Contingent Labor, it is all about collaboration – this episode: HR versus Procurement

Do you recognize the traditional contingent labor debate of ‘who should be owning which part of the responsibility’? Usually the answer of overall ownership falls in either one of the laps from HR or Procurement management and the rest of the departments (not rarely also IT and Finance are heavily involved!) follow their lead. But do you also recognize those instances where real value is created via contingent labor management? Right: on those situations where this debate does not take place, the organizations where joint ownership and collaboration is the way it is done.

Joint ownership in contingent labor means joint responsibilities while being opposite beasts

When you share ownership of something, this means that you are both partly responsible for the success of it. But let us be honest, in most cases the departments of HR and Procurement have a hard team operationally fitting in with each other. They are simply completely different animals.

You could get this handled by appointing a joint Contingent Labor Manager. One agent that is funded from both pockets and is positioned in the organization on such a level that she/he is able to bang heads together when discussion cannot be solved otherwise. An owner that understands processes, politics, finances and business cases involved in contingent labor. A single go-to-guy or -gal that oversees bottle necks and frees up cycle time.

Just to bring the right energy so both HR and Procurement can deliver what they do best.

HR should manage quality and ratio in contingent labor

The simple things remain when the contingent labor manager is in place. HR stays responsible for recruiting and managing time registrations. It sounds so logical, but often when you see HR starting to mingle in the recruitment of contingent labor, there is often all of a sudden also the management of budgets, procuration-flows and supplier landscapes involved. But that is for their partners in crime to be managed: procurement. HR should focus on getting the best-fit on the requirement. They know how to select people for the organization, how to fit skills with tasks. So that is what they should do: manage the proper fit coming in and manage the time they spend within the organization.

Procurement should manage spend control in contingent labor

Leave the managing of procurement to the department of procurement. They should have workflows in place that run the show of who decides on which money. They should be able to come up with a framework that manages the supply side of their demand. They should be able to run a requirement into a purchase order.

Finance and IT should do the rest

Usually the responsibilities as drafted before are already available in most organizations. Either in IT systems or within procedures, both HR and Procurement usually know exactly what to do when recruitment handles on regular staffing or when spend control is about materials. So why differ your view when it is about spend control on temporary staffing? Just combine your thoughts and responsibilities and let Finance and IT align the work behind the scenes.

Want to know how? That is something for another blog.

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