Take Charge of Your Contingent Workforce Program | DCR Workforce Blog

Take Charge of Your Contingent Workforce Program

Like it or not, contingent workforce is the way forward for most companies. With the economy leaving everyone gasping with the effort of trying to stay in control, companies are hedging their bets by using temporary workers to flexibly ramp up and scale back as needs change! Given that the best of workforce strategies could fail when they are not implemented correctly, it is necessary to carefully plan your contingent workforce program.

For years, ownership of the CW program has been debated. Staffing Industry Analysts declares that procurement owns and runs it over 53% of the time, with HR coming in second at 35% – with portions of the pie being shared by operations, IT or Finance.  This discussion misses the main point. Procurement and Finance may negotiate the best rates on contingent workers, and Human Resources or functional managers may pick the best candidates– but the question is whether any of them can solely manage the workforce, the suppliers who source the workers, the talent they represent and the conflicts and challenges they may bring in. For many, the answer is a definite no, and almost a no brainer!

Take Charge:

To set up strong and capable Human Capital management systems, companies with successful workforce strategies take a team-based approach and involve all the stakeholders in the process. To do this it is necessary to evaluate your reasons for adopting a contingent workforce management program, and your expectations from it, such as:

  • Establishing a new talent pipeline
  • Acquiring better talent or critical skills for better contract or project management
  • As a try-and-buy system offering temporary to permanent conversions
  • Access to the best rates
  • Increased agility in an uncertain economy
  • Reduction in costs

This approach makes it easier to determine and assign the responsibility for every aspect of the program to the team that has the greatest interest in its ultimate success.

Staying Compliant:

As companies increasingly lean towards using temporary workers to meet business goals, they may be hampered if not hamstrung by regulatory compliance-related risks, making it necessary for them to be aware and alert to possible pitfalls like:

  • Treating temporary workers in a manner that causes the worker or the government to claim that the worker is a permanent employee, entitled to all associated benefits. Assuming joint employer roles by acts of omission and commission during the hiring, firing, disciplining, compensating and tax-paying activities.
  • Mistakenly assuming that temporary workers do not enjoy protection from wage-and-hour legislation and other discrimination and harassment safeguards available to permanent employees.
  • Failing to provide the temporary workers with directions on expected behaviour when at work and protection from possible harassment.
  • Mistakenly classifying a temporary worker as independent contractor, resulting in serious tax consequences..

Given that 14000 temporary jobs were added in July, now representing 1.91% of the total workforce, the obviously growing use of temporary workers will meet with success when handled the right way.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.