Every day we hear varying opinions about what organizations should be doing with their contingent workforce program. In our session with Ardent Partners, VectorVMS VP of Strategy Taylor Ramchandani and our trusted partner Atrium Works Vanessa Miller break down what they see in the industry and provide their perspective on how to find program success in 2021.
Listen to the full podcast here and read below about these two tech leaders’ perspectives on making the best decisions for you.
Finding Your Starting Point
A clear perspective that came across from both women was the need to be true to yourself and take an honest look at where your program is. No two programs are the same and while you may hear a lot of interesting terms in the industry they may not be for you at least not yet. When identifying where your program stands you may ask yourself the following questions to find a starting point.
How Am I Managing My Contingent Labor Today?
If you are managing your temporary labor in spreadsheets and have greater than $5M in labor spend, or greater than 8 consistent suppliers, your goal for 202 may be to introduce a vendor management system.
Do I Have Any Manual Processes in my Technology Today?
For those of you with technology already in place, they recommended you look at any processes that you currently consider to be too manual. Work with your vendor management technology provider or trusted managed service provider to pinpoint areas you want to streamline this year.
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Do I Have Any Rogue Spend I Want to Incorporate into my Extended Workforce Program?
Maybe you want to bring in more independent contractors or roll your SOW or services procurement spend under your VMS. This can be the year that you get all forms of the contingent workforce into your program fold.
Are There Ways That I Can Be More Strategic in 2021?
If your program is a well-oiled machine, you have the advantage of looking at different opportunities to be more strategic. This was talked about in the talent ecosystem portion discussed below.
Identifying Your Technology Needs
Vanessa described all of the new acronyms and abbreviations being discussed in the industry as HR Tech “Alphabet soup”. While new terminology can be confusing as new modules with varying definitions launch every day, you can always turn to your trusted advisor to help you navigate the space.
Speaking to an unbiased third party helps you to navigate an unfamiliar space with confidence. This can help you to determine if a vendor management system is right for you. Or maybe a freelance management system would be more suitable if you work primarily with ICs or direct sourcing and are looking to expand your current talent reach.
Regardless of your starting point, it is important to conduct a thorough discovery of where you are now, where you want to be, and using this information to drive achievable goals for now and the future.
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Talent Technology Ecosystem
Both Taylor and Vanessa lead the talent technology partnerships for their organizations. For those wondering what a talent technology ecosystem is, the two defined it as a network of partners’ platforms that provide the technology and services to round out your contingent workforce program.
VectorVMS partnerships are split into different categories and include but are not limited to:
- Sourcing: Freelance management, talent pooling, and direct sourcing
- Risk: IC vetting, IR35 determination, background check partners
- Data: Rate analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning
- Industry Specific: Shift scheduling, learning management
Direct sourcing seems to be the most widely discussed topic and the most intriguing to both organizations’ current and prospective clients. The allure of using client branding to draw in new candidates at a lower cost has fueled many conversations.
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Direct Sourcing’s Role in Diversity
Vanessa has seen direct sourcing and diversity work hand-in-hand. Direct sourcing initiatives allow you to drive what is important by providing a wider slate of diverse candidates through bringing in talent pools and new pipelines of talent. This can also be the case for diverse talent communities as well as inclusion recruiting.
There are two vendor-neutral third parties mentioned in the podcast that can help you achieve your goals:
- A vendor-neutral managed service provider helps you to build talent pipelines without bias, increase diversity in your candidate pool, and support client D&I initiatives
- A third-party assessment like that done by our sister company Affirmity can help you determine the available diverse talent in your location to help your organization define your program goals
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Both Taylor and Vanessa had similar sentiments on the best advice for workforce planning. Don’t try to be what you are not. While there are many “trending” words in the industry, you will only do more harm than good trying to fix a problem you do not have.
Take a step back, look at your needs for the next year, maybe two, and work with your trusted advisors to design a plan that incorporates the right amount of automation and human touch. It’s important to create a program that is going to best suit you and your needs and as your program grows and matures, the time will come to act on expanding your tech network.