Editor’s Note: This week on CPO Rising, we’re publishing five “best of” articles from 2015 as we reflect on the year and prepare for the new year ahead. Enjoy!

We’ve all heard the meteorologists talk about it as if it were the end of times, or even a signal that the Earth’s climate issues are worsening by the year. The “polar vortex” is a recent weather commodity that involves Arctic air sweeping from the tip of the northern hemisphere down into an unsuspecting North American region. Frigid air, frozen lakes, the overwhelming need to run out and buy milk and bread…all of the prerequisite, overhyped “weather disaster” clichés are there. Only, this time, it’s a more frequent occurrence than freak snowstorms or “super storms” that halt the modern world.

In the business world, fads come and go just as quickly as the pace of the corporate world evolves. Some technologies prove their worth, while others fall by the wayside as enterprises shake their heads (“Why did we ever think we’d need that solution?”). The same mode of thinking can apply to evolving business strategies, especially the ones that impact all corners of the modern enterprise.

Non-traditional talent was once considered an “alternative” workforce strategy, with non-employee talent filling corporate gaps and providing valuable cost savings that could be generated from avoiding the long-term commitments of traditional enterprise talent. However, over the past few years, non-traditional talent has pushed beyond the spectrum of mere cost-cutting measures into newer, exciting strategic ground. The “talent vortex” is here, and unlike its meteorological counterpart, there’s no end in sight.

As the business world moves into a new year, and the second half of a decade, here are the top three implications of the “talent vortex”:

  • The gaps between procurement and human resources will be filled with collaborative endeavors. CPO Rising has often been a gateway for those procurement professionals struggling to reach out to their HR peers, and today’s article is another affirmation of the true value of collaboration between these two critical functions. As the notion of “talent” becomes more and more intertwined in corporate objectives, the concept of total workforce optimization will become a reality…a reality in which procurement and HR must work together for the greater good.
  • Enterprises will dedicate analytical resources to better understand the implications, value and impact of the various talent sources available today. Business networks, freelancer / online marketplaces, social media…engaging talent today can be exhausting, considering the sheer number of viable sources available to the modern enterprise. With the vortex of talent swirling around companies, enterprises must dedicate analytical resources to understanding the best sources of talent for their current needs and how that talent can drive ultimate value (while also meeting compliance and cost requirements).
  • A “blend” of technologies will be required to take talent engagement and management into a new generation. The advent of cloud technology enables simpler integration of core enterprise systems, and while core contingent workforce management solutions (like Vendor Management Systems) are often willing counterparts to human capital technologies (such as Recruitment Process Outsourcing), in order to effectively manage an enterprise workforce from a totality standpoint, an effective blend of these solutions will be required to address procurement, supplier management, talent management, and other requirements.

The focus on talent in today’s organization isn’t a new-found concept. In fact, Ardent’s new State of Contingent Workforce Management research report (available for download hereherehere, or here) found that enterprises are laser-focused on talent engagement / management more so than ever before, even ahead of the once-dominant procurement principles that once paved the way for CWM programs of the past. As talent swirls and envelops the contemporary organization, its impact will be felt for years to come.


The State of CWM Meets the State of Independence

Three Talent Management Capabilities That Matter

Your Guidebook to Contingent Workforce Management, Part IV: The (Contingent) Crystal Ball

Your Guidebook to Contingent Workforce Management, Part III: Expanding the CWM Framework

Your Guidebook to Contingent Workforce Management, Part II: Total Workforce Optimization

Your Guidebook to Contingent Workforce Management, Part I: Engagement Evolution

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