HRO Today March 2017 - 6

CEO's Letter
The Next Wave in the
Employment Ocean is Now
It feels very different in an ocean when you are in front of a wave instead of beneath a wave, or behind one. As waves
recede, they dissipate energy because they have served their purpose. For several years, I have been predicting what
is now taking place in the market. The merger of professional services for permanent and contingent labor is really
happening, and like that wave, it is building energy as it approaches.
Okay, I know you are now saying: Enough with the metaphors, what do you actually mean? What I am saying is RPO and
MSP are merging into one platform that HRO Today has dubbed the total workforce solution (see The Emergence of Total
Workforce Solutions on page 12).
This is not a phenomenon, a fad, or even a trend. It is simply an evolution of the product offerings. The RPO platform
addresses many of the needs of permanent hiring. However, in many countries-and increasingly, in the U.S.-the
benefi ts are portable and contingent labor and independent contracting are on the rise. In the U.S., the market purchases
MSP services that generate effi ciencies and management over contingent labor supply procurement. This product is
evolving, but there are some limitations due to " co-employment " exposures that date back to the 1997 Vizaino vs.
Microsoft decision by the Ninth Federal Circuit. Obviously, judges don't understand how the real world works or they
would have done a better job allowing management to, umm, what do you call that again? Oh, yeah, manage.
In a world where as many as one in fi ve employees is considered non-permanent, organizations need to be able to
motivate productivity and alignment to mission. This needs to be done while classifying correctly. In addition, focusing
contingent labor practices on fewer, better providers allows for more certainty of compliance and more effi ciency. But the
question that has been bothering me for years is: Why these are two different things? Organizations have one workforce
that is composed of diverse channels. Why don't applicant tracking systems (ATS) simply ask for the status of a hire and if
permanent is checked, one set of onboarding screens open, and if contingent is checked, another set of onboarding and
billing screens open. This will be here sooner than you think.
It is incumbent on forward-thinking HR groups to see one workforce-not employee and " those other people. "
Fortunately, many HR leaders already do see the convergence and there is a proliferation of new total workforce solutions
being executed.
To advance this effort, HRO Today will hold its fi rst-ever Baker's Dozen ranking of total workforce solutions providers in
the October issue. Since this is a new service model, we are not asking for as large a sample (only fi ve) as we do for more
established product lines (between 10 and 13); however, we will raise the sample requirement over the next several years
as the market for this service grows.
The reason for this Baker's Dozen is two-fold to benefi t our practitioner audience. The fi rst is that the total workforce
solution design is immeasurably complex. The consulting aspect of being able to offer insight, planning, and support
into assessing what component of the workforce should be permanent versus contingent requires real wisdom, and the
execution of a properly designed program is highly complex. We already see many companies claiming to do this, and
we are, frankly, skeptical of some of them. This Baker's Dozen will be feedback from " real users " about " real providers. "
The second is that many HR leaders need to see the market's breadth to convince reticent line management to try new
approaches. I know of one CHRO who convinced her CEO, but it took more than two years and quite a bit of data about
where it had already been tried and succeeded.
We are excited at the evolution of the market and to have acknowledged its coming and
continuing to be part of the effort to explore the new approaches to HR.
Elliot H. Clark, CEO
[6]
HRO TODAY MAGAZINE
| MARCH 2017

HRO Today March 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HRO Today March 2017

HRO Today March 2017 - 1
HRO Today March 2017 - 2
HRO Today March 2017 - 3
HRO Today March 2017 - 4
HRO Today March 2017 - 5
HRO Today March 2017 - 6
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