HRO Today April 2014 - 44

Contingent Labor
Contemporary Scope of the Non-Employee Workforce
Ardent Partners defines the contemporary contingent workforce as falling into three main buckets, each of which has evolved
significantly over the past half-decade:
* Traditional temporary
labor is the " classic " view
of contingent labor and
involves an enterprise
sourcing a variety of shortterm
roles with candidates
from staffing suppliers,
agencies, and vendors.
* Complex contingent labor includes statement-ofwork-based
(SOW) labor, professional services, and
non-professional services, and is perhaps the most
evolutionary aspect of modern contract talent.
These aspects are complex due to the fact that they
touch various divisions within the typical enterprise
and need to be managed from a variety of angles,
including procurement, HR, and finance.
to drive ultimate value from their non-employee workforce.
Ardent Partners recommends the following strategies and
approaches for those enterprises seeking to improve their
contingent workforce performance:
* Understand the ramifications of contract talent. Where is
contingent labor currently being utilized? Which projects are
tied to contract talent? What are the milestones and delivery
items attached to those projects? Is there a clear picture of the
contract workforce? These are all valuable questions to ask;
those organizations that cannot answer these inquiries are
the ones that do not have the capability to drive value from
their contract talent and properly align these workers with the
enterprise projects that require their skillsets.
* A little " help " goes a long way. Solutions such as MSPs
and VMS offerings are designed specifically for the contract
workforce industry and offer veritable value in managing
contract talent. MSPs are well-known experts in managing dayto-day
operations for all contingent workforce management
processes, while VMS technology is the ideal solution for driving
efficiencies within complex contingent labor management.
* Compliance initiatives need to be top-of-mind. In the pursuit
of top-shelf talent, enterprises are turning to independent
contractors. It is imperative to implement robust compliance
measurement strategies to ensure that independent contractors
are properly classified and managed.
* Analytics is the key to an intelligence goldmine. Many
enterprises sit on a goldmine of contingent workforce data,
most of which can be leveraged to improve the greater
contingent worker management program and gauge the
performance of key contingent workers. Agile analytics
represent the next wave of business intelligence within this
industry and will help enterprises drive multi-functional value
out of contingent workforce data. Procurement can utilize
spend and supplier data, while HR will benefit from talent
management intelligence.
* Identity management capabilities must be streamlined and
[44]
HRO TODAY MAGAZINE | APRIL 2014
* Independent contractors is the category
comprised of freelancers, consultants, and
contractors. They are sourced directly by
the enterprise. Independent contractors
(colloquially known as ICs) carry a variety
of risks (namely federal audits and coemployment)
if misclassified, but often
represent a superior level of talent.
enhanced to avoid the loss of intellectual property and sensitive
information. Too many contractors and temporary workers walk
off-site with continued access to enterprise systems. A wellthought
offboarding process can go a long way in securing IP
and sensitive financial data/information.
For the Future
The recommendations below can help organizations best
prepare for what's ahead in the contingent workforce industry.
* The " blended " workforce is real, and total talent
management is an ideal strategy to manage this talent mix. The
lines are becoming blurred between traditional and contract
talent, as more and more enterprises blend these two very
different workforces together for the greater good of the
organization. Recruitment process outsourcing will arise as an
important offering in the pursuit of total talent management,
as its engagement functionalities will prove to be a positive
force in managing the modern blended workforce.
* The pressure to find, engage, and retain top-tier talent will
intensify. The talent wars will continue to rage, and enterprises
across the globe will see their need for unique skillsets increase
as the months pass by. Social sourcing and social networking
will be ideal strategies in the next generation of contract talent
acquisition.
* eWaaS will throw a wrinkle into contingent workforce
management. Enterprise-workforce-as-a-service (eWaaS) is the
freshest tactic in the contingent worker management toolbox,
and organizations will seek to source more contract talent from
online labor marketplaces. However, executives must be able to
effectively balance cost, compliance risks, and talent.
Christopher Dwyer is research director and vice president of operations
of Ardent Partners and author of The State of Contingent Workforce
Management 2014: A Framework for Success. This is an excerpt of the
report.

HRO Today April 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HRO Today April 2014

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