Large contingent labor programs are becoming more and more complicated. Management of these programs has evolved greatly over the years and will continue to do so as the nature of work changes and the ways people engage in work expands beyond traditional employment. Years ago, temporary labor was something used simply to cover a maternity leave or other leave of absence of one of your staff.

Today, the issues surrounding contingent labor are far more complicated and sophisticated. Contingent workers come in many different flavors and represent a sliding scale of risk if not managed appropriately. These workers include agency temporary workers, former employees brought back for special projects, college interns, independent contractors, outsourced workers, freelancers and those that provide services remotely and often from another country. Each worker type/population represents different situations that may require management. Understanding what workers you have and where is the first part of solving the equation.

With various methods available to engage contingent work, how do you manage it? Take this real scenario: A program owner learned some engineering teams in his organization were procuring labor via online services and paying for those services with their credit card. The program owner was faced with a new challenge: explaining to the group that manages employee expenses why it was necessary to review what the company’s individual employees were claiming on expense reports. It could not have been an easy discussion.

What do others do to get their arms around growing issues such as this, when the average person you meet doesn’t even know what a contingent workforce program is? Once a year, Staffing Industry Analysts produces a set of conferences in North America to address many of the latest issues surrounding the management of contingent labor. Companies that specialize in all parts of the supply chain participate, hoping to share their latest learnings, technology or best practices.

The CWS Summit, to be held Oct. 19-20 in Dallas, is the largest event of its kind and focuses on best practices and real-world solutions for this critical component of our workforce. It is designed to provide organizations with insights into what a contingent workforce program could and should be while providing an environment to help program owners develop actionable strategies to implement and bring their programs to the next level.

Immediately following the CWS Summit, the CW Solutions Forum concentrates on cutting-edge solutions for contingent labor programs. The content in this portion of the event is delivered in workshop formats, enabling attendees to participate in developing actionable solutions as well as listening to panelists discuss relevant topics and join into roundtable discussions.

The topics covered in this year’s event include:

  • Co-employment and independent contractor compliance — back to basics
  • Big data basics and the next level of CW management
  • Seeking certainty in an uncertain world: global risk management strategies
  • Creating competitive advantage — aligning supplier performance to company goals
  • Exempt vs non-exempt — riskier than ever!

Managing the complexities of the new contingent world is not for the faint at heart. This arena is constantly evolving and requires sophisticated methodologies to optimize program performance and mitigate risk. At the same time, CW programs need to continue to provide the skills required, giving your companies a competitive advantage.