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HCMWorks Insights

Are You Prepared for the Contingent Workforce Tsunami?

Posted by Julia Fournier on 29 Oct 2015

You’ve likely gotten on board with the on-demand contingent workforce and increased your use of non-permanent workers in the past few years. You’re probably also planning to hire more independent workers as part of your core business strategy in the future. If so, you’re not alone.

A new MBO Partners and Emergent Research study predicts that the independent workforce will reach 38 million in five years, up from the current 30.2 million in the US economy. It’s clear that the independent workforce is only going to grow into the future, and this will lead to an unprecedented contingent workforce tsunami. The question is: Are you ready for it? If not, you might be in trouble.

Change Is Coming

The new on-demand economy is changing the face of the workplace at a quick pace, and it doesn’t fit in with the antiquated and old laws that have been governing the business world for so many years. Change is coming as lawmakers and the government start to realize that the new flexible workforce needs to be correctly accounted for and managed. Some lawmakers are already starting to look for solutions and strategies to create policy and offer benefits to this contingent workforce, without harming the innovation behind in.

Currently, independent contractors aren’t afforded the same rights and benefits as typical employees, such as overtime, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and retirement savings. But lawmakers are trying to change this by finding the right solutions that could benefit all parties involved. Options range from consumer-driven models managed by a third party, portable benefits, and an exchange where contractors can shop for various benefits, such as disability and unemployment insurance.

Only time will tell which solutions will come forth, but it’s clear that change is coming. And your business needs to be ready.

What Does This Mean for Your Business?

There are already myriad risks and liabilities that come with utilizing the contingent workforce. But the more independent contractors you have on the staff, the higher your risks are going to be. And considering the changes that might come at the government level, you must be prepared for anything.

How? By taking the right approaches to managing your talent. Though this new on-demand economy has great potential and great benefits for organizations, it requires a new way of thinking about talent management, talent acquisition, and workforce strategy. It’s obvious that the contingent workforce is shaping the future of business as we know it, and you must effectively acquire, manage, and strategize your non-permanent workers in order to get the highest ROI.

What Your Organization Can Do

For one, you will need to focus on managing your contract talent spend category more efficiently in order to drive cost savings, while still staying equally focused on quality and visibility. You will need to create a best-in-class procurement process for acquiring on-demand talent.

Secondly, you’re going to need to invest in a workforce management program that offers a mix of technology and consultation services from a managed services provider for best results. Such a program will allow you to drive cost savings and efficiencies, measure visibility, track performance and compliance, and ensure quality. To get the best value from your contingent workforce, you’ll need big data working on your side.

In addition, your departments, such as procurement, HR, and finance, will need to work together and collaborate to provide greater visibility into how workers are performing against pre-defined objectives.

The goal of contingent workforce management is total optimization. And it’s possible with the help of technology and expertise from a managed services provider. Workforce solutions have evolved and can now support the complex contingent labor management needs of your company. It’s time to get on board for total optimization, so you can be prepared for the tsunami that’s coming.

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Tags: Contingent Workforce Management

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