The State of Contingent Workforce Management 2015-2016: The Future of Work is Here: Part 6

1.21.2016, Written by Annie Wang

The balancing act in today's contingent workforce management programs is key to driving visibility and intelligence, maintaining compliance, and improving cost reductions and savings.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 2015-2015: 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.

Last week, we discussed why the optimization of a total workforce cannot occur without proper visibility and how this plays into what has come to be defined as the “worker footprint.”


The State of Contingent Workforce Management… and the Future of Work (cont.)

The “Balancing Act” in Today’s CWM Programs

Evolution, growth, and progression may pave the way for exciting times in the contingent workforce industry, but the fast pace and new intricacies of the non-employee workforce compel professionals to effectively juggle a series of key priorities. Today’s CWM programs are a veritable “balancing act,” forced to steady their approach nearly equally on driving visibility and intelligence, maintaining compliance, and improving cost reductions and CWM cost savings.

Figure 3

Unlike other key enterprise operations, contingent workforce management has progressed to a point where it is incredibly difficult to sustain success due to fast growth and the emergence of complexities that threaten to erase much of the value that non-employee workers bring to the typical organization. The following challenges actively shape how executives structure their CWM programs:


  • A general lack of visibility and intelligence. Contingent workforce management has an interesting case in regards to visibility, as today’s programs include aspects related to spend and supplier management, workforce management, compliance management, and talent management. Thus, intelligence is critical in understanding the quality of non-employee labor, the cost ramifications of that labor, current risk levels (such as compliance with local labor laws), and the impact of talent on ongoing enterprise projects and initiatives. A general lack of CWM visibility is a detriment to the multiple stakeholders involved in this world (such as procurement, HR, finance, etc.).
  • The constant specter of non-compliance. Compliance is becoming more of a threat and less of an ignored CWM area, mainly due to the fact that federal audits, reclassification of independent workers, and the cost and legal ramifications of these instances can cripple a business and generate negative buzz around the world. As enterprises continue to leverage “self-sourced” independent talent (such as contractors and freelancers), compliance to contractor classification requirements and adherence to federal, state, and regulatory labor guidelines will become a bigger focus for businesses in the near-future.


Coming Up: We discuss two more challenges faced by enterprise operations that are actively shaping the way executives structure their contingent workforce management programs, as well as a key insight.

To read the full report, download it now.