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What is Workforce Management

While traditionally associated with managing productivity for repetitive tasks, workforce management (WFM) has now grown into a complex framework for enhancing organizational performance. Most WFM strategies include multiple departments in their scope, ranging from HR to procurement and operations.

An efficient WFM program relies on cross-departmental processes and collaboration to be effective. This may include various means of forecasting and analytics, as well as contingency plans for skills and staffing shortages to ensure business continuity.

Increased workforce visibility

With the right data, employers can gain insights into the productivity, skills, and tenure of their permanent and contingent workers.


Efficiency icon

In complex organizations, it can be easy to lose track of projects, workload, and tasks. With the right processes, businesses can benefit from lower costs and increased efficiency.


HR risk mitigation

Leveraging contingent workers to meet seasonal demand or filling skill gaps can introduce risk in the absence of a comprehensive workforce management strategy.


Workforce Management Strategies

The contingent workforce includes contractors, temporary workers, consultants, and other temporary staff not on the permanent company payroll. Changing market conditions and widening skill gaps have caused businesses to increasingly leverage contingent workers to augment permanent staff with skills and resources. While proper contingent workforce management can provide a competitive advantage in terms of business flexibility, it also comes with its own set of inherent risks if managed ineffectively. Working with an expert third party can help provide: 

  • cost reduction icon Cost Reduction
  • sourcing strategies Sourcing Strategies
  • staffing supplier icon Staffing Supplier Management
  • procure to pay icon Procure to Pay Processes
  • risk management icon Risk Management
  • gap analysis icon Gap Analysis

The surging interest in the contingent workforce comes as companies realize the vast number of benefits that can be gained from leveraging contract workers. From rapid scalability to hiring on a project-by-project basis, this new hiring landscape allows employers to create an agile workforce that provides the best talent for the exact moment and time frame that they are needed.


Utilize a comprehensive WFM strategy to avoid settling for mediocre candidates or missing out on top talent by searching on the wrong channels, or not utilizing the right sources.

In the long run, companies can avoid high employee turnover and wasted time and money onboarding new staff members. Not least, hiring an unqualified person for a critical position can introduce unnecessary risk in your organization, as well as for your clients.


A multi-faceted talent pool management strategy can help create visibility into costs and performance in the context of current market rates. While many businesses tend to narrow in on a handful of trusted sourcing strategies over time, working with a neutral third party can help hiring managers widen their search and access top talent when they need it. In addition to outside sources, it is important not to neglect internal sources such as past employees, interns, and referrals.

Member Selection
The members selected into a talent pool may come from several sources.
Workforce Management Solutions

A vendor management system (VMS) is instrumental to a successful WFM strategy. VMS technology can help consolidate the procurement, management, and payment of contingent workers from multiple sources in a single location. This helps gives managers a clear line of sight into costs and performance. In addition, a VMS can help streamline HR and accounting functions such as onboarding and payments of contract workers, freeing up time for other tasks. The benefits of using a VMS for your contingent workforce program include:

  • Cost Savings

    Avoid paying above-market pay rates and staffing supplier markups. Instead, use real-time competitive bidding and in-depth reporting to support your spending decisions.

  • Visibility & Transparency

    Minimize “rogue” spending by departments, centralize and standardize your processes and enable objective measurement of staffing suppliers’ performance.

  • Talent Quality

    Optimize you access to talent by enabling more sourcing options and greater staffing supplier selection.


As their organizational frameworks become more complex, many businesses choose to partner with a managed service provider (MSP) to support their objectives. An MSP program is an outsourced solution managed by an expert third party, which oversees the process, practice, and systems. Partnering with an MSP can help streamline the contingent workforce supply chain from requisition to payment, while allowing for better visibility on spend. MSPs can also help expand a company’s access to a larger, more diverse talent pool by utilizing a variety of sources. While many businesses operate in regulated environments, they may not be experts on employment legislation or have extensive HR departments at their disposal. In these cases, an MSP can allow them to focus on their primary objectives with minimal exposure to risk.


Key benefits of including a managed service provider in your workforce management  strategy.


Instead of investing in a more comprehensive VMS, smaller companies may benefit from many of the same features by opting for an on-demand solution that shares the same functionality. On-demand solutions do not require a costly implementation and work out-of-the-box. The benefits of on-demand solutions, such as HCMNOW, include:


Cloud-Based solutions help track all contingent workers in a single database that is accessible from anywhere. This includes personal contracts, hours, performance, and other metrics.

Reporting icon

Using standard and custom reporting, companies can save time usually spent on manual data administration. Custom reports include spend analysis, time/expense, tenure management, and more.


Standardize behavior and take the guesswork out of compliance using automation and workflow. Improve risk management with easily accessible audit trails that help quantify compliance.

How to stop brain drain in your industry

When managing independent contractors, freelancers, and contract workers, it is easy to get lost in paperwork. High-quality talent has come to expect streamlined processes and timely compensation. However, as your contingent workforce grows, so does the number of contracts, invoices, and more, which can quickly divert your HRs resources away from managing permanent staff. Learn how to better manage and simplify your independent contractor program.