VectorVMS’s team of experts recently travelled to London to attend Staffing Industry Analysts’ (SIA) CWS Summit Europe 2023. The event provided us with an exceptional opportunity to engage with fellow specialists in the contingent workforce industry and gain insight into the prevailing trends within the region. Another bonus was our coffee gift cards proved to be a hit with attendees seeking a boost of premium caffeine!
With around 600 qualified delegates registered and over 289 companies from 20 countries, SIA has stated that this was the largest EMEA event on record. The attendance demonstrates that the industry has bounced back and is now hungry for innovation, thought leadership, learning, and networking opportunities with industry peers.
Key themes explored during the summit included change, uncertainty, and recession resilience. 2023 is shaping up to be an unprecedented year, largely due to a downturn in the global economy, rapidly rising inflation, and geopolitical uncertainty. Talent scarcity continues to be driven by demographic shifts and the new norm of remote working, as well as advances in technology. Here are a few key takeaways that really got us thinking.
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1) Sustainable Sourcing Strategies in an Age of Disruption
In an era characterised by ongoing technological advancements and evolving work models, there’s a distinct requirement for sourcing strategies that can effectively balance flexibility and agility with long-term sustainability. The persistent demand for skills and the shortage of talent are issues that cannot be ignored.
In the wake of quiet quitting and great resignations, access to human capital is a major differentiator and competition is strong. Companies are having to adopt an approach that prioritises building the right blend of people, technology, and skills to navigate economic uncertainty and disruption ahead.
2) The Increasing Use of Direct Sourcing
For years, businesses have effectively utilised their employer brand to market to and directly engage with talent. Avoiding recruiter fees meant substantial savings, making it a crucial aspect of any talent acquisition leader’s strategy. However, we’re now witnessing an exciting shift as more businesses seek to replicate this success in their contingent workforce programmes.
By leveraging direct sourcing technology platforms and internal recruitment capabilities, organisations are building and owning their own talent pools, engaging with independent contractors and freelancers directly, and reducing reliance on intermediaries. When executed well, organisations are seeing a number of benefits including:
- Cost savings
- Improved control
- Better access to niche skillsets
- The ability to build long-term relationships with top talent
READ MORE ON DIRECT SOURCING | ‘Direct Sourcing: A Cost-Saving Strategy to Improve Finances in a Contingent Workforce Program’
3) Internal PMO vs Outsourced MSP
SIA’s latest European Workforce Solutions Buyer Survey shows 30% of companies have an internally managed programme, with 17% likely to seriously explore moving away from the outsourced model to an internally managed programme in the next two years. Conversely, 68% say they have an external managed service provider (MSP), with 19% likely to seriously explore an external MSP in the next two years. How can opinions and views be so polarised?
This topic continues to drive healthy debate, with SIA providing a balanced view. Advantages of the in-house/PMO model include greater control and visibility over the entire process. This hands-on approach can provide a deeper understanding of the workforce’s capabilities, culture fit, and responsiveness to changing business needs. Depending on the maturity of the programme, it could lead to better cost controls and savings.
However, an outsourced MSP model continues to present compelling arguments, especially for fledgling programmes. The MSP has deep expertise and experience. They possess specialised knowledge, tools, and technology to streamline the entire process—from sourcing candidates to managing payroll and compliance.
The debate continues and both models have their merits. At VectorVMS, we provide a third alternative: our collaborative Shared Managed Service (SMS) model enables organisations to own and control their program while outsourcing specific programme tasks to our highly specialised services team.
IS SMS RIGHT FOR YOU? READ THIS INFOGRAPHIC TO HELP DECIDE | ‘Is a Hybrid Service Model for Managing Your Extended Workforce?’
4) Investing in Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion initiatives in the contingent workforce are of paramount importance in promoting a fair and equitable work environment, just as they are in the wider full-time workforce. By embracing diversity, organisations can tap into broader talent pools and foster innovation and creativity. Inclusive practices also create a sense of belonging and loyalty, leading to higher employee engagement and productivity. Ensuring diversity and inclusion in the contingent workforce helps mitigate biases and promotes equal opportunities for all workers, regardless of their contract of employment.
One of the certainties we got from attending the summit was that technology will continue to enable better outcomes. With the explosion of AI, data-led solutions, the plethora of different types of talent engagement platforms and the growing importance and uptake of least cost sourcing initiatives as a critical element of the broader strategy a powerful VMS is more important than ever. It should be viewed as the critical hub at the centre of your contingent workforce technology ecosystem, the backbone of your tech stack
Ultimately, organisations should carefully evaluate their specific needs, resources, and strategic goals to determine the most suitable approach for managing their contingent workforce. One size does not fit all.
Through a blend of powerful native capability, functionality, and seamless integrations with your technology ecosystem, VectorVMS can be perfectly positioned to help you optimise your programme now and into the future.
Want to witness the power of VectorVMS technology? Drop us a message or schedule a demo. Experience our solution firsthand and take your business to a new level!
Meet the Expert
Paul Taylor – Business Development Director, EMEA
As Channel Sales Manager for Europe, Paul’s remit is maintaining and developing strategic relationships with the partner network in EMEA while growing the install base into new geographies and verticals. He previously worked at Beeline in a similar role managing business development in the UK for end-user customers and MSPs. During his 20-year career, he has gained experience across a broad range of HR technology solutions, including applicant tracking, performance management, compensation & benefits, and vendor management solutions. Through engaging with HR, TA, and procurement leaders he has developed a deep understanding of the key challenges businesses face and how technology can drive transformation, specifically around attracting, retaining, and optimizing permanent and temporary talent. Connect with him on LinkedIn.