Pressure drop: Companies want to get smarter and faster at managing their contingent workers


Sam Smith

Vice President & Managing Director, EMEA

Lay-offs, furloughs, and cuts to employee hours have left leaders wondering how they’ll get the work done. Many hope that they will soon be able to build back their teams, but those teams will probably look very different. They are cautious about hiring, and it’s not difficult to work out why: we are all grappling with lockdowns and constrained budgets.

Contingent labour is a smart alternative, and it will be crucial to their recovery. About a third of businesses (32%) say they plan to replace full-time employees with contingent workers after the pandemic.

The smart staffing alternative

For hiring managers who feel overwhelmed, an MSP can give them access to the best talent and helps to manage the workforce costs. At KellyOCG, we’ve spent 25 years learning how to manage a contingent workforce to make it simpler and smarter.

A lot of companies build their talent strategies around hiring and managing full-time employees. On their own, they just don’t have the processes in place to source, oversee and reward contingent labour in any connected way. Without a joined-up strategy, they struggle to make sense of a mish-mash of data and have limited visibility of their workforce. Instead of simplicity, they have complexity.

And that lack of clarity can make them nervous about getting it wrong – especially in this climate. Trying to manage contingent workers who may be working in many different locations, and attempting to fill gaps without having a clear picture, they’re likely fearful of missteps. Here are some of the mistakes they could be making:

Looking for talent in the wrong places. One of the big plus points of a contingent workforce is fast, hassle-free access to the best people when and where they’re needed. But if internal recruiters don’t have the resources to find those people, it can take weeks to fill project roles, and they might miss out on the best talent.

Getting compliance wrong. It’s sometimes hard to work out whether someone is a contingent worker or an employee – maybe because the duration of the relationship, and the impact of their work on the business make it tricky to classify them. And if hiring managers get it wrong and break the rules, even if they don’t mean to, the company could face audits or fines.

Overpaying contingent workers. These kinds of workers are paid fees, not salaries, and many companies don’t have any systematic, reliable way to work out what their labor is worth. Data is everything here, and if hiring managers don’t have any on the market value of their talent how can they know how much to pay them? Often, they’ll ask the worker to set the rate, which is probably not the best way to pay everyone fairly and also to keep costs down.

Bungling data security. Contingent workers often have access to company data, IT systems and corporate knowledge. Unless the company gives them clear contracts (including non-disclosure agreements) and has formal ways to monitor their access and shut it down when the project is complete, it could lose vital data. That’s bad news in today’s climate: suffer a data breach, or lose control of data, and expect to be exposed quickly and publicly.

No transparency. If departments hire contingent workers independently, without talking to HR or the procurement team, how does the organisation work out the true cost of labour, or track diversity and inclusion, productivity, performance and other key talent measures?

Relieve the pressure

Managers at organisations with less resources than large enterprises – but with the same expectations – often think an outsourced talent solution isn’t for them. Maybe they think it costs too much, takes too long, or is just too sophisticated.

It’s our job to change their minds by busting those myths. If we can, we’ll help them to get on the front foot and be nimbler, more coherent, less bureaucratic. It’s about taking away the burden of drawn-out processes and painful implementation, and giving them only the talent and insights they actually need – without any added extras that don’t help.

They have less budget and are under more scrutiny, so businesses have to work harder. An MSP can help. We know that working with a partner to dodge the kind of pitfalls listed above can be a bold move but get it right and the rewards can be sizeable. KellyOCG GO is a powerful, fast to implement new MSP. We’ve used all our years of collective expertise in the MSP space to bring you a contingent workforce solution dedicated to solving these challenges:

  • The contingent labour management process is live in a matter of weeks, which means the company can onboard new talent quickly
  • The partner’s platform, which doesn’t have to be integrated with other systems, provides instant access to important data such as contingent labour costs and time on the job
  • All contract labour is paid for through a single vendor relationship, which makes that spending more transparent
  • Find the best people by quickly matching the right person to the right project at the right time
  • Companies can be confident that they are paying the right rates because they’ll know the market rates for every category of talent and level of expertise.

We know that the pressure at the moment is intense. Hiring managers have to build their teams’ confidence and rebuild lost talent, and this is an anxious time. If they are running low on reserves, the right MSP can give them the time and space to recharge. Then they’ll be ready to pursue growth again. Talk to us today to receive a free demo about how KellyOCG GO MSP can help your business



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