For the second time, ProcureCon Contingent Staffing went virtual amid a pandemic. And that set the tone for the two-day conference, with content focused on planning for the post-pandemic working world. VectorVMS’s Managing Director, Marc Husain, kicked off the first day of the conference discussing some of the changes over the last 18+ months and the ups and downs that created uncertainty, not just in the extended workforce but for all aspects of business.
We had the opportunity to chat with several leaders in contingent workforce management about their experiences through panels and roundtable discussions. Following the event, we took time to reflect on the stories and insights shared.
Conquering Disruption Through Building Resiliency: Keys for Success in 2021 and Beyond
Moderated by Marc Husain, the keynote panel featured two professionals managing their contingent labor in-house. Over the last 18 months, these organizations adapted and continue to develop their contingent workforce program as we continue to navigate these trying times. One benefit both panelists saw for their programs is the expanded talent pool that remote work brought to their companies. The processes they implemented to source, interview, and onboard these workers will likely continue even beyond the pandemic.
Both organizations found tremendous value in their existing and new technologies as they manage their contingent labor. Having a vendor management system in place provided a solid foundation for the pivots they endured while giving them insights into areas where new technology, such as artificial intelligence, can augment their program.
In parting, the panel commented on the growing contingent workforce, citing the breadth of opportunities available to contract workers and how companies need to shift their approach to engaging with them to stay competitive. Treating these workers in ways that are similar to employees could be key to building and maintaining a strong extended workforce.
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Direct Sourcing in 2021: Scoping and Executing Your Plan for Success
VectorVMS’s VP of Strategy, Taylor Ramchandani, moderated and kicked off this panel by examining how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the decision to implement a direct sourcing strategy. Like the keynote panel, these panelists discovered that the shift to remote work allowed them to focus their direct sourcing efforts in new geographies, expanding their access to quality talent.
While direct sourcing isn’t new, organizations exploring implementing a direct sourcing strategy prior to the pandemic accelerated their plans to leverage their brand in the last 18 months. Using your own organization’s brand is an effective way to reach a broader talent pool and quickly fill highly skilled positions, as well as bridge the gap between contingent and talent acquisition for a fully realized total talent strategy.
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Strategically Managing Your Staffing Partners: Best Practices to Consider With a Post-COVID Lens
Jay Grissom, VP of Account Management and Operations at VectorVMS, led an in-depth discussion about staffing needs and challenges post-COVID, and how that’s being measured and evaluated. The panel saw an increase in hiring at the start of the pandemic, which continued throughout. But a new challenge emerged—panelists started to see increased attrition of contingent workers for full-time positions outside the organization. This exposed the need to review the metrics by which they evaluate their staffing suppliers to determine how they might reduce that attrition.
The top three measures they current look at are:
- Appropriate rates for the role
- Time-to-fill, from requisition to onboarding contingent talent
- Conversion rates and retaining talent
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Throughout each of these discussions, the challenges of remote work in contingent labor led to new opportunities and talent pools for these leaders. Retaining this talent has become more crucial, leading organizations to examine the treatment of their contingent workers to reduce attrition. Having the right technology in place supports these efforts, from VMS to direct sourcing and advanced analytics to AI, managing the extended workforce continues to evolve throughout 2021 and beyond.
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