In one of our recent monthly Hot Seat’s Bhumi sat down with Laura Schroeder to discuss the challenges businesses are facing in managing external workforces.
Laura is MD/Impact Strategist at Impact Investment Company and Brand/Innovation Consultant.
In this discussion, Laura argued that there is a general talent challenge and debate within businesses on how this should be dealt with. Many companies are going through a transformation of one form or another and throughout this, it is difficult to have the right skills in place.
Challenges faced with contingent workforces
The introduction of new technology means there are new ways of operating and new business models which are possible. However, the current workforce may not currently have the right skillset.
This raises the question of whether to train the existing workforce, hire new talent or bring in temporary staff to bridge the gap. This can be a struggle for businesses as they are compelled to weigh up costs, staff availability etc and try to decide upon the best course of action.
Companies can also be daunted by the introduction of new technology to manage external workforces, thinking that it will be a long or complicated process, when this may not be the case. Laura believes this is because it is multifaceted – although the process may be faster today, there is still a lot of background work that needs to be completed i.e. agreeing on new processes, budgets, training for staff etc.
Future Contingent Workforce Technology Solutions
Laura believes there will be more eco-system management moving forward, as it is becoming impossible for one solution to manage everything.
Most HR Solutions manage contingent workers to some extent, such as who they report to, which department they are in, what they cost, but this is assuming someone is inputting those details into that system in the first place.
The traditional model of having all employees based in-house full-time will begin to change in many more industries. This is due to it not always the most cost-effective approach for every type of role and business.
This naturally means that companies will begin to have to pay more attention to contingent workers as they begin to make up a bigger percentage of their workforce.
Laura’s advice is for companies to look at solutions that include contingent workers, even if they do not currently make up much, if any, of their current workforce. Not every company has to do everything, as long as they have the right partnerships in place. It could be that they use a third-party provider for part of this.
By doing this, companies can get ahead of the curve and ensure they have systems in place to manage every aspect of managing the workforce now and in the future. She also explained how companies need to look at the total worker experience and ensure contingent workers are included with full-time staff. Employee engagement surveys will show you how they feel about their experience and whether they would come back to work for you – treating them as part of your talent pipeline.
You can watch the full discussion between Bhumika and Laura in this video.