Innovation = Integration; Compliance= Visibility

These days, innovation is the magic word. One that makes heads turn but really when it comes to contingent workforce management, innovation is just doing the right thing at the right time and being the very best in doing it. Really.

In my last post, I talked about how there are two things that companies need to absolutely focus on for a successful CWM program. The underlying themes still remain the same — Categorization and Integration, but let’s look at them with a slightly different perspective.

The word ‘Integration‘ is bigger than what it seems. Yes, we can integrate system and that will make our lives so much easier but an underlying theme to success is also integration internally. When internal stakeholders are not aligned and integrated — the CWM program will remain fragmented and benefits will be hard to attain. So, how can you achieve integration? By ensuring that alignment exists between your internal groups such as Contracts, Vendor Relationship Management, Operations and Hiring Managers. System integration can achieve this to a large extent but another way of ensuring this happens is to have clearly defined roles, responsibilities and hand-offs and internal SLAs that each group is responsible for. Analytics will play a big role here in creating specific, measurable SLAs. For e.g. Management can run reports on cycle time to see which group is the bottleneck in the process.

In terms of categorization, remember different categories of contingent workers, need a different approach to handling them. For e.g. SOW workers would need more involvement and relationship building with the Suppliers and so, the contracts team and the Vendor relationship management teams need to play an active role here. Contingent workers will need more involvement of the Operations and the Hiring Managers. The contracts and VRM teams will also play a role here but to a lesser extent. Therefore, focus on seamless alignment both within systems and within stakeholders will pave way to a successful CWM program.

The age of the contingent workforce is also an age of compliance. Every Region/Country/State has measures and regulations to protect contingent workers. To be compliant, you have to know the laws that govern workers but this is of no use unless you have full visibility into who your workforce truly comprises of. What suppliers do you work with,what is your spend, what classification of workers are they, how many staff aug, IC or SOW workers do we have, do we have layers (sub-contractors to primary or even secondary suppliers), are they correctly classified, what projects are they on, how long have they been here, have any of these worked here before etc. You can do a deep dive into the profiling of your workers but the inherent risk contained in each worker type cannot be effectively mitigated or handled unless this profiling data is accurate and real-time. That’s why vendor management systems are critical.