How to Get the Most Out of Your Contingent Workforce
32% of businesses are replacing or complementing existing workforces with contingent workers, according to a Gartner report during the pandemic.
And that number is growing. Intuit has reported that 80% of organizations are planning to increase their reliance on the contingent workforce in the coming years. Why?
Well that answer depends on many factors, but the most often cited are:
- Highly skilled and qualified workers
- Typically cost less than a full-time W2 worker
- Bring new perspectives to the group
- Provide more flexibility and agility
- Faster onboarding time until the worker is fully productive
- Increased speed to service clients
Because of these and many other reasons, you may be, or already have started, tapping into this resource and want to ensure you get the most out of your investment.
4 Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Contingent Workforce
One common mistake businesses make when starting out on their contingent workforce strategy is assuming that you would manage the contingent workers the same way you would a W-2 employee. Doing so can open the door to many different complications from compliance issues to communication and talent retention. To get the most out of your workforce, you need to start off on the right foot. Here are 4 things to take a look at first.
- Assess Use. This might seem basic, but knowing how and why you are looking to a contingent worker to fill your business needs goes hand in hand with assessing the outcome. Looking at the full picture of how the worker would fit in with your existing team, how they would interact, who would be the main point of contact, what tasks you plan to assign is crucial to getting the most out of your worker.
- Retain Contingent Workers. Freelancers are not employees. Therefore they go into this knowing that certain benefits are not a part of the package. Most contingent workers go into contract work for the flexibility and autonomy it gives them to decide when, where, and how they work the best. And many are in high demand because of the high-quality work they produce and once you find a good one, you will want to make sure you are at the top of their list of businesses to partner with again. There are a few ways you can do this:
- The most important thing to retaining a contingent worker is to pay them on time. Nothing sours a relationship with one by making them track down the payment for their efforts. And the more complicated the process is to move a contingent worker’s invoice to pay the more chances there will be a delay.
- Secondly, frequent communication is crucial. Failure to provide regular insight and check in with your contingent worker and their progress can not only lead to a delay in the project with the contingent worker not having all the information needed or the option to clarify, but it can lead to frustration for the worker and make them question why they are even working on your project. You want them to feel as much a part of the team and the project as if they were a full-time employee.
- Optimize the process. The process of recruiting, onboarding, and then retaining your contingent workers won’t be perfect from the get-go, but that’s to be expected. The important thing is that you don’t continue to do things that hinder the process of completing the project. So you will need to frequently assess your current process and see where you can optimize things, such as gathering W9’s, confirming certifications, sending 1099-MISC forms, accurately reporting spend to internal and external sources who may need to know them. If something isn’t working well, you can quickly identify the cog in the wheel and try something new. Additionally, enhancing your speed to service clients can benefit your bottom line as well as keep your valued customers happy.
- Deploy the right technology to manage and record the performance of your contingent workers. If you have employees, chances are you have a human resources management (HRM) solution that helps you keep track of the vital information you need on your employees and to ensure they get paid and have the benefits they are offered. Most of us wouldn’t hesitate at finding a technology to help us streamline what can be a highly complex process. The same can be said for managing contingent workers. The traditional HRM would not work well for keeping track of the two very different workgroups. Another strategy many deploy is to manage their contingent workers through spreadsheets. While this is possible, it is not the most efficient way to do so and can lead to multiple errors and increased processing time. Having all certification, tax information, payment information, pay rate, and more all in one area and input from one screen can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to bring a new contingent worker on board and pay on the completion of the project. We go into more detail in our blog “Just Say No to Spreadsheets,” but here are 4 reasons why technology is the best way to efficiently manage your contingent workforce:
- Identify your talent and create an account.
- Verify your data.
- Engage with your worker.
- Manage, pay, and rate their worker profile.
Manage All Your Contingent Worker Workflows... From One DashboardUsing several different programs to manage your contingent workforce, what we call the “Swivel Chair Effect,” works - but is it truly the most efficient means of getting the task completed? We recently spoke with ClearVision AV, a supplier of audio-visual services across the country, who was using a combination of an invoicing program, word work orders, and spreadsheets to maintain their labor cloud and dispatch information. By moving to WorkMarket’s Freelance Management System, ClearVision was able to reduce their time to dispatch from hours to minutes, enabling significant growth into tertiary markets that were previously unobtainable for them. Are you ready to get the most out of your contingent workforce? Start now.