Total workforce solutions provide full visibility into the workforce, butÂ how can organizations ensure a smooth transition?
By Marta Chmielowicz
Todayâs talent ecosystem offers more options forÂ employees than ever before. From online freelancingÂ platforms to crowdsourcing efforts and traditionalÂ contract engagements, the contingent labor market isÂ experiencing a revolutionâand businesses are strugglingÂ to keep up.
âThe fact of the matter is weâre at full employment,Â and the fact that weâre in a candidate-driven marketÂ means that increasingly, employers arenât the ultimateÂ arbiters of how work gets doneâand thanks to the majorÂ evolutions weâve seen both in technology and professionalÂ preference, more of that traditional work is getting doneÂ by workers who are anything but,â says Bruce Morton,Â head of strategy at Allegis Global Solutions.
According to Ardent Partnersâ 2017-2018 State ofÂ Contingent Workforce Management study, 40 percentÂ of todayâs total global workforce is comprised of non-employeeÂ talent and that number is only expected toÂ rise. However, 68 percent of this talent is unaccounted forÂ in the average organizationâs budgeting, planning, andÂ forecasting.
Companies lack sufficient visibility into this vital segmentÂ of the workforce and it is costing them in the war forÂ talent. By continuing to approach talent managementÂ with a siloed approach where HR manages permanentÂ hires and procurement manages temporary workers andÂ independent contractors, businesses can miss out onÂ opportunities to improve ROI, embrace transparency,Â and transition into a more strategic HR function. In fact,Â Ardent Partnersâ research shows that 67 percent of best-in-class organizations prioritize active collaboration betweenÂ HR and procurement compared to only 38 percent of allÂ others.
How can companies seize these opportunities and embraceÂ the workforce of the future head-on?
One approach is to adopt a total workforce solutionÂ (TWS). TWSs combine recruitment process outsourcingÂ (RPO) and managed service program (MSP) capabilitiesÂ into one total talent strategy that provides cost savingsÂ and enables a blended approach to talent acquisition andÂ management. By harnessing a TWS to tap into existingÂ on-demand talent that fits the exact requirements of theÂ business, organizations can thrive in the world of work.
Reasons to Turn to Total Talent
According to Michael Yinger, global leader of growth andÂ strategy at PeopleScout, moving from a segmented to aÂ holistic total talent approach can provide significant costÂ savings thanks to its ability to:
- streamline the recruitment process, reducing overlapÂ between MSP and RPO functions;
- deliver insights that allow for quicker and more strategicÂ hiring decisions; and
- simplify recruitment management and reporting, savingÂ recruiters valuable time for higher-quality tasks.
âA total talent strategy provides companies with a broadÂ view of the workforce across different labor classificationsÂ and departments,â Yinger says. âThat level of visibilityÂ allows organizations to gain consolidated intelligence intoÂ their workforces and helps them evolve in the competitiveÂ talent landscape.â
But the business benefits of a TWS extend beyond costÂ savings. Randstad Sourcerightâs Senior Vice PresidentÂ of Solution Design James Stovall says that a total talentÂ approach can also help provide access to the best availableÂ talent. âMany companies are unable to quantify talentÂ quality because it is difficult to measure the impact ofÂ employees with different managers responsible forÂ completely separate talent silos,â he says. âGiven theÂ historically low availability of talent, the most compellingÂ business case for companies to pursue a total talent modelÂ is the ability to quantify talent needs and fill openingsÂ with quality talent faster.â
Shawbrook Bank and Waste Management are twoÂ companies that have embraced total workforce solutionsÂ and are already experiencing benefits. Through theirÂ total talent management programs, both companies haveÂ expanded their employer brand, increased efficiency, andÂ improved candidate experience.
âOur TWS model goes beyond simply making sureÂ Shawbrook attracts the right talent that is needs toÂ continue its growth. It has enabled the bank to becomeÂ a true talent magnet,â says Lee Shaw, head of HR serviceÂ delivery and change at the company (see By the NumbersÂ to learn about the impact of ShawbrookâsÂ TWS).
