What organisational skills gaps could contingent workers fill?

November 3, 2021

Contingent workers can fill the skills gaps within your organisation, bringing flexibility and agility to the workforce. To ensure contingent workers fill your skill gaps, you need visibility and alignment between your HR function, that defines the workforce plan, and procurement, who negotiate and contract with vendors. A vendor management system (VMS) delivers complete extended workforce data visibility, connecting your internal teams and helping them acquire the right talent, at the right time for the right price.

Contingent workers can meet most organisational skills needs

Non-employee workers are increasingly carrying out functions in companies at virtually every level and in nearly all roles, from expert consultants and IT specialists to drivers, warehouse operatives and maintenance staff. They could be helping organisations fulfil an important seasonal task such as the annual stocktake. A fast-moving-consumer-goods (FMCG) brand might hire an expert marketing manager for maternity cover.

Or a pharma company could ask an agency to source a specialised medical research team to complete a specific critical project. Many IT and tech assignments are similarly contract and interim-based. These are so-called statement of work (SoW) contractors who are typically hired with specific milestones and deliverables written into their contract.

The digital and global nature of the work today means most knowledge-based roles can be completed remotely – from virtually anywhere in the world with a good internet connection. These arrangements bring a significant cost benefit and enable you to access skills from a global sea of talent.

How do you create and implement your workforce strategy?

By carefully mapping the skills your organisation already possesses, on a permanent as well as contingent basis, you can create an integrated workforce optimisation strategy that best meets its needs. This total workforce optimisation (TWO) approach delivers the optimal mix of permanent employee and contingent worker skills to deliver your organisational objectives.

Although many organisations have employee data contained in an HR information system (HRIS), contingent workers are often overlooked. This is often because procurement and HR are working independently, and often in silos.

Furthermore, skills are not the only factor when ascertaining if contingent workers are right for the task to be delivered. You also need to measure the quality of the work carried out by contingent workers, the costs of hiring permanent workers and the timeframe available.

All this data is meaningless on its own and a conventional HR system won’t have the capabilities to manage both contingent workers and vendors. A vendor management system (VMS) can help with this. The combination of an HRIS and a VMS underpins your Total talent acquisition (TTA) strategy because it gives you the data and tools to acquire the skills your TWO strategy identifies.

How to benefit from the flexibility of contingent workers

Once hired, contingent workers may offer more flexibility than is immediately obvious. If a role needs filling immediately but HR and the team need time to find exactly the right person, a contingent worker can step into the gap temporarily.

Or perhaps you interview someone who isn’t quite right for a role but who has some of the skills in the job description or added skills of value to your organisations. How can you utilise this new-found resource?

TWO, alongside TTA, is a systematic way for exploiting this resource when your HRIS and VMS deliver the data, visibility and communications across your organisation.

Using a vendor management system to fill your skills gaps

Forward-thinking companies employing contingent workers use vendor management systems (VMS) to gain access to data, analytics, and AI. It makes it simple to keep track of the activities and performance of any contingent workers and vendors, comparing the quality of sourcing directly against vendors. The performance of contingent workers and vendors can also be compared against each other.

Being able to see data across your organisation, connecting your procurement and HR functions, means you have insights to optimise your talent acquisition and management strategies. Your contingent workers deliver what you need, and not not just what procurement believes you want.

Beeline’s VMS offers great data about contingent workforce planning, helping you make strategic decisions underpinned by anonymised data from over 300 customers. To find out more about how it works and the benefits it can bring to your organisation, download our free guide. It provides all the information you need to understand how a VMS can aid in contingent workforce planning, forecasting, management, and even procurement.