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HCMWorks Insights

Is Your Contingent Workforce Program on the Right Track or Running Off the Rails?

Posted by Julia Fournier on 9 Feb 2018

Companies are turning to contingent labor and independent contractors for many strategic business reasons, such as talent acquisition, competitive advantage, and financial cost reduction benefits.

“A new NPR/Marist poll finds that 1 in 5 jobs in America is held by a worker under contract. Within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce.” January 22, 2018

And once a contingent workforce program is launched, more often than not, it grows in size and complexity. The conversation very quickly turns from should I hire contractors to how do I manage rate cards, am I getting the best talent, and do we have increased exposure to any labour law risks?

Often, your contingent workforce is managed via multiple departments who use different procedures and processes, giving you a very fractured and disjointed approach to contingent labor management. Without in-house expertise to manage a contingent program you might not see the results you were expecting, and suffer from reduced performance and potential liability. It soon starts to feel like your program is running off the rails!

But, if you are on the right track, you’ll start to realize those strategic results that underpin the purpose of your contingent program. A properly managed contingent workforce will allow you to truly maximize the value of workers your organization.

Let’s look at a few areas where you might not be getting traction.


For a lot of companies, sourcing high performing contingent workers at the best rate isn’t a simple task, therefore your spend in this indirect services procurement category could become unnecessarily substantial. As you hire more contingent workers and they represent a greater part of your labour spend, a higher rate will amplify costs. As your program grows it becomes imperative to secure the best value for your money.

Effective contingent labor management will provide better insight into your budget, the value of each worker, and your project needs. You’ll be able to avoid poor sourcing and make more informed choices.


When companies fail to track and measure their contingent workforce performance, they tend to overpay for poor service, and often this overspend is only realized upon the project’s completion.

Staying on-top of your contingent program ensures that all regulations and requirements are being followed. Review mechanisms can be put in place to ensure notifications if there are any performance issues, allowing proactive responses.


Are your independent contractors being sourced by various hiring managers? Without coordinated management processes in place, this frequently results in different labour rates on varying schedules, and a system based on a mix of spreadsheets, notebooks and unrecorded information. It’s easy for the situation to become increasingly complex and inefficient.

Disorganized management of your company’s contingent workforce opens up more chance for administrative errors, fragmented information flow, and duplication of tasks or efforts. This in turn will lead to higher costs, with operational and administrative costs being two prime examples.

To redefine and realign your program you need to know the gap between where you are, and where you should be, in terms of best practices and built-for purpose technology and systems. The goal must be to streamline, automate, and make procedures and processes more efficient.

Get Back On Track

By this point, you may feel you need to engage an MSP to help you develop your contingent labor program, and that often is the case. Implementing or redefining a contingent program requires specialist knowledge and systems that you may not have in your organization. Many companies know they can improve and want to get more out of their program but are unsure how to do it.

A Managed Services Provider, or a contingent workforce advisor (like HCMWorks), will help evaluate your situation and develop the best end-to-end implementation. We understand the strategic importance of getting your program right, and we have the specialist knowledge to recommend the best practises and technology to get you there. 

At HCMWorks we are able to act as your MSP and we are leading industry experts in contingent workforce management and solutions. If you are interested in developing your contingent workforce or have questions, get in touch with one of our contingent workforce advisors.

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