Four Key Takeaways from ProcureCon 2021

Four Key Takeaways from ProcureCon 2021

After a challenging 2020, leaders are looking towards an exciting future for contingent talent.

The last twelve months have been tough. We’ve had to rethink every aspect of how work gets done, from remote hiring to changing the ways we partner with others, both internally and externally. But the disruption and chaos have taught us a lot about flexibility, agility, and innovation. ProcureCon’s recent Virtual Summit and Expo brought together talent leaders, procurement specialists, and HR experts to share the impact of a challenging year and discuss the learnings that could shape what’s next. It was packed with inspiration and fresh insights that left us excited for what’s to come. Here are some of the big ideas that we took away from ProcureCon Contingent Staffing 2021.

  1. Data, technology, and smart partnerships will drive program innovation.

The pandemic saw organizations forced to make talent tech decisions fast, but data is the best way to make smarter technology decisions in the long haul – keeping you ahead of the competition and driving cost savings. However, before making big changes, it’s important to have a deep understanding of your data and create a plan that recognizes long and short-term goals, as well as seeking buy-in from internal stakeholders. Often, it’s best to start small and test proof of concept before scaling up, but you don’t have to go it alone. Tap into your MSP partner’s expertise on workforce technology and program implementation to power your long-term success.  

  1. Procurement, HR, and Legal must collaborate to achieve workforce goals.

These groups may have different priorities, but a close partnership between all three is essential when a business is trying to achieve important workforce goals. Collaboration should be based on a strong understanding of what each group is trying to achieve, a cadence of communication, and joint ownership of workforce programs. Speakers at ProcureCon shared their experiences, explaining that collaboration had sometimes been challenging before Covid-19, but that remote working had brought teams closer and increased innovation, opening up leaders to the benefits of hiring remote talent. Also, leaning on your MSP provider can help make navigating change across multiple business areas less complex, as they often act as the conduit to open up these types of conversations.

  1. We have to be able to navigate talent supply and demand in a crisis.

One of the biggest pandemic challenges for businesses has been the gap between contingent talent supply and demand. This has changed the ways companies attract and retain contingent labor and transformed the way they work with MSP partners. The organizations that have succeeded in this tough talent environment have been those that have taken a flexible approach – extending tenure on projects, becoming more lenient on screening requirements, stripping back interview processes, and offering retention bonuses. Another emerging trend is a hybrid engagement approach, blending direct sourcing and talent management to close gaps in workforce supply.

  1. Contingent workers must be part of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

Many companies at ProcureCon said that contingent labor has become an increasingly important part of their workforce. For some, contingent workers make up a third of their talent communities, with numbers projected to grow as businesses embrace more remote working opportunities. Companies that include contingent workers as part of their DEI strategy and goals have a competitive edge, a more engaged workforce, and a higher ROI on contingent labor. But to ensure the success of these programs they need to have buy-in across an organization and be supported by education, training, and coaching. DEI initiatives need to consider how hiring managers can integrate full-time employees and contingent workers to create a truly inclusive culture. And if you missed Jocelyn Lincoln and Alex Foster’s presentation on: DEI: Bridging The Gap Between Your Contingent And Full-Time Workforce Strategy, view it on demand here:

The global health crisis is shaping the future of the contingent workforce, but it’s also accelerating trends that have been shaping the way organizations connect with talent for some time. If you’d like to talk about the impact of these fast-moving trends or find out more about our contingent talent solutions, drop us a line. Our friendly contingent experts are always available to talk talent.



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