must work together and speak the same language on issues that were often confined to HR in the past.

Access to the right technology, capabilities and experience makes a difference when bringing people together. The key is to achieve early wins. One great example was a healthcare client that initially needed to hire 50 to 60 permanent employees in technology fields rapidly. 

Based on our knowledge of the region supported by data and analytics for visibility into the market, we advised they use 50% contractors for immediate needs without sacrificing candidate quality. As a result, they met their deadlines, and 20% of the contractors were later hired as perm employees. This early success established a compelling precedent for combining perm and contingent needs.

Today, that client splits many of its roles across both models. Over the last year, we have seen more than 1,200 roles in technology, analytics and business operations go into that mix, with roughly 75% permanent and 25% contingent. The company can secure hard-to-find talent in similar or better timeframes than before the pandemic and still achieve quality.

Data is critical here because it points us to the right option at the right cost. A hiring manager knows and accepts that the resulting hire can come as a contractor or a permanent employee because they have seen the success in terms of delivery, performance and cost.

Stay Connected with Your Talent

Total talent acquisition is now a practical option for improving both near- and long-term results, but success requires a commitment of resources, technology and expertise. As our experience has shown, an organization can and should look to its solutions partner as a key player in moving the vision forward.

By working with their internal resources and talent solutions partners, companies should not only be moving toward a better recruiting capability for the future, but they should also be working to achieve impact today. The machinery may seem complex, but the goal is clear: Secure the workers you need, regardless of how that talent chooses to work.

Amy Bush

Amy Bush
Amy Bush is president of Sevenstep.

Amy Bush

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