A Guide to Contingent Workforce Management Solutions
25 July 2022

A Complete Guide of Contingent Workforce Management Solutions

3 min read

There are many reasons why the contingent workforce is growing. The non-employee workforce gives organizations access to expertise and helps them fill skills gaps, improves business agility, reduces spend and improves workforce flexibility.

It’s for this reason, according to a report from Intuit, that 80 percent of large US corporations plan to increase their use of the contingent workforce in the coming years, with contingent workers making up more than 40 percent of the total workforce. 

In fact, 62 percent of enterprises perceive contingent labor as a vital component of their overall workforce, according to the “State of Contingent Workforce Management” report from research firm Ardent Partners.

Yet, the vast majority of organizations utilizing a contingent workforce program are not doing so correctly. 

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Instead of planning, designing and implementing an effective contingent workforce management strategy, they instead manually manage their contingent workforce through fragmented processes and spreadsheets (that easily get lost and record inaccurate contingent workforce data).

To truly realize the benefits a contingent workforce can bring, a well-designed contingent workforce management program that centralizes data, automates processes and aligns all departments and locations is essential. 

With that in mind, we’ve created this guide to give an overview of the top contingent workforce management solutions that can help you better implement your program.

Outsourced contingent workforce management solutions

  • Managed service provider

A managed service provider, also known as an MSP, is the practice of outsourcing the responsibility of your organization’s entire contingent workforce program to a third party provider (an MSP) with experience and expertise in managing a contingent workforce program.

This model sees an outsourced MSP implementing a highly-strategic contingent workforce program into your business, taking on the responsibility of interacting with vendors, sourcing contingent workers, onboarding vendors and workers, offboarding, billing and evaluating program performance reports. 

An MSP will alleviate the burden of contingent workforce management, allowing your team to work on core business competencies that drive growth. 

  • Sub vendor services

Sub vendor services takes the complex paperwork and processes associated with managing multiple staffing agencies away from your business, with a third-party contingent workforce expert taking those tasks on. Through vendor consolidation, organizations can save a significant amount of time and money.

In a sub vendor agreement, a third-party contingent workforce specialist will consolidate your vendors, so that your business only has to deal with one point of contact and one invoice. The sub vendor will onboard agencies in a compliant manner, sign contracts, onboard and offboard new resources and make payments. 

  • MSP Lite

An MSP Lite program is essentially a step removed from an MSP program, designed for organizations that need assistance with managing their contingent workforce without the complexities of a full MSP implementation. 

In this relationship, a a third-party will work with their own network of pre-approved staffing agencies to fulfill your company’s workforce requirements. They’ll manage these vendors, but without the complex process flows, customized solution and full implementation of an MSP program. 

Internal contingent workforce management solutions

✔️ Vendor management software

A vendor management system (VMS) is a contingent workforce management software that is designed to allow businesses to centralize and automate all of the processes and data associated with managing a contingent workforce.

By storing all contingent workforce data in one centralized database, a vendor management system gives organizations complete visibility and control over their contingent workforce, with comprehensive reporting capabilities that enable better program decision making. 

✔️ Direct sourcing

Direct sourcing refers to the process of sourcing contingent work through a direct talent pool of engaged candidates that has been collected through a mix of social media marketing and historical relationships (such as retirees, previously unsuccessful applicants or temps that previously worked with your business).

Direct sourcing is attractive because it allows organizations to augment the contingent workforce they source through staffing agencies, with their very own talent pool of engaged candidates. These candidates can often be sourced far quicker than through staffing agencies.

Some vendor management systems will have functionality that allows businesses to manage direct sourcing directly in their VMS, keeping all contingent workforce data centralized.

Benefits of an Effective Contingent Workforce Management Solutions

  1. Cost optimization: A well-designed solution can help organizations reduce costs by improving visibility, streamlining processes, and eliminating inefficiencies associated with managing a contingent workforce.
  2. Enhanced compliance: Contingent workforce management solutions can help to ensure compliance with labor laws, worker classification regulations, and tax requirements, mitigating the risk of legal penalties and reputational damage.
  3. Improved agility and time-to-fill: By leveraging technology and streamlined processes, organizations can quickly source, onboard, and deploy contingent workers, improving agility and reducing time-to-fill vacancies.
  4. Data-driven decision making: Effective solutions provide comprehensive reporting and analytics, enabling organizations to track performance, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their contingent workforce program.
  5. Vendor management and performance optimization: Contingent workforce management solutions facilitate centralized vendor management, enabling organizations to evaluate vendor performance, negotiate favorable terms, and build stronger relationships with preferred staffing agencies.

Key considerations for choosing contingent workforce managment solutions

Scalability and flexibility: Assess whether the solution can accommodate your organization's evolving contingent workforce needs. It should be scalable to handle increased volume and flexible enough to adapt to changing workforce dynamics.

Integration capabilities: Consider the solution's integration capabilities with existing systems, such as HRIS or ERP platforms. Seamless integration ensures smooth data flow, reduces manual entry, and improves overall efficiency.

User-friendliness and accessibility: Evaluate the user interface and accessibility of the solution. It should be intuitive, easy to navigate, and accessible across different devices to facilitate user adoption and streamline processes.

Reporting and analytics: Determine the solution's reporting and analytics capabilities. It should provide real-time insights into key metrics, such as cost savings, time-to-fill, worker performance, and vendor performance, allowing for data-driven decision-making and program optimization.

Interested in learning more about any of these contingent workforce management solutions, how they work, and what benefits they can bring your organization? Get in touch with Contrax today. Our team of contingent workforce specialists are ready to answer any questions that you may have. 

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