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Last month, we outlined our perspectives on what 2017 could bring for the world of non-employee labor and the continued evolution brought about by the gig economy. The year ahead promises to be truly exciting due to the paths tread by innovation and the progression of the concept of the future of work. However, behind all of that excitement sits a darker undertone, as for many contingent workforce management (CWM) leaders, there is a veritable “balancing act” at play: keep up with shifts in talent engagement while continuing to balance the year-over-year pressures of compliance, visibility, talent quality, and ultimate costs.

With this in mind, there are six major items that threaten to detail even the best-of-the-best when it comes to CWM in 2017:

  1. Ignoring the art of self-sourcing. Ardent has long been a thought leader in the discussions regards the evolution of “self-sourcing” talent, which eliminates the middleman from typical recruitment in favor of leveraging online talent platforms (and other outlets, such as social networks) to directly-source workers. We now live in an on-demand world, and the very notion of “talent” sits directly within this purview. Companies that choose to ignore the advancements made in self-sourcing will miss out on some of globe’s top-tier talent and skillsets.
  2. Falling back on legacy approaches towards compliance. Controlling and mitigating risks related to compliance, according to the 2016-2017 State of Contingent Workforce Management research study, is the top challenge in today’s contingent workforce management programs. With all of the excitement around the “gig economy” and evolution of talent engagement, too many CWM leaders fail to realize that the increased influx of independent workers means that the greater organization is opening the doors for co-employment and misclassification risks. Utilizing approaches that worked a few years ago won’t cut it today.
  3. Failing to adapt to the changing world of work. A “transformative mindset” is an undervalued strategy within today’s businesses; many great leaps for companies occur when business leaders think ahead and fully embrace the innovative world around them. And, this notion extends beyond #1 above; everything from online staffing and mobile-optimized work to embracing the gig economy are factors that will help CWM programs succeed in 2017.
  4. Taking too long to foster procurement and HR collaboration. The contingent workforce world has evolved beyond its commoditized roots, pushing “talent” as the top focus for business leaders today. Thus, it is imperative that the two functions historically responsible for managing non-employee labor form a formidable union to better manage all enterprise talent and maintain pure, total talent visibility.
  5. Maintaining too much of a focus on only one or two key metrics. Many of today’s CWM programs rely on cost savings that lone determinate of the initiative’s success; however, while still vitally important as a performance metric, the Best-in-Class contingent workforce management program is one that places emphasis on, in addition to savings, metrics such as compliance, visibility (percentage of non-employee labor accounted for in corporate forecasting), and the quality of talent.
  6. Not leveraging the real innovation that is currently occurring within the CWM technology and solutions market. Vendor Management System (VMS) platforms are consistently evolving, with their analytical capabilities, SOW management tools, gamification functionality, and ecosystem drivers playing vital roles in top CWM programs. Online talent platforms are actively transforming talent engagement and opening new doors to non-employee workers. Blockchain could be the pathway to the future of work. Innovation is happening in and around the non-employee workforce space, and CWM programs must tap into that in order to thrive in 2017.


Contingent Workforce Management in 2017: The Year Ahead

The Best-in-Class Contingent Workforce Management Program

Technology Round-Up – Contingent Workforce Management Edition – November 22, 2016

The State of Contingent Workforce Management: Adapting to a New World of Work

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