Employee Engagement

Taking the Leap

Some organizations are moving toward total talent management. What are the advantages and challenges?

By The Editors

When it comes to implementing effective workforce solutions, some organizations are following the philosophy of “consolidate, consolidate, consolidate.” This may be driven by the growing number of worker classifications in the market today, as organizations want to attract both full-time and contingent high performers while remaining compliant. A total talent approach may be the answer.

Randstad Sourceright’s President of RPO North America Dan Oakes reports that 49 percent of C-suite leaders consider integrated talent as a way to build for the future. Technology will play a role in this workforce transformation. According to Oakes:

• 52 percent of HR professionals say that the digitization of HR has benefitted their company.

• 17 percent say that the digitization of HR has been the primary factor in bringing about HR transformation.

• 31 percent of C-suite leaders have increased the use of automation and robotics in the workplace, with IT and technical jobs being the most affected.

All of this suggests that HR practitioners should consider the impact of consolidating workforce solutions for freelancers, permanent employees, and other worker classifications. Oakes says that doing so can save organizations time, money, and headaches in a job market that is increasingly diverse.

Factors such as shorter-than-average tenure, an increase in world trade (up nearly 50 percent from the year 2000), an influx of freelance talent, and automation have contributed to this shift and are reasons for using a total workforce solution instead of a compartmentalized model. Greater efficiency, lower costs, a stronger partnership with a single vendor, and easier recording as other great benefits to using a consolidated model.

Oakes also believes that HR professionals need to be proactive in responding to the shift in order to stay ahead of the curve. Specifically, he suggests:

• Building capabilities for total workforce sourcing and specific strategies for the new workforce.

• Aligning HR operations to the latest technological shifts/digitalization.

• Managing the smooth transition of a transforming workforce with long-term, strategic workforce planning, demand management, the capability of hiring new skills, and managing redundant workforces.

• Aligning partners to changing business reality and requirements.

• Treating talent like customers and using this consumer approach as a competitive differentiator.

Total workforce solutions also come with challenges. Greater negative impact if the single provider fails to deliver, a loss of personal touch in lumping all worker classifications together, and the regulatory challenges that come with a more complex system are some common concerns. Anti-trust issues become more relevant when more and more business go to fewer providers. Budgeting also becomes a concern as selecting a consolidated provider inevitably means that the budget will shift between departments within HR. However, consolidated solutions allow recruiters to focus on candidates from all worker classifications seamlessly, and the comprehensive view of the workforce also gives hiring managers greater insight into opportunities for internal mobility.

Oakes says that organizations need to consider all the pros and cons in adopting a total workforce solution. He also notes that most or all of these challenges can be overcome when organizations earn C-suite buy-in and have a partnership with a leading service provider.


SIDEBAR: Food for Thought

At the HRO Today Forum, HR leaders and change-makers discussed total workforce solutions in depth. The engaging conversations examined both the benefits and challenges to approaching talent through one partnership. When contemplating this workforce transformation, consider this peer-to-peer feedback:


  • Single point of contact
  • Greater access to talent
  • Improvements in long-term and succession planning
  • Better understanding of market data
  • Maximize value of existing talent pool
  • Ability to accommodate worker requests in terms of position, hours etc.
  • Streamline operations
  • Efficiency gains
  • Data integrity
  • Visibility of workforce
  • Strengthen brand
  • Single, consistent experience for workers
  • Easier invoicing with fewer vendors
  • Consolidated metrics and reports
  • Cost savings


  • Earning C-suite commitment to partnership solution
  • Hiring managers have less influence
  • Risk of outdated technology or constant updates
  • Slow to adapt to major change
  • Long lead time to ramp up
  • System’s ability to accurately manage employees and contractors
  • Security risks
  • Lack competitive pricing
  • Outgrow partner capabilities
Tags: Employee Engagement

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