A Total Problem Requires A Total Solution
It’s no secret that we are seeing a unique time in our job market history where unemployment rates are the lowest they’ve ever been, yet job growth is outpacing the growth of the talent pool; creating the largest talent shortage employers have seen in history.
We’re also seeing a unique time in which candidates have direct control over the types of work they take on and employers are more open to considering all types of workers to get the job done; enter the buzzing topic of Total Talent.
Benefits of a Total Talent Solution
There are many benefits for an organization operating under a Total Talent model. Organizations can expect to experience improved visibility into their entire workforce and the talent marketplace, allowing for better workforce planning, utilization and redistribution while also, ensuring the reallocation of their top talent when projects end or higher priority projects come in. Additionally, those organizations operating under a Total Talent model will experience outsource provider savings by having all parts of the talent management cycle owned by one partner while also pushing a clear employer brand and consistent candidate experience to all talent.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with HRO Today’s Elliot Clark to discuss the advantages of a Total Talent solution in today’s competitive and ever-changing labor market.
The following is a transcript of the conversation with HRO Today with slight edits for clarity. Experience the full podcast here:
Elliot Clark, CEO, Shared XPertise: There are a lot of topics that are dominating the conversation in HR today, including around talent acquisition. There is one topic that is growing in popularity, it's a service bundle that is the talk of the town. That service package is the Total Talent Solution or Total Workforce Solution.
We are joined today by Kristy Sidlar, Executive Director of Workforce Solutions for Allegis Global Solutions (AGS). AGS is our top-ranked Total Talent Solution provider for 2018 and they are one of the top RPO and MSP providers in the HRO Today Baker's Dozen Customer Satisfaction Survey program.
There is a significant difference between hiring an RPO and MSP provider - whether it’s the same provider or different providers - and having an integrated approach to total talent. There is a big difference that involves the holistic approach. Let’s talk a little bit about it.
KS: I think most companies tend to bucket their talent into contract or full-time, and they tend to have a need and go to one of those role types – “I need a contractor or I need a gig worker or I need a full-time or permanent person”, that is just too limiting now. We can't just go after the worker types; we really have to be looking at “how do we get the work done?”. We need to get these companies prepared to bring in and find their talent on whatever basis that may be. As much as temp and contract workers have always been a part of the workforce ecosystem, they just never have played as much of a part as they are today.
EC: How does the Total Talent solution help companies optimize so that they can actually acquire talent through any channel? Also, the other question that’s big is if you're in a world where 50 percent of your market is going to be gig workers, who's going to help you with classification of labor? Because there are regulations in every major economy about how workers are classified. Is that something that a Total Talent solution provider should assist with as well?
KS: Absolutely, I would argue that probably the most provocative but also, the most effective way to fill roles right now, is really to just look at the possibility of crossing those lines of full-time and contract candidates.
You have people who are looking to apply for a full-time job. They go to a career site - and most career sites are set up for full-time employment. They apply for a position never even thinking that doing something on a contract basis is an option or maybe even appealing. But now in this Total Talent scenario there is this candidate, she goes to the career site and although she's looking for a full-time position maybe there is a chatbot that pops up or a checkbox that says “would you also be interested in contract work?” Now we have a person who's applied for a job in one single talent pool, but potentially tied to two different types of work. This has now opened the possibilities for her career-wise and the opportunities for a hiring manager to have greater access to talent that they may not have had before.
Just the sheer opportunities of having the mechanisms by which somebody can apply [for a role] and be considered for both worker types - that in and of itself is a big change when you talk about the classification piece. I think one of the biggest challenges with the Total Talent concept is although we've been talking about it for five, seven, ten years, it is pretty hard for companies to do it themselves. We find this in our business all the time - because we are an outsource provider we can bring not only a certain set of skills to help clients navigate these new waters but as that outside consultant we have a little bit more of an opportunity to say “Let’s try something different.” And we can be the ones to help govern that. As that outside partner, someone who can not only get those different types of talent in the door and in one place, we can also be the ones to help them through that regulatory quagmire of when can you use a particular worker type and in what country. The whole organizational readiness piece, the ability for a company to be able to do this on their own, is probably the biggest barrier to companies actually getting into the Total Talent space.
EC: If you take this holistic approach to Total Talent how does that get you an advantage or how is it superior to looking at this as separate channels, which is the traditional way of viewing it. How is taking the Total Talent approach going to get you better planning and execution down the road?
KS: There have really been two big barriers to allowing Total Talent to progress. One is this concept that procurement manages contact workers, or an MSP if you have one, and HR/talent acquisition manages the full-time employees, or an RPO if you have one. We've definitely seen over the last four or five years that this emergence of the talent leader role has really made a difference. We are seeing many more of our MSP programs managed by HR or by Talent Acquisition. I think that the first piece is just being able to have someone who has a vested interest in and visibility into both sides of the workforce.
The other piece that I think has even been a bigger barrier is that there has not been technology or a data source where you can have all those worker types in one place.
But let’s say we have a SaaS developer candidate applying for a full-time job. She goes to the career site and gets asked if she wants to consider contract work. She goes into this one single technology that can pull in all the information, data and people from the VMS (vendor management system) and all the data, information and people from the applicant tracking system the ATS or the CRM (candidate relationship management system). All these worker types and data sources are in one place.
Similarly, you've got a contractor who's a SaaS developer wrapping up a job he's been on for six months. We now have the ability to go into the system and see that this contractor is finishing an assignment in 15 days. We know there is a SaaS developer full-time position open, and now we can go to that [contractor] who knows your organization and has already been vetted and gone through the onboarding process. As a hiring manager, if I want to fill a SaaS developer job where I may have only had one candidate to choose from, now, I have two because this full-time person is interested in contract work or a contractor who's rolling off is now interested in full-time jobs. This is all inside of this one technology pool. I can also get a couple of freelancers who came in through a freelance management system; I can build a pool of retirees from my organization who used to work there - let's recontact and get them back in the pool; maybe we've got a veteran pool with candidates we’d like to access. I, as a hiring manager type in the skill set I'm looking for, hit submit and this list of 20 candidates comes up. All of these other workers in one place where I would have otherwise had to go into multiple systems.
EC: There are some clear advantages to a holistic approach because talent is leaving your organization, maybe they're full-time and they want to work as a gig worker, and they figure they have to go somewhere else to do it. They may not even know you'll consider it and there may be gig workers looking for new assignments or for full-time opportunities. This infrastructure gives you a better view of the playing field.
I want to congratulate AGS for ranking at the top of the Total Workforce Solutions Baker’s Dozen list last year and I want to thank Kristy Sidlar, Executive Director of Workforce Solutions at Allegis Global Solutions for giving us a great explanation of the advantages of the Total Talent solution. We look forward to welcoming you to our next HRO Today Educational Podcast.