An important step toward total talent management

May 30, 2023

In our post-pandemic world, workforce agility and resilience have assumed increased importance. The strategic value of the contingent, non-employee workforce has grown tremendously – to nearly 50% of the average workforce. As a result, HR and procurement must share responsibility for total talent management.

Maintaining two talent silos – one for permanent employees and one for temporary workers – makes management more complex. But most companies still feel safer keeping these two components separate. By compartmentalizing contingent workers, it reduces the company’s co-employment risk.

In the US, businesses have used technology for more than 20 years to automate workforce management. By comparison, the use of technology to manage contingent labor in Europe is relatively immature. The market is fragmented and each of Europe’s 27 countries operates at its own pace and rhythm. For companies with workers spread among multiple European countries, the idea of total talent management remains a dream.  It is a worthy goal, but unattainable.

A shocking lack of workforce composition information

By dividing responsibility for workforce management between HR and procurement, to many companies lack a unified view of their workforce. They don’t know how many workers they have. They don't know where they are.  And they don’t know what classification applies: employee, temporary worker, freelancer, independent contractor, outsourced service provider, or other classification. Without this data, and the insight it provides, it is practically impossible to conduct meaningful strategic workforce planning.

One reason for this lack of information is that very few technology solutions can manage workforces in multiple countries and multiple labor categories. The contingent workforce looks different in each country where your program is active.

Compliance risk increases – particularly co-employment and misclassification risks – when companies try to fit all workers into one management tool. As a result, companies have had to rely on multiple solutions. And then they piece together a fragmented view of their total talent. 

Closing the workforce intelligence gap

If companies want to develop a total strategy – and if they want to move closer to total talent management – they need to focus on four basic elements:

Visibility. Laws and regulations require handling different types of workers in different ways. But a single, unified view of essential data across all worker classifications – employee, contingent, and independent contractors – is the only way to make strategic workforce decisions.

Simplicity.  Companies like Beeline can cut the complexity of consulting separate VMS and HR systems. Instead, they offer a streamlined user experience with access to the entire workforce at once. Hiring managers, procurement managers, and HR managers can all go to one single place to get what they need. 

Flexibility.  Program managers need to be able to localize the contingent labor program for each country. And they need to be able to scale each country’s workforce up or down. Traditionally, this has required a VMS custom-configured to each enterprise. But companies don’t need to deploy a full VMS to achieve total workforce visibility. These solutions can accommodate smaller business footprints.  They provide an agile solution for companies who need consistency in how their data is managed, analyzed, and presented. Even when their presence may vary in different countries.

Risk mitigation. Misuse of contingent labor data carries serious legal consequences. This can intimidate managers who want to integrate employee and nonemployee information. Businesses need a solution that gives program managers workforce visibility without creating co-employment and misclassification risk.

Total workforce intelligence: the bridge to total workforce management

Technology can bring HR and procurement together, working side by side to manage today’s modern workforce. Beeline’s Global Workforce Intelligence (GWI) solution is a prime example of technology that meets the mutual needs of procurement and HR. With the right technology, businesses can simplify strategic workforce planning. GWI lets them take a giant step closer to their once-elusive dream of total talent management.

To learn more about total talent management and how you can reduce workforce risk through total workforce visibility and compliance, click here.