with contingent workforces growing more complex, are your days getting longer?

March 31, 2017 Scott Fraleigh

getting guidance on emerging technologies and the freelance economy

As a contingent workforce manager, you might wonder why your workdays and to-do lists are getting longer. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Like many other companies, your organization is becoming more strategic and sophisticated in using flexible talent, giving your business agility like never before. Unfortunately, this newly found capability is also more complex and unwieldy, requiring greater attention to administer and cultivate.

Consider this: the percentage of workforce solution buyers who spend at least half of their time on contingent workforce-related responsibilities has risen from 16% in 2004 to 67% in 2016, according to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA). In other words, you spend four times more of your workday managing temporary staffing, freelancers, independent contractors and Statement of Work (SOW) talent than you did a little over a decade ago.

What’s causing this significant hike in complexity? The global economy is changing, and contingent talent is a pivotal part of the mix. Recent headlines about the freelance nation, the influence of Millennials in the workplace and the impact of automation all underscore the changing nature of the workforce. These developments — discussed in detail in our 2017 Talent Trends Report — not only require more attention, but also expertise to effectively integrate into your talent strategy.

In just a few short years, the makeup of the contingent workforce has dramatically changed. In the past, contingent workforce managers mostly worked with temporary staffing vendors in their day-to-day tasks; today, the proliferation of Freelancer Management Systems (FMS) enables companies to directly access talent. This type of innovation is a major game changer and is being felt far and wide. Of the more than 400 human capital leaders surveyed in our Talent Trends Report, 70% say freelancers are influencing their business.

Another complicating trend is the inclusion of SOW workers into contingent programs. This is especially challenging because SOW engagement is ad hoc in many organizations. Trying to get everyone to comply with a centralized approach can be difficult. However, there are potentially huge savings and other benefits from rolling SOW engagements into a program. As your organization explores this option, are you getting the resources needed to make it happen?

technological complexities

Aside from having to deal with market and process changes, you’re probably also spending more time on HR technology — evaluating tools, implementing investments and learning how to properly use them. An FMS can help you directly source talent; however, integrating such a platform with your Vendor Management System (VMS) can be exasperating, time challenging and time consuming.

Other technologies also require your attention: 71% of those surveyed in the Talent Trends Report say analytics tools play a critical role in attracting and engaging talent. According to the Everest Group, it’s also the No. 1 reason that buyers adopt Managed Services Programs (MSPs) . Whereas an FMS is a game changer for how you acquire talent, an analytics platform can transform your ability to see and predict how to best use talent, making a significant impact on business agility. Again, investing in an analytics platform requires time and expertise, something your current human capital management team might not have.

There is an alternative. MSP providers have emerged as a critical linchpin to the solution for an employer’s technology dilemma. For example, Randstad Sourceright has always supported the implementation and operation of our clients’ VMS platforms, but today we’re also providing strategic advice on how to integrate analytics with their FMS. These are critical developments in the maturity of MSP programs.

For instance, we’re rolling out TalentRadar, a proprietary analytics platform, for many of our clients. It’s a technology that provides the kind of critical operational insight employers need to accelerate their contingent workforce programs. We’ve also developed several approaches to guide companies in adopting an FMS platform. These offerings are aimed at accelerating contingent workforce effectiveness.

What we’re doing reflects the increasingly complex nature of our clients’ organizations. Undoubtedly, you’ve struggled with these very same issues over the past few years and understand why your days are getting longer. That’s why now more than ever you should look beyond internal resources to help manage what has become one of your most important business assets: flexible talent.

To better understand how your peers are changing their strategy, turn to our 2017 Talent Trends Report. You can request your copy here.

About the Author

Scott Fraleigh

Scott Fraleigh is President of Randstad Sourceright’s Managed Services Provider and Payrolling & Independent Contractor Solutions lines of business in North America. Scott has nearly 20 years of proven success in building and managing profitable businesses, with deep expertise in strategic managed services provider programs and extensive experience in HR, recruiting and staffing. Scott holds a Degree in Human Resource Management from the New York Institute.

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