The world of procurement has gone through a massive transformation over the past few years, fueled in large part by the rise of a contingent workforce. Employers, human resource leaders and hiring managers are increasingly looking for freelancers and temporary workers to fill job positions, and a growing number of professionals are looking for contract work rather than full-time employment. For procurement program managers, this is good news. The on-demand gig economy has created an expansive pool of talent that makes it easier for companies to access top performers. However, the key to capitalizing on this opportunity to gain a competitive advantage lies in staffing agencies.
Evolution of economy influencing job market
It is important to note that temporary or contract hires are no longer just a patchwork solution for businesses to use when they need to quickly fill a position. This is because a growing number of professionals are choosing to leverage the gig economy, not just as a means to extra income, but as their main source of employment. According to Intuit Inc., over the past 25 years the contingent workforce in America has increased 19 percent and is expected to grow to 43 percent over the next four years. Furthermore, by 2020, the number of regular, on-demand workers is forecast to reach 7.6 million.
“HR and procurement professionals must adapt recruitment strategies to fit needs of contingent workforce.”
Because the on-demand labor market is experiencing such rapid growth, the quality of available talent is improving and creating a contingent workforce environment that is beneficial not just for job seekers, but for employers and procurement professionals as well. However, because this shift is just starting to gain significant traction, many companies are still trying to figure out how to adapt their traditional recruitment strategies to be more appropriate for the new landscape of on-demand talent acquisition. Not only can it be challenging to identify, attract and retain contingent workers, but it can also be time-consuming and costly to try and handle the countless logistics involved in the process. And this is where staffing specialists are beneficial.
When it comes to filling a temporary position or contract job, HR departments are typically looking for a very distinct and particular skill set. There is a specific, ideal type of candidate being sought, so it is important to have a streamlined channel to access such talent. Their primary focus is often on finding the applicants most suited for the job and, while this is certainly a priority for procurement managers, they also have a responsibility to achieve cost-savings and enhanced quality. This slight variation can lead to discrepancies, confusion and miscommunication, as well make the process of recruiting and hiring longer than necessary and ultimately inefficient.
Leveraging staffing vendors for top temporary talent
Staffing consultants can help increase the effectiveness of recruitment initiatives by taking a comprehensive and cohesive view of the organization and its needs. These providers possess in-depth knowledge and experience on both sides of the hiring process, which allows them to connect the candidates who are not only most qualified for the position but who are also most likely to blend with the culture of the company.
Perhaps more importantly, though, is the familiarity consultants have working with contingent workers. They are able to take the time to understand the various and specific needs of these candidates in a way that HR leaders and procurement professionals often aren’t able to. Plus, they generally have a firmer grasp on the array of legal and compliance issues involved in these types of employment, reducing the amount potential regulation risks plaguing procurement managers. This is crucial because, as Andrew Lutz, co-founder of PRO Unlimited recently pointed out in an interview with Spend Matters, “There are a myriad of regulations that companies need to understand and navigate to avoid any type of misclassification while addressing specific labor laws worldwide. Specifically, within the U.S., the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and labor attorneys are carefully watching how the contingent workforce is treated.”
Rounding out the top reasons employers in the gig economy should leverage staffing service providers is that they are able to reach ideal candidates in a more personalized, targeted and effective manner. The on-demand workforce has changed how jobseekers look for employment, as well as what they look for. With a growing number of positions for contract or temporary work opening up, freelancers and contingent professionals have more opportunities available to them. As a result, they can be more selective in the jobs they choose to take, making it increasingly important for companies to refine their brand identity and position themselves as an appealing organization to work for. Staffing agencies can help ensure that the firm’s recruitment message is not only in-line with what the target candidates are most likely to respond to, but also placed in the areas they will be seen the most.
By working with experienced staffing suppliers, procurement professionals can significantly enhance the quality of talent acquisition strategies while simultaneously reducing the costs associated with the recruitment and hiring process.