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The good news is that your organization has begun progressing toward a coordinated, integrated approach to managing its external workforce. Your firm has embraced the workforce flexibility, access to outside skillsets, and enhanced productivity the agile workforce offers. The bad news is that everyone else in your industry has discovered these benefits as well, and competition for top outside talent is fast-paced, fierce, and constantly changing.
Your company no doubt has used non-traditional workers to increase your ability to take advantage of marketing opportunities, control labor costs, and exploit rare and specialized skills that are unavailable among full-time employees. Companies for the most part engage contingent workers on an ad-hoc or piecemeal basis. They discover the need for supply chain experts when it comes time to count inventory. Or they require a data enrichment expert in response to a directive to automate marketing and media buys. This transactional approach remains widespread even as forward-looking firms’ appreciation of strategic management of the agile workforce becomes universal. Deloitte found that 92 percent of the companies it surveyed had yet to implement codified processes to procure and manage alternative workers. Indeed, most organizations make use of freelancers, part-time employees, and other contingent workers merely as fill-ins. As a result, they do not realize the full potential – either strategic or economic – that a progressively managed agile workforce strategy can produce.
If you’re like most business decision makers, you have already taken advantage of the flexibility, skill, diversity, and other benefits a contingent workforce brings to your organization. But to truly accrue all the advantages agile talent can offer, it may be advantageous to partner with professional outside vendors to hire, train, onboard, and manage your part-time, freelance, and statement-of-work workers. Working with managed service providers (MSP), vendor management system (VMS), third-party payroll service firm can save companies time, effort, and money by providing the most qualified candidates, expediting the onboarding process, and overcoming logistical challenges.
Businesses and other organizations have long understood the advantage of employing a contingent workforce and relying on a stable of agile talent. Retail stores throughout the 20th century hired additional sales associates to deal with the holiday rush, suppliers employ warehouse associates for annual inventory audits and just about everyone has outsourced accounting and advertising functions in order to concentrate on their core business.