Making a Business Case
But even with these benefits, many HR professionalsÂ struggle to secure buy-in from senior leadership due toÂ the complexity of the change management process andÂ the lack of precedent and resources to assist with theÂ transition. A good place to start is by building a businessÂ case that addresses key organizational challenges.Â âOvercoming organizational inertia starts withÂ understanding your companyâs strategic goals andÂ determining how to tailor your talent strategy to achieveÂ those objectives,â Yinger says.
In the case of Waste Management, the key strategicÂ goals were to deploy talent faster and provide aÂ positive employee and customer experience. âWe wereÂ really looking at how to get people deployed quicker,Â recognizing that as positions open or stay open waiting toÂ be filled, that impacts our customersâ experience as well asÂ the experience of our employees who are trying to fill thatÂ gap,â says Lon Harvey, director of Waste ManagementâsÂ contingent labor program. âSo, itâs important for us as aÂ customer-focused organization to support the customerÂ experience and having a fully staffed organization is veryÂ critical to making that happen.â
The Waste Management team looked to leverage newÂ technology to deliver a highly digitized, transparent,Â and cohesive total talent solution that offers all typesÂ of candidates continuity across platforms and presentsÂ them with a broader view of possible opportunities. ByÂ evaluating the experience and needs of their candidates,Â Waste Management built a business case for their talentÂ technology investments.
For Shawbrook Bank, its approach focused on creating aÂ talent acquisition strategy that encourages growth andÂ addresses resourcing challenges. The organization builtÂ its business case by demonstrating how a TWS can reduceÂ external supplier costs and improve employer brand.
âThe argument Shawbrook made to secure buy-in fromÂ key stakeholders was the urgent need to reduce high-costÂ agency reliance through increasing direct hire andÂ referrals, which previously sat at 14 percent,â ShawÂ says. âIn deploying a single provider and having oneÂ consultative point of contact for hiring managers to accessÂ for any type of resourceâpermanent, executive search,Â temp, contractor, early talent, fixed termâwe couldÂ maintain cost control while delivering a consistently strongÂ talent acquisition experience, both for hiring managersÂ and for candidates.â
Yinger says that itâs important for organizations toÂ establish a baseline that delineates their actual laborÂ costs for every type of employee as well as the currentÂ procedures for determining how labor classifications areÂ made. âBy evaluating the current workforce mix andÂ costs, leaders can understand cost discrepancies throughÂ different functions of the organization. For example, anÂ organization may discover it has long-term contractorsÂ with bill rates that are double the cost of a permanentÂ hire,â he explains.
According to Seb OâConnell, executive vice presidentÂ and managing director of Europe and APAC at Cielo, thisÂ evaluation should include the following metrics:
- total spend;
- total number of hires;
- source of hire;
- number of open requisitions;
- time to hire;
- quality of hire;
- hiring manager satisfaction; and
- candidate satisfaction by employee engagement type.
By bridging existing silos and consolidating all availableÂ labor data into one resource, HR professionals will beÂ better equipped to evaluate the amount of overlap in theÂ workforce mix, which Randstad Sourcerightâs Stovall saysÂ is key. âThe question is: Will an integrated approach giveÂ you a competitive advantage? To find out, I typically lookÂ to see if the categories of talent sought from full-time andÂ contingent overlap, because the greater the overlap, theÂ greater the benefits,â he says.
Ensuring a Smooth Transition
Organizations that gain the support of their seniorÂ leadership in transitioning to a TWS still face a majorÂ obstacleâimplementation. Merging two segmentedÂ talent sourcing models comes with a unique set ofÂ challenges, including integrating separate process andÂ data systems.
âOften, traditional employees, whether exempt or nonexempt,Â have everything from their job applications toÂ their performance reviews to their core HR data housedÂ in completely separate databases or systems than theirÂ contingent counterpartsâeven those doing essentiallyÂ the same job function. And, of course, those systemsÂ arenât always designed to talk to each other or provide theÂ kind of consolidated reporting and holistic look into anÂ organizationâs total talent picture and thatâs the impetusÂ of a TWS implementation in the first place,â says AllegisâÂ Morton.
