SIA CWS North America Summit: Event Recap

The Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) 15th annual Contingent Workforce Strategies (CWS) Summit, held September 9-10 in San Diego, hosted over 550 attendees and featured a bustling exhibit hall and animated roundtable discussions, as well as inspirational keynotes and informative breakout sessions. This innovative conference was designed to elevate workforce solutions professionals and empower them to take their contingent labor programs to the next level.

SIA CWS: View From the Exhibit Hall

The VectorVMS booth was busy with networking activities and demonstrations. We enjoyed making new connections and catching up with long-time clients and partners. Our team was very excited to talk about our new company vision as our own brand under Learning Technologies Group. We had many exciting demos in the booth, including demonstrations of our newly launching mobile application.

SIA CWS: VectorVMS at Roundtable Discussions

Over 50 key topics were covered in the Roundtable Discussions. Participants chose three table topics to discuss with peers during this fast-paced 90-minute session. The discussions were facilitated by peer leaders, and ranged from market trends and sector specialization to service categories and a number of other important business issues. VectorVMS’ own Jay Grissom, Manager, SMS Program Management, led the roundtable discussions on Meaningful Analytics and Reporting. Jay’s discussions centered around the most useful standard reports as well as the importance of tailoring reports for your company. Meaningful analytics and reporting are critical to maintaining visibility into program spend as well as tracking efficiency and ensuring candidate compliance.

Keynotes and Breakout Sessions

The opening keynote was delivered by Peter Reagan, Sr. Director, CWS & Research, CCWP, SOW Management Expert from Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA). Peter detailed some of the latest developments in the workforce solutions ecosystem and how the trends of yesterday might evolve into the reality of tomorrow. Mr. Reagan stated that the growing contingent workforce will become more strategic in its support of organizational profitability and market competitiveness, meaning that enterprises will have to continually evolve their contingent workforce strategy in the face of shifting world events. I attended several interesting and informative breakout sessions. Some highlights and key takeaways are below.

Evolving Your CWM Program in the Age of Digital Darwinism

Digital transformation is changing how organizations operate and deliver value to customers. In this presentation, US technology pioneer Accenture shared how it chose to evolve its contingent workforce management (CWM) program with the help of a new vendor management system (VMS) solution provider. Some key takeaways and helpful tips from this session include:

  • Candidates are the top priority and the candidate experience should be the center of your digital design.
  • Remove mundane tasks through automation to delight your customers. The example of this was chatbot help for common support cases.
  • Set standard global requirements for your programs but adjust them for local requirements. Standardization improves user experience but should be tweaked to meet specific goals.

Just Having a VMS Doesn’t Cut it Anymore 

More and more organizations are recognizing the strategic value in the non-employee workforce. As the war on talent continues to wage on, organizations are looking to alternative technologies to augment their VMS to attract more talent and increase efficiencies. In this session, program managers shared their best practices on how to use technology to supplement your VMS. Highlights:

  • Direct sourcing has become a hot technology that has allowed for a greater candidate reach.
  • Total talent acquisition allows for greater visibility and chances for redeployment of talent across your organization.
  • First step for smaller programs to gain efficiency outside the VMS is to integrate with major ERP systems.

KEY ANALYST TIP: Know your organization. While all these fancy buzzwords and technologies are flying around, do not force yourself into using them. If you aren’t ready, do not negatively impact user experience with over-complication.

What is an MSLP?

Presented by Acro Service Corporation, “What is an MSLP? How an MSP for Learning and Development can Drive Additional Cost Savings Using VMS Technology” focused on training and compliance for contingent labor. Companies have exponentially increased their Learning and Development (L&D) programs that train workers for compliance or to address gaps in college curriculums. Estimates show that Fortune 500 companies spend greater than $25 million per year creating content or outsourcing to vendors. Yet this spend is not being fully tracked through a VMS. This session talked about managing learning from the Managed Service Provider (MSP) perspective but also sparked some ideas from the technology side of the house as well. Highlights:

  • VMS technologies should be able to track learning completion for contingent workers.
  • Independent Contractor (IC) compliance and vetting services and increases in the need for compliance training for internal resources and your MSP team.
  • Elearning provides cost savings for many organizations and eliminates the need for an on-site trainer.

Data Science and Machine Learning

In today’s fast-paced, total talent global labor market, companies must rely on data and analytics to direct their contingent workforce programs. In the breakout session entitled “Into the Future: How Data Science, Machine Learning and AI Can Answer Puzzling Contingent Workforce Questions and Uncover Undiscovered Value”, Salema Rice, Chief Data Officer, GRI presented new ways to uncover what’s happening on many levels within your program and how to use that information to create value. Highlights:

  • Use data to locate hard-to-find talent. Where have I found this previously and what is the market paying for it?
  • Using historical data combined with predictive data is the best approach to getting the most out of your analytics.
  • Use third-party benchmarking to support data. There are many companies out there today that specialize in analytics that can partner with your technology to make your program more successful.

VMS Modernization: To Upgrade or Replace Your VMS?

As contingent workforce (CW) programs continue to evolve, the scope and services needed by clients have changed. VMS providers have responded by enhancing the capabilities of their technology offerings. However, sometimes CW programs are not always able to benefit from new features the VMS has to offer. As a program manager, what’s the best route forward: update your existing technology or start fresh? Highlights:

  • Support is key when it comes to choosing to upgrade or replace your VMS. If your VMS provider does not treat your need for change as a priority, find one who does.
  • When updating or integrating a new VMS, consider the needs of all teams: IT, HR, legal and procurement.
  • Focus on technology using scrum methodology that can roll out to all users simultaneously. That way, the product continues to update.
  • Change management is hard so make sure you are 100% ready if looking to jump ship.

Contact us to learn more about any of the topics discussed here or to schedule a demo of the VectorVMS vendor management system.