It has been a whirlwind over the past few years as employer workforce needs and worker expectations have contracted, expanded, and shifted with the pandemic and its aftershocks. Temporary workers have provided flexibility, agility, and cost-efficiency to organizations, especially in times of uncertainty and change or when specialized skills are required.
It’s not always easy to predict where and when you will need temporary help. Spreadsheets for tracking volumes of workers are as outdated as pay phones. A new era in contingent workforce planning is eminent…and artificial intelligence (AI) will be in the spotlight.
Strategic contingent workforce planning
Artificial intelligence is a powerful technology that can help organizations overcome these challenges and optimize their contingent workforce planning. Forbes notes that, “It’s a powerful tool for analyzing vast pools of complicated data, and it’s already helping organizations source the right talent at the best rates, drive better worker experiences and forecast labor needs” to help create a frictionless talent supply chain.
AI-powered advanced tools can enable organizations to:
- Leverage forecasting and budgeting analytics to predict the demand for contingent workers, identify the best sources of talent, match the right workers with the right projects, and budget accordingly. AI can also help organizations monitor the market trends, skills gaps, and talent availability in real time and adjust their strategies accordingly. Rolling forecast figures can be updated with a click, seasonal changes can be accounted for, and business predicaments can be adopted on the fly.
- Enhance workflow collaboration between departments with robust planning tools to support continuous, cohesive planning. AI can assist with breaking down silos and creating transparency to the right people throughout your organization.
- Improve the quality and productivity of contingent workers by measuring the performance and impact of contingent workers using objective and transparent data metrics. This allows companies to add satisfactory workers to Talent Communities to redeploy quickly and easily.
- Reduce the risks and costs associated with contingent workforce planning by ensuring compliance with legal, tax, and regulatory requirements is met. Furthermore, AI can help protect intellectual property, data, and company reputation by implementing security measures and ethical standards.
The future of contingent workforce planning will be shaped by the increasing adoption and integration of AI across various aspects of work.
- Macro level insights of your contingent workforce helps organizations avoid costly surprises. The key is to include the entire talent supply chain ecosystem in planning efforts.
- Data modeling can better predict who is needed, when they are needed (and, importantly, not needed), where they are needed, and for how long. AI gives organizations a competitive edge in attracting, engaging, retaining, and redeploying the best talent in the market.
- Potential challenges and implications of AI, such as ensuring data quality and privacy, avoiding bias and discrimination, and fostering trust and transparency among all stakeholders should also factor in to ensure compliance is met.
- While AI holds great promise for revolutionizing how business is conducted in nearly every industry, careful planning is required to determine where to best enhance your business with AI, to determine whether to make or buy the technology, and to establish the resources and budget needed for the AI initiative. Gartner research indicates that on average, organizations take 7.2 months to develop AI initiatives from prototype to production and only 54% of projects make it from pilot to production.