By Brian Salkowski, COO of global MSP, Guidant Global
There is no doubt corporate managers are facing a tough time at the moment as the deep economic impact of Covid-19 ripples across the globe. However, there are ways to best weather this storm – and many leading organizations have found success in the implementation of strategies to streamline suppliers and resources. However, this activity should include utilising the talent at your disposal wisely.
For many businesses, the completion of a thorough audit and inventory of the available skills across the enterprise has been an organizational objective, or at least on the radar. The current pandemic has certainly pushed this effort high up the agenda as more employers face a mix of budget cuts and talent shortages and more staff are unable to work for numerous reasons.
This is not to say that every business has mastered the art of accurate resource management, and there is inevitably room for improvement. Yet, the establishment of a workforce plan that tracks and reallocates full-time employees is arguably much easier to achieve than a similar plan for the contingent workforce.
Managing this fluid segment of a business can be hugely complex. With multiple stakeholders involved across the supply chain and a high chance that resources will be spread out across the globe, enterprises can struggle to have complete oversight of the true skills that exist across the organization.
Complete visibility is now more important to achieve than ever before.
A need for complete transparency
There are numerous figures that have been thrown around the business arena as to how much a new hire costs. While this will vary when recruiting contingent staff, the fact remains that it will cost money to initially engage each individual, despite the short-term nature of many of the projects.
Organizations will want to get the best value for their investment, especially when factoring the time and money spent on-boarding contingent workers. Training comprises an additional expense as contingent staff often require similar work and safety training as full-time employees. In fact, according to the 2019 Training Industry Report, small companies spent, on average, more than $1,500 per employee on training in 2019.
Given this investment, companies are loathed to part ways with a potentially highly valuable resource when redeployment opportunities requiring comparable skill-sets are available elsewhere within the business. Unfortunately, this is often the case due to misaligned talent strategies. When multiple suppliers are being utilised to source workers, some parts of an organisation may simply be unaware of what is occurring in others, and huge opportunities can be missed as a result.
If a worker can be redeployed elsewhere, the company will save on the attraction and on-boarding costs to hire the individual and benefit further by leveraging a resource already embedded in the business and its culture.
In fact, when streamlining budgets, the simplest solutions can have often the greatest impact. In this case, available processes and technologies can ensure there is complete transparency across the entire talent pipeline – delivering real value for money.
A future proof strategy
Crucially, we cannot overlook the fact that reliance on a contingent workforce is growing, and the current pandemic is certainly set to accelerate the development of truly fluid businesses. People now widely accept that efficiency can be achieved without set work locations and times. Most workplace experts are predicting a new, ‘better’ normal where flexibility is key, where contingent and gig workers will play a vital role.
In this landscape, employers need a future-proof set-up that allows for continued transparency, a consistent supply of talent, and efficient redeployment of resources.
Technology plays a fundamental role in the successful achievement of a true enterprise resource plan. Businesses need accurate information to successfully manage a flexible workforce and an active database and enabling platform that captures contingent engagements, role types, skills, deliverables and periods of performance in order to prevent anyone from slipping through the net (and off to a competitor).
In isolation, even the right technology will not deliver full business transparency; collaboration is required, and, for that, you need people. Partnership with a managed service provider (MSP), who brings people expertise through processes, communication and data analysis, will enable organizations to obtain maximum value from their ‘extended’ workforce.
The future is always uncertain, but, as organizations evaluate tactics to better manage budgets, attract and retain talent, and position for future growth, redeployment strategies for contingent resources can have a real impact. Organizations will be well-served to address this critical resource area sooner rather than later against the backdrop of a complex and constantly evolving environment.