There are some in HR who have resisted accepting the onslaught of contingent workforce strategies. However, by all objective measures, such resistance is unproductive. With greater than 40% of all jobs in the US now being performed by contract workers, the contingent workforce has become too powerful to ignore. So, if you’re still among those resisting this indelible trend, now is the time to accept reality. Embrace the change with the following five contingent workforce management strategies for HR teams seeking success within this new paradigm.
1. Promote a Nimble, Blended Workforce
Your workforce should include not only W2 employees but ICs, consultants and contingent laborers too. Achieving the nimble, blended workforce requires the establishment of a standard process to determine which classification of worker will be most appropriate for any opening to be filled. A full-time employee isn’t always the best option. Give your hiring managers all the options available, and let them make the most relevant selection.
2. Focus on Determining Appropriate Rates
With so many worker classifications and the new pay structures that accompany them, it can be more challenging than ever to arrive at rate calculations that are based on objective values. The key to success in this regard is a robust rate benchmarking practice. Are you aware of the limitations of your current benchmarking processes? Lean on the hard data captured in your VMS tool (or elsewhere) to suss out anomalies and ensure the rates you’re paying for any worker type are in line with industry standards. For more on this, check out this primer.</a>
3. Strengthen Supplier Management
The proliferation of specialized suppliers is an echo of the boom in non-employee labor types. Specialization has occurred in the community of staffing suppliers, so workforce managers must be more proactive when it comes to attracting and retaining the right mix of suppliers with sufficiently deep pools of talent. Collaboration is key in this area. A good practice is polling your existing suppliers and any of their subs for feedback on your existing operational model. Remember, these specialized suppliers live in the spaces you’re seeking to tap into. Their perspective is almost always revealing and insightful. For more insights on maximizing your workforce supplier network, read this three-step guide.
4. Emphasize Extensions
For many companies, reassignments and extensions actually outpace the number of new hires across any given period of time. This means there is a better chance of aligning contingent worker pay rates among reassigned or extended engagement workers than among new hires. Best practices dictate ensuring solid benchmarking is performed on rates of extension workers as is performed on new hires.
5. Go Direct (Sourcing)
The “Gig Economy” contractor is independent minded by definition. So, it’s not surprising they’re more comfortable with seeking employment through less traditional channels like social media and other self-service channels. Many organizations have already invested in promoting their employment brands through these direct channels. They should also mirror this strategy with respect to the non-employee workforce. Focus on referrals too for an unorthodox path toward building talent pools. These channels are also valuable as a pathway for temp-to-hire sourcing as well.