An Introduction to Total Talent Management: Including Your Contingent Workforce

This article has been adapted from a recent ebook ‘4 Steps to Incorporate Your Contingent Workforce Program Into Your Total Talent Strategy’. The ebook explores talent management methods, finding new talent, gathering data, and how to bring it all together. But let’s begin with an introduction to total talent management.

There’s one thing that all companies have in common—a reliance on human capital to accomplish any mission. How they attract and employ those individuals varies.

For organizations that utilize both full-time employees as well as contingent labor, implementing a total talent strategy is necessary for a cohesive and efficient workforce. In this guide, we highlight what total talent management is, why it’s beneficial, and how to get it done.

What Is Total Talent Management?

Total Talent Management (or TTM) combines permanent and contingent talent in one connected approach to talent management. This can include independent contractors, temporary, and gig-type workers, as well as full-time and part-time employees.

Total talent strategies can be broken down into two key parts: attraction and management. For either component to be successful, you must have a clear understanding of what type of talent you have in your workforce. This can include:

Permanent Talent

  • Full-time employees – whether salaried or paid hourly
  • Part-time employees – including interns

Contingent Talent

  • Temporary employees – to fill short-term talent gaps
  • Independent contractors – individual companies performing specific tasks
  • Freelance workers – hired on a limited per-project basis

Total Talent Trends

There’s growing interest in total talent management. A 2019 survey by Staffing Industry Analysts found that 58% of respondents planned to implement a total talent management strategy within the following two years.

RELATED READING | 4 Steps to Building a Talent Ecosystem

Some of the reasons these companies plan to implement total talent include:

  • 69% control labor costs
  • 61% measure various talent types
  • 61% skill shortages
  • 60% risk mitigation

However, it’s not without some barriers to entry:

  • 75% organizational silos
  • 46% lack of data
  • 39% lack compelling business case

According to the 2021 Deloitte Human Capital Trends report, HR will need to take the lead in re-architecting work across the enterprise—a significant shift from standardizing and enforcing policies. They’ll need to address these barriers alongside procurement to achieve a total talent strategy that will enable workforce agility, control labor costs, mitigate risks, and address skills gaps.

FURTHER READING TO DOWNLOAD | 5 Management Tips to Unify Your Total Workforce

Determining Your Company’s Labor Make-Up

To implement a total talent strategy, you need to understand your current workforce landscape. How many permanent employees does your company have? Does your company utilize independent contractors, SOW, freelancers, or temps? How much of your workforce is composed of each of these types?

Once you have your workforce analyzed, you can begin to devise a strategy for managing your total workforce.


A total talent strategy that incorporates the extended workforce can provide organizations with highly sought-after agility to build a future-proof foundation. And while there are a lot of pieces to consider, there are plenty of experts out there who can help ensure your success.

This article was adapted from a recent ebook ‘4 Steps to Incorporate Your Contingent Workforce Program Into Your Total Talent Strategy’. Download your copy now.



Meet the Expert
Nikki Williams – Marketing Brand Manager

Nikki Williams is responsible for marketing strategy and implementation for VectorVMS. In her role, she helps contingent workforce professionals discover the value of a vendor management solutions through blogs, webinars, conferences, and more. Her goal is to ensure these professionals can quickly find answers to their questions about VMS technology. Nikki has more than 10 years of experience as a marketing professional for technology, including human resources technologies as well as leadership and organizational development services. Connect with her on LinkedIn.