Workforce Intelligence: A Next-Gen Tech/Human Approach

What should work cost? The right answer can make a fundamental difference in driving a successful and sustainable workforce strategy.

Historically, understanding the optimum value of talent for a role or skill in a particular location has not been easy. Knowing the rate you paid for the same job last year – or even a few months ago – is not enough. Conditions change rapidly. A high rate can prove costly to the organization. If the rate is too low, the result can be an extended vacancy or poor-quality talent, particularly as overall wages increase dramatically in a post-pandemic market.

A true and accurate view into the cost of work brings in many factors that were simply impractical to apply until recently. The right solution draws from an understanding of what the entire market is doing, not just a single company or group of companies. It requires data that is current, not confined to yearly or quarterly reports. And the view demands interpretation that actively translates findings into practical workforce intelligence to drive actions that are immediate and practical.

two-women-discussing-workThrough its partnership with Brightfield, providers of today’s most advanced global extended workforce intelligence software, AGS is raising visibility to a new level of clarity. The high-touch/high-tech approach brings together the best of leading-edge technology and advanced human expertise, benefits only possible with AGS as Brightfield’s first Platinum MSP Partner.

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Together, all parts of the visibility equation — the tech side and the human side — play a critical role in driving more impactful decisions based on a truly real-world view of workforce conditions.

The Tech Side: Driving a New Level of Workforce Intelligence

What goes into complete workforce intelligence? The answer begins with inputs from across an organization’s resources, then extends to market data, resulting in an output that is immediate and current in its reflection of today.

• Inputs from the Company: These data points include work data such as job requisitions and statements of work (SOWs), supplier data including SOWs and assignment information, contractual data such as services agreements, invoices and work orders, performance data including quality scores and feedback, and behavioral data, including user buying habits.

• Market Data: The Brightfield technology solution, TDX, sources data directly from companies in over 75+ countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia, representing over $400 billion of annual extended workforce transactional data. For any technology solution, market reach is frequently a missing link, as companies strive to bring in data from across multiple sources. Addressing that challenge can take the resulting intelligence to a new level of clarity.

• Immediate Output: In the past, delving into multiple data sources to arrive at a rate range for a role would require weeks or months of work. Now, the most advanced system can produce an informed output on detailed cost information in near real-time.

The Human Side: Turning Data into Action and Results

Technology alone cannot deliver on the promise of advanced data and analytics. The other half of the equation, the human expert, is essential for turning workforce intelligence into action and results. In a role as a workforce advisor, the person connecting workforce intelligence to an actionable strategy brings a strong set of capabilities to the table, including:

• Understanding the Data: An example of a truly detailed and current intelligence is the range of pay for a role or skill in a given area. The solution does not just show one number but a bell curve of rates instead. Should an organization apply the low end of that spectrum for less money and limit the range of candidates it may attract, or would a higher pay and higher quality talent be worth the larger expense? Are locations a factor? Are there alternatives? The advisor has the know-how to ask for more information and arrive at an ideal solution.

• Change Management and Action: Once the best course of action is determined, much needs to be done. The decision may center on what type of worker or service is best used to do the work, where to source the required talent or how much to pay. In any situation, the case for change needs to be made to hiring managers, leadership, suppliers and any other stakeholders. A specialist advisor with deep knowledge of both the data and the processes involved will be well suited to ensure that everyone embraces a strategy before it is executed.

• Owning Performance: The workforce advisor can go beyond establishing a course of action to take on a level of responsibility in follow-through. That execution could be ensuring stakeholders are supporting the effort or responding quickly to changes that may arise, whether those changes are internal (e.g., an organizational change or new network supplier) or external (e.g., workforce supply changes and market trends).

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The Impact: Workforce Intelligence Can be More than the Sum of Its Parts

A high-touch/high-tech partnership enabled through the combined Brightfield technology and AGS expertise delivers advantages that go well beyond those that could be delivered through technology alone.

First, consider the individual benefits. Transparency into extended workforce operations and economics enables dramatically improved data-driven decision-making. Advanced automation using machine learning simplifies and accelerates sourcing. Continuous cost savings drive operational efficiency and free funds for critical growth investments. Operational agility enabled by speedy informed decision-making enables organizations to adjust supply strategies in real-time, based on the fast-emerging opportunities and changing business objectives of modern work.

The sum of those advantages boils down to one market-leading advantage that should be central to every organization’s workforce priorities: work readiness. A company can get work done and make right-cost decisions that draw from all resources, including employees, contractors and services providers. That level of work readiness not only prepares a company to weather the unexpected; it provides the agility that enables decision-makers to plan and lead – a quality essential to success in the face of today’s global business challenges and opportunities.

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    Written by Adele Alvarez
    As the Operations Executive Director for AGS’ procurement solutions, Adele Alvarez has led the transformation of procurement solutions operations globally, playing a key part in AGS’ performance as a leader in its industry. Alvarez is a founding member of AGS’ Diversity & Advocacy Group, Women’s Leadership Council, and the All4 Diversity Initiative. She was named to SIA’s Global Power 150 Women in Staffing List in 2019.