Who is the “Ace” of Your Contingent Workforce Management Program?
The summer is fast-approaching (if the warmer temperatures in New England are any indication) and, for most people, this season equates to enjoying America’s favorite pastime: baseball. Being from Boston (home of the 2013 World Series champs, in case any Yankee fans forgot) and avid fan, I thought it would be fun to take the topic of contingent workforce management and apply some baseball analogies.
The driving force of any baseball team is often its starting pitching; most baseball analysts would agree that it is a team’s pitching and defense that wins championships. The successful teams in major league ball are the ones that not only have a deep and effective pitching staff, but also an “ace” that is regarded as the one pitcher on staff that rises above challenges and guides the team to victory when it’s most needed.
The contemporary contingent workforce management program is much like a professional baseball team in regards to its complexities, various stakeholders, and multifaceted capabilities. With all that occurs in managing contract talent, there’s a question that is begging to be asked: who is the true “ace” of the modern Contingent Workforce Management program?
Today, we’ll deep-dive into a few candidates for the ace role of the contingent workforce management program. The typical pitching staff of a major league baseball team runs five pitcher, so we’ll analyze five key CWM attributes and attempt to make a determination as to who the “ace” truly is.
- Supplier management capabilities. In the realm of complex contingent labor (SOW-based projects, professional services, etc.), supplier management may be the one principle that stands out above the rest. This area of the Contingent Workforce Management Framework typically involves professional services, consultancies and projects that are tied to an SOW or similar agreements, necessitating supplier management capabilities, such as supplier performance management and onboarding / offboarding.
- “Big Data” and analytics. Big Data’s influence can be felt across the world of contingent workforce management, as modern-day contingent labor includes data and information related to core business projects, savings initiatives, IT implementations and other key aspects of the greater organization. Analytics, and the intelligence driven by analytics, has fast become one of the more critical attributes of the average CWM program.
- Talent management capabilities. The “war for talent” rages in both the realms of traditional talent and contract talent, and is actively forcing enterprises to sharpen their focus to include engagement as part of their main CWM program goals. Aspects such as talent forecasting, social media and specific talent pools go a long way in aligning the best contract talent with the projects that require it.
- Strategic sourcing attributes. Procurement is the heralded force behind the spend management and supplier management phases of the contingent workforce management program. While “talent” is now a focus (as mentioned above), the average company cannot afford to forego visibility and cost savings targets; strategic sourcing principles will certainly support these endeavors.
- Risk management capabilities. “Compliance” is often misunderstood area of contingent workforce management. Independent contractor compliance is just one aspect that must be monitored and tracked via risk management capabilities; much of contract talent in today’s business world is tied to critical enterprise projects, and companies must includes measures in their programs to ensure that temporary workers, services and freelancers are actively meeting delivery dates and milestones, and staying on-time and on-budget.
Out of the five aspects listed above, who is truly the ace of the CWM program? Hard to make a call, isn’t it? Each of these attributes brings something different to the table, and while each has its own benefits and weaknesses, the fact that we can’t identify the “ace” capability goes to show just how important amultifaceted, intricate CWM program really is. Play Ball!