Among those who study and monitor the world of work, there is a growing sentiment that we have entered a golden age of contingent workforces. External talent has become both an inextricable part of strategic workforce planning and a critical competitive differentiator for post-Covid growth. The contingent workforce is delivering significant value for employers, but what do the latest contingent trends mean for organisations, and how can employers ensure they grasp this opportunity?
The events of 2020 have driven equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) to the top of the corporate agenda. This focus has extended ED&I initiatives to talent suppliers, managed services providers and recruitment outsourcing firms. To truly cultivate diversity, external talent partners need to reflect an inclusive culture and a commitment to ED&I to credibly sustain outreach and engagement efforts amongst the communities they support. Without this commitment from partners, enterprises risk falling short of their aspirations to foster ED&I as a public and corporate good.
Focus on statement of work
With budget control crucial, more businesses have reviewed their external workforce spend. For many, it quickly became clear last year that there were gaps of information relating to purchased and outsourced services managed through SoWs. At the same time, the quick shift to remote work heightened the focus on how projects are structured and managed. In this new environment, a preference has emerged toward outcome and deliverable based purchasing to streamline budgets, improve supplier accountability and increase visibility to enable organisations to effectively scale workforces up and down.
A strong contingent voice
In a similar vein, the ability to complete a holistic workforce diagnostic and identify who is employed and how they are contracted has never been so important. A “contingent voice” needs to be at the table now and in a post-Covid environment. Unless this opportunity is supported with continued action to improve external workforce engagement, the opportunity to benefit from total talent management will be diluted.
Those organisations that grasp this opportunity to capitalise on these trends and maintain the momentum will be the drivers of economic recovery post-Covid. Will your firm be one of them?
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