I ’m a believer that there are times in business (and life) when taking risks is necessary. However, managing your contingent workforce isn’t one of them, and the risks will only grow given that the demand for contingent workers is expected to increase in the coming years.

Typical internal systems and processes related to managing the contingent workforce are disjointed and inefficient, making it impossible for contingent workforce management (CWM) programs to effectively mitigate risk. Program risk comes in many forms and often doesn’t expose itself until it’s far too late.

When you lack end-to-end visibility into your contingent workforce and along with it, proper program controls, you can be faced with inconsistent or incomplete background checks, unwanted access to facilities and systems, and regulatory and compliance issues. Not properly managing this risk can expose your organization to significant fines, unauthorized access to sensitive data, and more.

Worker misclassification presents a major risk to organizations, given the focused efforts by the U.S. Department of Labor to monitor and penalize companies for their errors. According to Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor:

“Combating misclassification is one of several important steps the U.S. Labor Department is taking to promote shared prosperity and ensure that our economy works for everyone.”

In fact, some of the largest corporations have been hit with massive penalties from misclassifying contingent workers, such as Microsoft, which faced a $97 million settlement paid out to more than 8,000 temporary workers and their legal teams.

A proven and intelligent vendor management system (VMS) can help guide hiring managers in correctly classifying workers. The right VMS solution will enable you to implement end-to-end CWM processes and controls that mitigate a variety of program risks.

Properly managing and enforcing specific onboarding and offboarding procedures for various roles within your organization will ensure you know exactly who is gaining access to your systems and facilities, make certain they meet the criteria to do so, and automatically revoke access upon their assignment completion date. Plus, a proven VMS solution offers you the controls necessary to ensure that your global CWM program is compliant in all locations.

You’ve likely heard it time and time again…“learn from the mistakes of others.” There’s no time like the present to go on the offensive and eliminate the potential risks of managing your contingent workforce.

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