The State of Contingent Workforce Management 2015-2016 – The Future of Work is Here: Part 18

7.25.2016, Written by Nora Hartman

The business world is changing. Seemingly by the day, new technologies and strategies are redefining how work is done by pushing today’s enterprises into exciting territory as they seek competitive advantages and fresh sources of business. Within this scenario, the very notion of “talent” is actively shaping how far enterprises can go in terms of innovation, growth, and ultimate business expansion. Talent is today’s most valuable commodity, and as globalization takes its hold on businesses across the world, the dynamics around talent are being revolutionized.

To get a better understanding of this talent and how it is accessed, managed, and optimized in today’s business world, Field Nation contributed to the underwriting of a report conducted by Ardent Partners on “The State of Contingent Workforce Management 2015-2016: The Future of Work is Here.” This report covers the evolution, assessment, performance, and recommended strategies for contingent workforce management leaders so they can improve overall customer workforce management operations and results.

In the previous section, we discussed advanced and emerging solutions in computerized workforce management (CWM).

The Impact of Globalization on Today’s Non-Employee Workforce

Nearly every enterprise function is actively feeling the impact of globalization. In today’s highly-networked, interconnected economy, everything from supplier communications to international marketing can be supported on a global scale. Progressive technology and consistent execution have enabled CWM programs to access talent on a global scale; this has provided another “wrinkle” in the greater war for talent. As such, there are a variety of issues that enterprises face as their contingent workforce is expanded into new global regions; some of which are highlighted in Figure 8.

Figure 8-min


Ardent Partners research has found that globalization has a critical impact on CWM operations, including:

  • Standardized processes in multiple locales. The approaches that are leveraged in local headquarters may not be the right ones for new global regions, considering shifting tax codes and a general lack of understanding of local labor laws and requirements. Compliance is a major challenge for a reason: no business wants to face the wrath of a federal audit or reclassification judgment. Those threats are amplified when leveraging global talent, and without the correct processes in place, can be all too real.
  • Local talent “isn’t cutting it.” Globalization can be considered either a negative or positive attribute depending on the viewpoint. In the world of contingent workforce management, globalization translates into a whole new world of talent. In today’s highly-competitive, fast-paced business world, enterprises require talent that frequently does not exist in local sources. On-demand and real-time access to talent means that enterprises can find the necessary skillsets no matter where that talent is located. The non-employee workforce’s globalization is occurring for two main reasons: the “war for talent” is bringing enterprises into new regions, and the talent in those regions is available due to advancements made in business interconnectivity.
  • Where are our workers? WHO are our workers? Nearly 40% of businesses face a lack of intelligence, such as performance, project status, location, etc., regarding their global contingent workers. As discussed above, compliance is certainly a critical concern. Added to those fears is a worldwide identity management crisis; it’s often hard enough for a single-country CWM program to know its workers, identify where they are, and what they’re working on. On a global scale? The issues are exacerbated.

Coming up: We will discuss compliance and the metrics  that define Best-in-Class performance levels

Read Part 1 of The State of Contingent Workforce Management… and the Future of Work

Read the most recent entry in the series here.