How HR Professionals Can Successfully Manage their Total Workforce

3.7.2016, Written by Annie Wang

CollaborationThe following is an excerpt from an article which originally appeared on NGA Human Resources; it includes supplementary content and commentary from Field Nation.


In today’s labor market, the notion of tenure, permanency and lifetime employment is gone. Whereas a traditional career consisted of a linear trajectory that included set work hours, title changes, and the premise of ladder climbing, the career of today revolves around project-based employment carried out by members of the highly engaged and skills-oriented contingent workforce.

With the boom of the freelance economy, HR and procurement professionals need to figure out the best way to incorporate these workers into their org charts and business structures. Being able to effectively oversee both a permanent and contingent workforce is perhaps the biggest challenge facing HR leaders today, however, here are some best practices to ensure the successful integration and management of a total workforce.


The On-Demand Workforce: This is the age of on-demand everything – whether we are shopping, eating, or watching, today’s society operates on the premise of the “want now, get now.” When it comes to the way we get work done, we also need to factor in the concept of on-demand expertise and labor.

“As the lines between personal and work life become more blurred, the notion of an eight hour working day is also disappearing, because more people work in virtual, global teams and must communicate with colleagues and customers outside of normal business hours and across time zones. Companies are realizing that if they want to attract people to work, they must accommodate employees’ personal lives and create solutions that fit their individual needs.”


Flexible Employment Status: Establishing an environment where workers are able to seamlessly mesh their professional and personal lives together is critical in optimizing workplace satisfaction and productivity. This type of flexibility also lends itself to how HR leaders view and compose their workforce.

“It’s also in your best interest to not hire everyone as permanent staff…Companies can use more short-term, flexible forms of labor, such as freelancers, contractors, and consultants, as opposed to offering everyone a permanent contract. This results in a more fluid, more temporary workforce, meaning that the people you work with in your team are less often permanent employees of your companies and people come and go as the needs of the company change. We call this the contingent workforce.”


Talent Management: HR leaders need to ensure people are paid correctly and labor laws are followed, regardless of whether or not all workers are permanent employees on their payroll.

“HR needs to integrate these contingent workers and the data about them, into select processes and practices to ensure that they’re fully productive, connected, and factored into strategic planning and analysis.”

We already know that contingent workers are overwhelmingly more engaged, satisfied, and committed to success than their traditional counterparts. We also know that the rising tide of skilled independent workers is available to meet the demand for short-term, project-based and long-term contract work that supports business functions.

According to Andrew Popler, senior vice president at PRO Unlimited, the role of the freelancer in business operations is changing from one of ad hoc coverage to mission-critical strategic implementation. “What’s most interesting is 15 years ago, a freelancer of a contingent was someone who did the less strategic, more tactical work. But in today’s world the freelancer, the ‘non-employee,’ the contingent is integrated into the core strategic delivery roles within the organization. In many cases, the freelancer is facing the client of the company that has engaged them.”


Introducing an Integrated View of Workforce: New cloud solutions work to bridge the gap between properly recording information for people moving in and out of a workforce and having access to an integrated view of the total workforce – including both permanent and non-permanent staff.

“They unify the records of everyone that works for you as part of the contingent workforce. Contingent workforce management solutions also cover adjacent business processes like procurement, statements of work and contract, project management as well as invoicing and payment.”

Cloud platforms like Field Nation allow HR professionals to manage their entire workforce – from procurement to payment – as well as workflow, which includes the insight needed to streamline operations and optimize worker productivity and production.



To read the full article by NGA Human Resources, go here.