The Contingent Workforce Management Program of 2016

November 24, 2014

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As some of the Argentus blog’s most avid readers may already know, our search firm is an advocate of contractors and their role in the supply chain industry, and believe that contract work offers noteworthy benefits to both employers and staff.

Although there can be some risks that accompany contingent staffing solutions, like employee misclassification, it can also be a great strategic move to bypass hiring freezes, take advantage of senior/junior mentorship opportunities, and excel at change management. Turning to the contingent workforce is an ideal option for projects with limited terms and time sensitive assignments, or when a supply chain professional and a hiring organization both want to “sample the goods” and gauge cultural fit before making a permanent employment commitment. And increasingly, people who desire a work schedule that allows for more flexibility and variety (or the chance to operate as self-employed) are intentionally pursuing challenging contract roles.

We recently came across an interesting piece this month from CPO Rising about the future of the contingent workforce in the supply chain space. Looking to the future, CPO Rising explores what will be the most pressing and defining characteristics of the contingent workforce, and contingent workforce management, over the next two years.

The Contingent Workforce Management Program of 2016 identifies three main attributes that will color how contract work fits into the larger landscape of supply chain employment in Canada:

  • “Talent networks” instead of “talent pools.” The importance of aligning talent and projects that require specialized skill sets mark a shift in how both supply chain employers and recruiters think about talent, especially in a digital economy where talent is readily accessible with the online labor marketplace and social media.
  • Integrating technology for talent acquisition, contingent workforce management, and spend management. Currently, Ardent Partners is a pioneer in this field, offering platforms that address these complementary business priorities.
  • Total talent management partnering with human capital management, and balancing an approach to contractors and the contingent workforce that differentiates between talent-focus and commodity-focus. When enterprise planning merges with total talent management, executives will reap the benefits of better people and project matches that best leverage corporate resources – from skill sets and budgets to more seamless hiring practices.

These findings/observations are a good reminder of how business in changing – but that with that change comes an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine how the supply chain industry (procurement and strategic sourcing, specifically) handles such HR challenges, and where it makes the most sense to capitalize on contingent workforce momentum.

We’d love to hear your take on this topic. Do you have questions, concerns, comments, or professional experiences to share about what’s next for the contingent workforce? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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