Over the past several years there has been a shift in corporate America to utilize contingent workforce not only as a method to handle needs during peaks and troughs of demand, but rather as a method to manage their day to day operational needs. Contingent labor has been trending to comprise up to 30% of the total workforce a corporation has these days and needs to be managed effectively just as all their human capital is. Because contingent labor is now becoming a strategic resource for corporate execution, they must start managing, investing and planning around this workforce to retain long term value from their labor force. Below are some suggestions on what to consider:
Choosing the right staffing partner: Not all staffing firms are created equal! Finding and retaining talent is critical. Therefore, corporations should engage with staffing firms that champion their values and treat their consultants as assets.
Understanding workforce compliance: The laws regarding employment classification are constantly changing. Companies need to make sure they either have a good pulse on the changes or work with a staffing partner who can help keep them informed. There are several employment classification regulatory risks that need to be managed to avoid hefty penalties and bad press.
Letting your contingent workers understand their importance and role within their project: Engaging contingent workers is a great way to get the most out of their time with the company. Because of the nature of contingent employment, it is common that workers with a temporary link to an employer will feel less loyal and attached to the organization. To counter this, companies must engage its entire staff with the same approach. A way of doing this is to let contingent workers know that what they do makes a difference. They must see the value of their work and feel recognized for it on a regular basis.
Providing opportunities to expand responsibilities and take on new assignments: Providing employees with potential career paths can result in a long term and profitable employer-employee relationship. The beginning of this is to let employees know that a good performance can lead to more assignments with the organization. Many companies are taking on the approach of hiring employees first as contractors, and gradually providing them with opportunities to take on more responsibilities in the company as they near the end of their contract. This is a strategy that employers may use to then retain this talent and on board them as full time employees. This is a great approach for companies that fear the risks involved with a direct hire before testing the waters. Doing it this way gives an opportunity to “test” the employee in aspects not only related to skills and competencies, but also company culture fit.
Managing contingent workers may require for the company to establish strategies and processes that can guarantee the highest return. With an optimal sourcing strategy in place and a workforce management policy to match, organizations may achieve their maximum level of productivity by just continuing to adhere themselves to industry best practices.