The Two Sides of Total Workforce Management

Posted by Christopher Dwyer on December 12th, 2017
Stored in Articles, Complex Categories, People, Process, Strategy, Technology

Traditional approaches to work and managing the modern workforce are becoming less impactful and will eventually become obsolete. Today’s global market feeds on agility, flexibility, and innovation; enterprise programs related to workforce management must be transformed in order to keep pace with the talent evolution. Total workforce management represents the next wave of progression in the world of work, building on the paths tread by a growing contingent workforce and increasingly-blended makeup of enterprise skillsets. From total talent visibility to enhanced workforce intelligence, the multifaceted impact of total workforce management, which includes agile reactions to new skillset-based needs, is a powerful concept that will soon represent the future of business talent.

The concept of total workforce management hinges on the belief that enterprises can move out of mythical territory and enter the world of reality. The most common question in regard to managing all talent (both traditional and non-employee) under the same holistic, standardized, and centralized program is: “Is this for real?” Previous articles here on CPO Rising regarding total workforce management (TWM) focused on technology and strategy, however, as discussed in today’s post, the two “sides” of any TWM program are built on the core capabilities and competencies of human capital management and procurement.

Core TWM Human Capital Management (HCM) Capabilities

While collaboration is a must for any total workforce management program, the core attributes of any procurement or HR/HCM function are critical to the success of TWM and helping to foster the value inherent in both flexible and permanent workers. Cross-functional efforts are crucial in building long-term, effective capabilities within total workforce management; however, the respective knowledge brought to the table by each unit ensures that all talent, regardless of its source, is progressing through the proper channels of learning, development, project management, etc. With this aspect in mind, core HR and HCM form a foundation for any TWM program. The following competencies are all applicable and welcomed in the total workforce management operating model (the very “blueprint” of this program; learn more here):

  • Learning management and training
  • Succession planning
  • Multi-channel screening
  • Employee engagement
  • Onboarding and offboarding
  • Auditing and control

Core TWM Procurement Capabilities

For decades, procurement was often the go-to leader for managing contingent and non-employee labor. From staffing suppliers to professional services, “services procurement” was often considered a key arm within the contemporary procurement function’s greater category management strategy. With the non-employee workforce growing in recent years, this group has found itself at an interesting crossroads: the contingent workforce industry is becoming less commoditized in favor of a “talent-first” approach. However, much like the HR/HCM function’s core competencies are a boon for total workforce management programs (not to mention critical pieces of the underlying TWM strategy), procurement’s core functional offerings (listed below) play a critical role in enhancing TWM’s contingent workforce management capabilities:

  • Spend management
  • Supplier management (relationship, information, and performance)
  • SOW and services management
  • Compliance (independent contractor, regulatory, etc.) and risk mitigation
  • Project management and project oversight
  • Staffing vendor consolidation strategy

Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in learning more about the progressive workforce model discussed in today’s article, download The Modern Guide to Total Workforce Management report by clicking here, here, or here.


The Path to Total Workforce Management, Part II: Total Talent Acquisition

The Path to Total Workforce Management, Part I: Total Talent Intelligence

Total Workforce Management’s Place in the New World of Work

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