Talent University

Contingent work

The process of managing temporary, contract, interim, seasonal, and other contingent workers is highly inefficient. AI can change this.

Contingent work

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  • How AI changes the process of managing temporary, contract, interim, seasonal, and other contingent workers
  • How to maintain a part-time, contract, or flexible workforce
  • Using skills to find the right person based on the AI

According to ADP, about one in six workers in organizations is a worker doing contract, temporary, gig, seasonal, or other contingent work.

There are tremendous advantages of using contingent workers for business as technology and the economy has changed how organizations compete.

Companies can hire people who have expertise in a given technology, expertise they may not need in five years. Businesses can be more agile in adding contract workers as demand increases, or reducing them during recessions.

Contingent workers are often very skilled. They’re not marginal, extra, or less important to a company’s workforce than more regular full-time employees.

Despite all this, many companies don’t put the same time and effort into managing contingent workers, even if they represent half of their workforce! They’re managed as resources, rather than as employees. Not only is it not the right way to treat people, but it’s not ideal for businesses for either cost or flexibility reasons.

The current external workforce hiring process works much like an assembly line. Requisitions are created. Job descriptions are developed. Supply agencies are notified. Resumes are submitted. Screening is done. Hiring is complete. The same cycle is repeated. Individual workers are forgotten when the job is complete.

Instead of investing in the relationship, organizations hit the reset button once a job is complete. They’re wiping out a key part of their talent networks. They’re forgetting about an expert and an ambassador for their company.

Organizations should be nurturing their external talent network, especially if they have skills that are crucial to the company’s future. In addition to preserving this expertise within the talent network, the business case that can be delivered by re-engaging contingent workers is huge. It could mean at least a 40–60 percent drop in both hiring costs and hiring time.

A Talent Intelligence Platform offers a different way to manage a contingent workforce.

Companies can maintain a network of their part-time, contract, or flexible workforce. They can match the skills they need for a contract job with the contractors who can fill it, and find the right person based on the AI.

Instead of losing track of people who did contingent work a month or a year ago, a company can bring them back. In a Talent Intelligence Platform, that contingent worker is part of the company’s Talent Network. A company can use that Talent Network to have a full-time employee take a contingent gig, or it can search their contingent-work network for someone to convert to full-time status.

The important thing here is artificial intelligence. Doing a keyword search of a database of potential contingent workers is of limited value. What’s really powerful is that a company can use a large network of potential candidates, and layer on AI. Talent professionals can see what people’s skills are likely to be, even if they didn’t directly mention them on their resumes. A company can know just by the fact that a candidate worked five years at Amazon or Caterpillar, in a certain department, with a certain title, what skills they’re likely to have, both hard and soft skills. This is a powerful aspect of AI and one that will pay dividends over and over.

A Talent Intelligence Platform can finally erase the challenges of contingent workforce management we talked about. It allows you to re-engage successful contingent workers, rather than lose them. It rounds out their profiles automatically, giving you visibility as to what people have done since their last stint at your company. Lastly, it takes back control of your contingent worker management, much more intelligently managing this valuable source of talent rather than having the relationship with the people doing work for your enterprise totally in the hands of outside vendors.

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