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4 Reasons Why Your Talent Strategy Must Include Contingent Labor


play 93179 150 resized 600More often than not, when I ask an HR or Talent Acquisition leader about their approach to managing contingent labor, the response I get is along the lines of "Oh - that's not us - that's the responsibility of _______ (fill in the blank: procurement, each business division, or each hiring manager)." Now, I agree that managing contingent workers can be a beast - especially in large, widely dispersed organizations, but HR has got to take control.

Your talent acquisition strategy must take into consideration where your talent is coming from - you know - the old "build, buy, borrow" thing. "Build" speaks to how you're getting talent from within the company through hipo initiatives, university recruiting efforts, rotational programs, leadership development and the like. "Buy" is all about the acquiring of talent from the outside. And, you figured it out, "borrow" is your contingent workforce. And this one is growing faster than the others.

So this train is coming - and if the word "Talent" is in your job title, you need to get on board. With that in mind, here are four reasons why your talent acquisition strategy better include your contingent workforce:

1. Because they're "talent"
Like it or not, contingent employees are your organization's talent. They are delivering on your business strategy, whether or not you've acknowledged it or you have a process to manage it. Contingent workers will continue to become an important part of the way that your business gets work done and, as a HR leader, you need to get in front of it.

2. To control costs
When contingent workers and managed in a decentralized (read: unmanaged) way, the costs can quickly spiral out of control. Managers choose their own agencies, sign their own deals and renew contracts in silos. Costs are hard to assess, much less manage. And efficiencies in spending are almost impossible to get. When centralized, agencies can be vetting, the selection process can be defined, and service level agreements and fees can be managed more effectively.

3. To control quality
When there is no process for managing contingent workers, and the firms which place them, quality is at risk. In such an environment, there are no common frameworks for identifying what a successful agency profile looks like, not to mention the characteristics that make for a good fit for a contingent worker in your organization. Successful engagements aren't tracked, so it's not likely they can be replicated. In this world, you get what you get, when you can get it.

4. To manage the right mix
How differentiated should your workforce be? What's the right blend of full-time, contingent, part-time, temp, etc.? How does this change by function or location? How do we budget for this blend? This goes back to my pet topic - which is, what is the strategy of your business and what are the talent implications of that strategy? At its most basic, when a new req comes open - does it always need to be filled by a full-time, regular employee - because that's the only option in your ATS's requisition module? What about when a req has been open for six months? Are we pulling the contingent employee lever in a thoughtful, sensible way? Or are we waiting for the manager to tell us what he/she wants?

The workforce is changing. In some functions, qualified candidates simply don't want full-time, regular jobs that require them to be on-site day in and day out. And truly, the business might not need that type of arrangement either. Those of us in HR need to create a plan to address the realities of the workforce while managing the needs of our business.


Other Articles You May Be Interested In:

Talent Acquisition Strategy for Developing Recruiters

Talent Management:  4 Things Recruiters Should Know




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