Welcome to an exclusive two-part article series here on CPO Rising that will recap last month’s exciting Complex Spend Management: Best Practices in Contingent Workforce Management webinar, which was hosted by Ardent Partners and sponsored by Beeline. If you missed the webinar last month, click here to check out a recording of the event, which featured Ardent Partners analysts Andrew Bartolini and Christopher J. Dwyer. Part I of the brief recap article series featured a discussion of the main themes and takeaways from the webcast. Today’s post will deep-dive into some of the unanswered audience questions from the event.

As discussed in the first part of the Complex Spend Management: Best Practices in Contingent Workforce Management webinar recap series, this is a space that is consistently evolving and actively forcing procurement professionals (and executives in other functions) to reevaluate their approaches to managing non-employee workers and services.

Many interesting questions popped up from the audience throughout the webcast, and unfortunately, not all were able to be answered during the live event. Today’s article takes a deeper look at some of those questions:

1. The role of collaboration was mentioned a few times throughout the webinar. How can procurement truly work with HR to better manage the contingent workforce?

This is a question that comes up more often than any other from the procurement perspective. Contingent labor is indeed a complex spend category, sitting alongside others such as business travel, marketing materials, and corporate events. What’s the caveat? No other category of spend deals as much with “talent” as contingent labor, and the very notion of talent actively forces the function that holds the main responsibility in managing non-employee workers to coordinate with HR to build an effective, long-term program that can easily blend talent management expertise with supplier and spend management principles.

2. Integration was listed as one of the VMS impact areas. Can you elaborate on how VMS can link to other company systems?

As stated before, contingent workforce management “touches” more than just an internal function or two. With Vendor Management System (VMS) technology becoming a true “nexus” for CWM, it is critical that these systems have the ability to “talk” to other core platforms within the organization. Furthermore, in a Big Data world, intelligence is king. A 360-degree view of all aspects of contingent workforce management, including supplier, spend, project, talent and impact areas, is critical to effectively managing this complex category now and in the future. VMS systems that can easily integrate with ERP, talent acquisition, or RPO tools will certainly boost the value of any CWM program.

3. With this complex category evolving so much over the last few years, in what ways could it continue to evolve?”

There’s no question that the world of CWM is in exciting times. Less than a decade ago, organizations realized the true value of contingent labor. Today, it is widely understood that some of the world’s most talented workers (and unique skill sets) are outside of the FTE market. In the years ahead, freelancers will be even more of a critical cog in the corporate machine, actively contributing to and leading significant business projects. Technology will continue to progress, allowing for talent engagement no matter the source (social media, social networks, online labor marketplaces, personal networks, etc.). And, the greatest change of all: by the end of 2017, 45%-to-50% of the world’s total workforce will be comprised of non-employee talent.

If you missed the Best Practices in Contingent Workforce Management webinar, click here to check it out.


Webinar Recap, Part I: Complex Spend Management: Best Practices in CWM

The Perfect Storm of Non-Traditional Talent

The Implications of 2015’s “Talent Vortex”

Going Global: The Difficulties in Expanding Contingent Workforce Management Programs


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