What are the risks of poor contingent workforce visibility? (And how can you avoid them?)


Aaron Wawman

Business Development Director, EMEA, MSP & Flexible Workforce Solutions

No one in a fast-growing business wants to spend their days running in circles. But if you can’t see your contingent workforce, you can’t support, control, or deploy it effectively. The result is likely to be confusion and poor decision-making. Despite this, 32% of the leaders surveyed in our global Re:work report said that poor visibility of the talent they have/need was the greatest barrier to accessing the people required to grow their businesses.

Organisations that want to grow quickly must be able to answer fundamental contingent workforce questions effectively – including those on size, worker classification, and location. Leaders who can’t access this information quickly are not only going to struggle to leverage their flexible workforce but will also face some worrying business risks.

In this blog – part of my series on transforming contingent workforce strategy - I explore the biggest risks of poor contingent workforce visibility alongside the ways organisations can begin to see flexible workers more clearly.

Operational risks

A fast-growing business must also be an agile business. And failure to properly understand your current contingent workforce often means you can’t leverage it effectively as you prepare to face a new challenge or obstacle.

What can businesses do?

The single most powerful action leaders can take to visualise and understand their contingent workforce is to pick an experienced and innovative workforce solutions partner. Access to talent experts and technology not only unlocks visibility but empowers an organisation to implement best practice effectively and leaders to quickly and comprehensively transform their contingent talent approach – meaning they are ready for anything. We’ve designed KellyOCG Go MSP to be rolled out fast – in as little as eight weeks – to ensure that businesses can take control of their contingent strategy without missing a beat.

Legislative risks

If you can’t see your contingent workforce, it’s impossible to know if you’re properly complying with local legislation and internal policy. This increases the likelihood of co-employment, misclassification, and other potentially costly mistakes.

What can businesses do?

Clearly defined processes combined with increased visibility are the best ways to boost compliance. A robust reporting policy and functionality can help organisations to understand and evaluate worker classifications, tenures, worker locations, and even how key business units are relying on contingent talent. This means investing in reporting and analytics that allow greater insight into every aspect of the contingent worker experience.

Financial risks

How do you know if you’re paying too much or not enough for talent? With organisations depending more on flexible workers than ever before, paying a fair price for the talent your business engages has never been more important.

What can businesses do?

When hiring managers are under time or operational pressures, rogue talent spend and overpaying can become a constant challenge. A contingent workforce project management office (PMO) on the ground working with all parties and the hiring community can ensure that checks and balances are part of day-to-day operations. While guided work solutions – like those baked into Kelly Helix UX – can help hiring managers make smarter buying decisions. It’s also important to build a diverse, competitive supply chain to ensure the right balance between access to talent and fair pricing.

Talent risks

Competition for skilled contingent talent – especially in the fast-growing scale-up market – is fierce and a poor contingent workforce strategy means a poor experience for workers, from engagement through to project completion.

What can businesses do?

A poor reputation in the contingent talent market can be tough to fix. And if workers have had a hard time accessing equipment, getting paid on time, or just finding the information they need to get on with an assignment then an organisation can quickly slip to the bottom of ‘most-wanted’ lists for suppliers and talent. Organisations need to consider visibility throughout the whole procure-to-pay process, not just at the engagement stage. Regional talent experts can also help to increase visibility and understanding of talent needs, through a deeper understanding of local legislation and cultural nuances as well as best practice and hiring trends.

Want to know more about how KellyOCG are turning on contingent visibility for fast-growing organisations everywhere? Drop me a line to learn more about our trailblazing KellyOCG Go MSP.


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