Moving from a Decentralized to a Centralized Contingent Workforce Management Program

“My business is special”,  “I do not have the resources to manage another program”,  “This is not a priority”

However your risks and spend are uncontrollable and there is little visibility into the talent that is being utilized by the organization.

There are many types of contingent workforce management programs all of which require some level of program oversight and have fulfillment in mind.  However today, as more companies are doing more with less, I am beginning to see concerns rise between HR and Procurement around WHO owns such a program and  when it becomes centralized?   The reality is when a program is fragmented, there tends to be more work peppered over many people, yet ownership accountability may vary by labor category or type.

Below is a snapshot of a recommended approach towards centralizing a contingent workforce program. The outcome of this process will help determine the type(s) of programs that all stakeholders will feel comfortable supporting.

Program Charter/ Stakeholder Analysis: Mission, Vision of the program. Who are the stakeholders? What do you want this program to help you accomplish? What types of labor categories?

Business Case / Assessments:   Does this financially make sense?  Would it help us better manage risk? How? What is the risk of not doing it? What infrastructure / technology(ies) are in place to manage these labor categories?  What does the current state look like?

Policies and Standard Operating Procedures: What policies are in place around suppliers, contingent workforce management, spend, professional services, expense reimbursements? Are they interpreted the same way across the enterprise? How and where does it vary?  What are the gaps?

Recommendations: Based upon current state, what are the immediate and long term recommendations? What type of program oversight will help accomplish the short and long term desired outcomes? What is the level of change management?  Do you wish to outsource or in-source?

To Be State: This is the design of the policies, processes and desired practices. It is also the decision point around what you wish to outsource? This will determine the risks and the level of change management required.

Next Steps: I have conveniently left this blank because there are many decisions that must be made first.  In some cases the project may end due to organizational roadblocks.  In other cases you may desire to do things simply – just to begin to get your arms around the risks or costs associated with the program.  The final option is supporting the need for 1 contingent workforce management program or MSP.

Depending upon the culture – some of this exercise we do recommend bringing in a third party for neutrality purposes.  The neutral third party can begin to dig deeper around the concerns and roadblocks with centralizing and building a comprehensive program.

I hope this helps those organizations that are beginning their journey towards centralization and determining their next steps towards a total workforce management program.

Tracey Friend,

Contingent Workforce Strategists


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