Many companies throughout the United States are increasing their reliance on contract and temporary workers, resulting in more challenges for HR departments. According to a Deloitte report, the number of non-employee workers can reach up to 40 percent of a company. Not only has the percentage of non-employee workers grown, but also their job roles have extended to include interim management and contractors with specialized skills.
It’s impossible to discount the visibility and importance of non-employee talent in companies today. Non-employee workers bring cost-efficiencies, innovation, key skills, fresh perspectives, and agility in times of unpredictable markets and fulfill transient labor demands.
While employees have traditionally focused on job security, benefits, training, and opportunity of advancement as key considerations when choosing where to work, contingent workers have focused on workplace flexibility, interesting project work, experience, and career portfolio building when making that decision. These two differing areas of consideration are merging with the blended workforce. Because of the important role that non-employees play in the workforce, they have evolved into complementary talent, rather than just temporary talent.
Managing Total Talent
Total talent management involves looking at all the people in the company from a holistic point of view. Employment laws, however, have a major impact on what HR can do. Laws concerning the engagement of temporary workers are strictly enforced to protect the rights of part-time or temporary workers.
This means that companies can no longer cling to the idea of a traditional employment landscape, and need to find new approaches to managing the blended workforce among shifts and complexities. As the categories of workers grow more disparate, and yet more unified into a single business environment, the process of managing their needs, expectations, and roles becomes increasingly more complex and requires more time.
Many industry experts point to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) as a critical resource for clients who are looking for true business process outsourcers responsible for overseeing the entire workforce population. The advantage of an MSP program for time-strapped companies is that it unifies technology, people, and processes.
Quality of Hire: Experts believe that staffing professionals are better suited for total talent management than corporate recruiters, because their resources are completely committed to the processes of sourcing and recruiting, they have fewer assignments competing for attention, and their compensation is generally based on performance rather than activity. Because staffing firms cover both active and passive talent, the quality of hires is generally higher.
Faster Access to Talent: While corporate recruiters typically only have time and resources to source active candidates, staffing professionals and MSPs devote a majority of their focus to networking and recruiting in-demand passive talent. They have access to a wider breadth of candidates, including permanent workers, executive-level managers, specialists, niche talent, and more. Staffing recruiters generally represent countless companies as opposed to a single organization, and are often entrenched in different applicant tracking systems, such as traditional job boards, social media, and online marketplaces. According to studies, traditional companies have a hiring process that can span 60 to 90 days, while MSPs can usually fill requisitions and onboard talent within two to three weeks.
Better Returns: Staffing professionals often have diverse staffs of hiring experts with a wealth of past industry and organizational experience. These professionals would have worked with a variety of MSPs and hiring managers across industries and job categories, which mean they have a thorough understanding of position requirements. This insight allows them to engage in more strategic, targeted, and timely recruiting. In the long run, this results in higher quality talent, increased performance, and greater satisfaction for hiring managers.
Thus, with an MSP program, any potential positions in the blended workforce could be sourced and placed faster and more efficiently. However, the fear of co-employment has been a major impediment to the concept of total talent management. According to Deloitte, this will remain an issue if organizations view contingent workers as a less expensive form of labor achieved by avoiding payroll taxes, benefits, and employer-of-record obligations. They recommend that non-employee workers need to be seen in the larger context of the evolving nature of work, which is driving the use of more contingent and non-employee work arrangements in the future.
A Systems Approach to Agility
Recently, many HR departments are reconsidering their traditional view and management of their workforces, and are actively looking at sourcing and planning the human capital talent in the company using a systems approach. A systems approach uses systems thinking to look at a challenge or problem. Within human resources, systems thinking looks at the people and the environments within a company and how they impact each other. These forward-thinking HR organizations are looking at implementing agile adoption and agility. Agile in this context means quickly finding and hiring short-term workers who have relevant experience and needed skills. That process is faster and more efficient than finding and hiring someone for a full-time position, especially in the case of temporary needs such as transient surges in production or demand or to replace an employee on leave.
“A complementary workforce is combined with the employee workforce in such a way as to enhance or emphasize the qualities of each other. The result is a positive workforce synergy which is the overall strategic goal of a holistic talent model.” ~James Waite, European Director of Contingent Workforce Strategies & Research at Staffing Industry Analysts