Questions to Ask for Your Contingent Workforce Strategy
Today, the extended workforce of contractors and freelancers plays an essential part in the growth and success of an organization. From healthcare to IT, manufacturing, financial services and nearly every sector, companies rely on non-employee talent to drive growth and success. Whether your company uses dozens or thousands of contractors, migrating the distributed management of your extended workforce into a single process can deliver real value. You will gain visibility into your total extended workforce, take control of costs, boost access to talent and enhance compliance.
As a result, organizations of all sizes, including small and mid-market companies, are engaging managed service provider (MSP) partners to help them unify their contingent workforce strategy. But not all MSPs are created equal. The right solution must be aligned to tackle your organization’s complex and evolving needs.
Where do you begin? The right-fit approach starts by exploring three fundamentals to success: understanding the MSP opportunity and value, meeting your needs and measuring your readiness. Below is a quick checklist of questions to guide your conversation in all three areas.
Understanding the Value of MSP and Building a Contingent Workforce Strategy
Start by understanding the value you can achieve and make a case for change when the time is right. Consider four basic areas and ask the right questions for each.
Visibility: If you can see into all of the activity associated with your extended workforce, you can benchmark and track the performance of all suppliers, and make the most informed decisions to optimize costs and engage the highest quality resource quickly and effectively. An MSP makes these advantages possible.
✓Do your processes and technology give you the visibility to manage and track contingent workforce engagement today?
Cost Control: You may spend $5, $50 or $150 million a year on contingent workers, and you are likely wasting a significant portion of that cost on higher-than-market rates for talent. Consistent, rationalized contingent labor spend across the board yields savings that quickly add up.
✓ Do you have a standard approach to manage flexible worker costs across the organization?
Access to Talent: An MSP applies technology and deep supplier networks to draw from all channels and deliver the right resources at the right cost. If managers only draw from their own supplier relationships, that access to the right resource may be lost.
✓ Does everyone in your organization leverage all available resources to arrive at the best choice?
Compliance: Worker classification, data protection and evolving employment law present significant risks. An effective MSP offers the workforce expertise, regulatory knowledge and risk mitigation technology to help protect you from potential pitfalls.
✓ Do you have the in-house resources to identify issues and adjust your compliance strategy proactively?
Meeting Your Needs
Learn about the factors that go into a successful MSP and align them with your organization’s structure, market, timelines and expectations.
Implementation: A solution that limits complexity for rapid deployment but allows for flexibility is ideal for many small to mid-sized organizations.
✓ Do you require a long run-up to a broad enterprise solution, or can your stakeholders benefit from a scalable deployment supported by hands-on change management and education across key areas of process and technology?
Technology: The systems that support great MSPs include both large enterprise vendor management systems (VMS) and flexible rapid-deployment solutions for more streamlined organizations. Likewise, advanced data and analytics solutions such as AGS’ Acumen Workforce Intelligence® platform provide valuable insights to help optimize the performance of your contingent workforce strategy. Notably, the technology offers comparative analytics that internal systems cannot deliver. This includes intelligence based on program performance, as well as valuable benchmarking data from the broader client base to provide context and inform decisions on contingent workforce strategy.
✓ Can a flexible technology footprint that delivers detailed intelligence align with your organization’s needs?
Scalability: Your contingent workforce requirements will constantly evolve. Whether you add more suppliers, departments or locations to your program or branch out to different types of workers and skills, your MSP should grow with you.
✓ Technology should not be static, and when growth or evolution is needed, the provider’s support should be hands-on. Has your use of flexible workers changed over time?
Time to Value: Whether achieving a project goal, capturing and reducing costs or reducing cycle times, the right MSP should be measuring results and creating early wins to boost adoption as early as possible.
✓ Will your organization depend on early wins to gain support among stakeholders?
Measuring Your Readiness for an MSP-Enabled Contingent Workforce Strategy
Is putting off a contingent workforce strategy an option, and if so, for how long? Consider the opportunities and solvable issues you might be facing today.
Use of Flexible Workers: Distributed management of as few as 100 flexible workers can cost an organization millions in billing inconsistencies alone. Add the impact of unfilled assignments and compliance risks to the mix, and the need for a strategic approach becomes more urgent.
✓ Can your organization benefit from a unified approach to management that starts in the near term?
Struggles with Resourcing: Many companies are increasingly dependent on flexible workers for both high-volume labor demands and business-critical or niche talent needs. If finding resources to meet these needs is challenging and unpredictable, an established MSP partner can expand your access to all types of skills, experiences and creative sourcing strategies.
✓ Is there a need to tame your resourcing challenges for flexible workers?
Distribution of Management: If your organization’s visibility into flexible workers and their suppliers is limited by siloed engagement through individual managers or departments, it is possible to create an enterprise view with minimal disruption. The result is a new level of efficiency and the agility to grow and change your workforce capability over time.
✓ Does your organization lack a comprehensive window into its contingent labor spend and management?
Use of Data in Decision-Making: The ability to access contingent workforce data, make comparisons and create context is essential. Comparative analytics provide vital intelligence for driving informed strategies, fixing processes, avoiding poor decisions or identifying small adjustments that can have a large positive impact.
✓ Do you have the data and comparative analytics to support day-to-day decisions and steer a long-term contingent workforce strategy?
Company Size and Pace of Growth: An effective MSP scales to the level of sophistication and capability required to keep your company ahead of changing workforce demands. Technology, expert guidance and partnership, and availability of resources are essential in a solutions partner.
✓ Is your organization likely to experience changes in flexible workforce needs in the next one to three years?
Move Your Contingent Workforce Strategy Forward
If your answers to the checklist questions get you thinking, you would likely benefit from a practical conversation about the details and what they would mean for you. Visibility into your contingent workforce, access to talent, cost control and improved compliance are all benefits that are within reach. Now might be the time to look more deeply into the options you have.
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