At its core, contingent labor is a term used to describe precisely that: a workforce that is hired almost exclusively on an on-demand basis. These freelancers, independent contractors and other versatile employees can work either on-site or remotely and often supplement and enhance the full-time people already hard at work for a particular organization.
To that end, successful contingent labor management essentially comes down to your organization's ability to leverage what you have access to for your advantage. It isn't enough to just bring people into the fold to do a specific job - you need to be able to not only bring the right people in for the right job at the right time, but they need to be positioned and supported in such a way that allows you to get the most from this on-demand workforce in the first place. Naturally, this requires you to keep a few key things in mind.
Contingent Labor Management: Breaking It Down
Contingent labor is supposed to be a way to augment your current labor force with a highly specialized group of people hand-selected and optimized to tackle the needs of a particular job, but the processes through which many organizations actually manage these resources often run contrary to those goals. Managing specific requests for contingent labor takes too much time and on the other end of the spectrum, valuable insight and other knowledge is often lost as soon as this contingent force parts ways with your organization.
To actually make the most of contingent labor, you need the type of solution that will not only allow you to manage requests for contingent labor, but that will also allow you to tackle critical issues like tracking performance and pay, capturing and transferring knowledge from offboarded continent labor and that will also allow you to automate as many of these processes as possible.
Having a better system in place also brings with it the most important benefit of all: you can mine contingent labor data to uncover actionable and incredibly valuable analytical data, all of which can be fed back into your organization in a way that allows you to make better and more informed development decisions moving forward.
Seeing the Bigger Picture
In the end, successful contingent labor management rests on your ability to see the "bigger picture." Yes, these are freelancers and independent contractors that you're bringing into the fold - many on a temporary basis. But they need to be more than that. To truly generate the results you need, they need to be looked at for what they are - one small-yet-critical part of a much larger and more important whole.
You need a system of record to handle all of this and more - and your current HR system just won't do. You need a solution designed with these tasks in mind. Only then will contingent labor become a fully optimized, valuable and performance-driven part of your enterprise.