Creating a Best-in-Class Contingent Labor Program

Posted by Alicia Morris

In order to remain agile in today’s evolving insurance landscape, many organizations are increasing their use of contingent workers, leveraging interim talent on an as-needed basis. In fact, a recent McKinsey study found 70% of executives plan to employ more onsite contract workers in the next two years. Research from Gartner further supports this growth, sharing that employers plan to increase their use of interim employees following the pandemic, both as a cost-saving measure and to maintain flexibility.

Creating a Best-in-Class Contingent Labor Program-blog-01As organizations build flexible teams of talent and harness opportunities garnered from a hybrid workforce, a centralized contingent labor program offers increased visibility, control over spend and greater hiring manager satisfaction, among many other benefits. If you are considering streamlining your human capital solutions, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your current partnerships, what you’re trying to achieve and how you can best work toward those goals. Here are five key areas to explore as you develop a best-in-class contingent labor program:

Creating a Best-in-Class Contingent Labor Program-blog-04Understand your current state.
Before embarking on any new program, it’s important to examine the current state of your organization. Understand which departments are currently leveraging interim workers and review the specifics around those arrangements. Gain a clear understanding of the suppliers currently being used, as well as their compliance measures, background check procedures, rate and contract structures, and more. Gather as many internal data points as possible to provide a benchmark as you move forward.Creating a Best-in-Class Contingent Labor Program-blog-03

Creating a Best-in-Class Contingent Labor Program-blog-05Define success.
Following your data collection phase, you should have a clearer understanding of gaps and inconsistencies within existing supplier relationships. Now, you can define what you are looking to achieve from a centralized program. All organizations will have slightly different goals and priorities. Determine what success looks like for your organization and use this information to drive your strategy. These improvements could include developing a more streamlined process, increasing the quality of your hires, lowering overall costs or other areas of improvement.

Creating a Best-in-Class Contingent Labor Program-blog-06Identify key stakeholders.
It’s likely several individuals will be affected by a move to a more centralized process. Identify key stakeholders and gain internal buy in by educating them on the value of a more formal process. This typically includes higher quality resources, best-in-class service, competitive rates and enhanced compliance; all of which will positively impact their departments and work. In a centralized program, suppliers are able to better understand hiring managers’ needs, more easily provide qualified candidates who are the right fit for a specific role and more effectively onboard these new individuals. Additionally, rather than providing credentials to numerous organizations and independent contractors, your organization will have more control over who is accessing your systems.

Creating a Best-in-Class Contingent Labor Program-blog-02

Creating a Best-in-Class Contingent Labor Program-blog-07Ensure you’re set up for success.
As you move forward with implementing a centralized contingent labor program, consider your current workforce and the processes, vendors and technology you may need to be most efficient. For instance, the right staffing firm should understand the industry and your organization’s unique goals and needs. Additionally, tools such as a vendor management system, human capital management software, vendor relationship management software or others may also be valuable, depending on the maturity and size of your program. Tapping into these technologies and understanding how to best use them can augment and support your program.

Creating a Best-in-Class Contingent Labor Program-blog-08Continually evaluate and improve.
With any business strategy, it’s important to periodically assess your progress and have a clear path toward your goals. Determine what is most important to evaluate and when you will formally review your progress. Along with these checkpoints, continually seek feedback from stakeholders and partners. As your program matures, your technologies and other requirements may change; it’s important to keep an ongoing pulse on these needs.

The demand for contingent workers is only growing. Contingent workforces grant the flexibility and agility to take on new projects and quickly respond to changing business needs. By moving toward a centralized model, insurers are able to gain more control and visibility into their programs, while gaining access to quality talent.