Access to quality talent is the No. 1 problem for contingent workforce programs today, as it has been for many a year, and it doesn’t look to become less important any time in the future. The first question is: What does quality talent look like? For managers using a managed service program, there will be a predictable sigh of cynicism when program metrics to show key performance indicators and service level agreements are produced to show time to hire, rate card adherence, etc. In short, they are skeptical of a lot of data intended to demonstrate quality in the program or quality in the talent sourced by the program. Can it be believed? And can it be compared with peer programs?

A new story, with new products is needed to deliver a new permission to answer with quantitative certainty that big question: “Exactly how is my CW program doing?” To help answer this, Staffing Industry Analysts has partnered with Brightfield Strategies to support the launch of the Talent Data Exchange (TDX).  A membership-based data aggregation and analytics service, TDX enables companies to compute the cost of nonemployee labor and test the validity of blended, global workforce strategies.

The TDX represents a significant investment in the industry and aims to provide more and better talent data sources and data points and meet the demands of an ever changing world of contingent workforce management.

The fact is, data warehouses populated with single CW program datasets may have been acceptable yesterday. Not today. Programs have matured and outgrown the usefulness of such resulting metrics. Now, programs are searching for aggregate labor market data, indicators on compliance complexity, assessing the supply ecosystem and learning more about their own talent sensitivity (e.g. what is more important? Fast, cheap or perfect?).

With hiring managers no longer in a position of power over talent, the imperative is to gain power over talent data, to source workers while assessing verifiable data on market dynamics and benchmarks for talent acquisition processes. CW programs that can answer two basic evaluation questions — “How much should I pay for this role in this location?” and “How does what we are paying for these existing roles in these locations compare with the aggregate labor market?” — will make great steps forward in program capability.

TDX will help answer these questions and more. Among other things, it enables companies to compute the cost of non-employee labor, review true market level statistical analysis about program performance and test the validity of workforce strategies precisely and anonymously.