For Waste Management, the solution to the integrationÂ equation was technology. According to Harvey, theÂ companyâs journey toward a total talent strategy startedÂ with finding the right technology and analyzing how itÂ would alter service delivery.
âThe big driver here is technology,â he explains. âThatâsÂ going to create some big changes in the services map inÂ terms of how we provide services to our client managers asÂ well as our candidates, so we really worked to understandÂ and map out how those changes were going to happen.Â Why would we keep the same service delivery channelsÂ and processes if weâre able to leverage technology andÂ this road map for TWS to do work better? So, planningÂ how weâre going to operate internally in talent functionsÂ to best leverage the technology platform and bring theseÂ together was a big part of the process.â
By building change plans early and committing to theÂ goal of providing a singular application experience, WasteÂ Management was able to facilitate a smooth transition toÂ a new system while maintaining a high-quality candidateÂ experience that strengthens their brand.
In addition to considering the impact on service delivery,Â organizations should leverage data to plan the perfectÂ workforce mix for maximum cost savings.
âIn America, the average employeeâs benefits and indirectÂ compensation clocks in at about two thirds of their totalÂ salary, meaning that weâre already paying a premium ofÂ 67 percent for full-time employees, plus thereâs all theÂ associated compliance and legal risks associated with theÂ traditional employment model,â says Morton. âWhatÂ company wouldnât want to figure out how to get the sameÂ skills and capabilities without the associated risks and costsÂ if they could? This is why measuring worker lifetime valueÂ is so important.â
Morton says that if organizations utilize worker lifetimeÂ value metrics, they can evaluate which types of workersÂ are going to get the work done to a high quality standardÂ and at a good value to the company. They can then useÂ those guidelines to tailor their total talent strategy forÂ greater efficiency.
The Keys to Communication
But even with a perfectly designed transition plan, theÂ switch to a TWS can be wrought with manager anxiety andÂ resistance to change.
âIn practice, the TWS model is highly effective and efficient,Â but gaining hiring manager buy-in to a single solutionÂ needs to be managed carefully as the concept of change orÂ loss of control is extremely emotive,â OâConnell says.
Consistent and transparent communication can go a longÂ way. Harvey recommends that managers proactivelyÂ work to quell any fears. âWeâre really managing theÂ change process to be intentional about what changes areÂ happening when so that there is an organic flow throughÂ getting from legacy state to target state,â he explains. âAÂ big aspect of this is understanding the human element ofÂ our stakeholders. Weâre talking a lot about technology inÂ our organization, but we have to continue to rememberÂ weâre dealing with people at the end of the day, soÂ how do we continue to support them while buildingÂ expectations, creating transparency, and reducing fear asÂ we go?â
According to Harvey, a three-tier approach toÂ communication that goes from large to smaller andÂ smallest is most effective:
- First, organizations must explain the broad benefits ofÂ the TWS to the business in relation to the marketplace asÂ a whole.
- Next, they should communicate the benefits onÂ the company level, touching on things like customerÂ experience, talent deployment, and cost savings.
- Finally, HR professionals can discuss the impact on talentÂ advisors and managers themselves, communicating theÂ ways that their day-to-day responsibilities will change.
Considering manager feedback when designing theÂ transition process also makes a big difference, says Shaw.Â âCielo undertook several âvoice of the customerâ sessionsÂ to really listen to our hiring managers and understandÂ their specific challenges and nuances. Only then wereÂ our âto-beâ processes designed through the lens of theÂ experiences of the hiring manager and the candidate, andÂ this worked really well.â
This approach allowed Shawbrook Bank and their partnerÂ to gain credibility and trust from their employees, whichÂ was further cemented by consistent and culturally-alignedÂ communications from both organizations.
The key takeaway for a TWS success? âDesign through theÂ lens of the stakeholders, hiring managers, and candidatesÂ so that you create a consistent, best-in-class experienceÂ (regardless of contractual engagement) that resonatesÂ with your brand and culture,â Cieloâs OâConnell says.Â âRemember that the transition does not stop at the go-liveÂ dateâthis is an opportunity to develop a talent strategyÂ road map fully aligned to business objectives.â
LEARN MORE[metaslider id=12258]