Contingent labor, it is all about collaboration

Managing your contingent workforce is a full part of the war on talent. Many think that this war is fought by recruiters, but especially in the contingent labor segment, it is so much more than that. As with any war, also this one is fought one battle at a time. And every time you loose such a battle, chances improve of you loosing the full war. Those battles appear everywhere, not just at the front door.

HR versus Procurement processes

Where the war on talent usually focusses on all HR related management activities, Contingent Labor issues do not only feed on this business cycle. Besides HR, there is usually a very pronounced procurement perspective involved as well.  Even when policy makers from procurement are not involved, there still is some form of spend management involved, because those related invoices will not get themselves paid automatically.

In the end this means that the business will have to collaborate not only with HR, but also with Finance & Procurement to win their talent battles.

Supplier versus Client processes

The war on talent is often fought via the employers of ‘your’ talent. In many cases the professionals or temps workers you hire are officially employed by someone else. That is the whole rationale behind contingent labor: making it flexible for you. But that flexibility has a downside. Those employers run organizations as well. This means that your processes around planning, purchasing, agreements, timesheets and payments should be aligned with theirs. This sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? And then reality strikes.

Business versus Technology

Of course the talent is all about business (whether real business-related appointment or IT positions), but that business is usually ran by technology solutions. Point solutions on recruitment, request- and approval-systems on purchasing, invoice management applications, it is all technology that relates to your war on talent. That means getting people up-to-speed on functonality that they see as a necessary evil and not as added value, integrating systems internally and even better, making sure the technology on your suppliers side works as well.


All these collaborations can make the war on talent successful. Or make you fail miserably when you are not on top of it. On all these topics, this Blog series (Contingent labor, it is all about collaboration) will get you up to speed in the coming episodes.


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