Last week, my colleague wrote about getting HR involved in managing the contingent workforce. She shared some rebuttals to common arguments used by HR for staying out of the process. Once you have convinced HR to participate, here’s how you can work together.

Open positions. Candidates from direct-hire sources and those from contingent sources may be perfect for positions in each other’s camp, so share information with one another. This is an easy way to start working together to win the battle for talent. This has been discussed for years and many have done a great job working this way, but because the two disparate systems typically used by HR and procurement don’t easily communicate (applicant tracking systems for HR and vendor management systems for procurement), it has not been fully adopted. Don’t let these systems get in the way of moving forward.

Statistics. Consider sharing statistics and learning which statistics make sense for each group. You may learn that you can shorten your time to hire on the direct side by following some of the basic principles and processes that are followed on the contingent side. Take, for example, data analytics like Brightfield’s TDX to find out where certain skills are available, the average cost and how long by geography it takes to hire them. Having this information across both contingent and direct hiring recruitment groups makes sense and enables each group to provide information for workforce planning.

Engagement expertise. HR pays more attention and concern to employee engagement than seems to be prevalent with nonemployee contingent labor. But contingent workers are no less important to keep engaged in your company. When engaged appropriately, they can go from project to project within your company, instead of taking all the knowledge they gained from your company to another — maybe even a competitor. The time is ripe for monitoring worker engagement regardless of employee status. The happy worker also is more likely to refer friends, which will help you win yet another battle in the war.

There are several small ways to partner with your counterpart in HR. Working together begins to look more like total talent management, even though the two groups are still operating independently. If your goal is to move toward a recruitment strategy that is centralized under one organization, partnering in small ways such as the examples above are good ways to test the water and expose gaping holes that could derail your strategy. If you have no intention to centralize recruitment, procurement and HR still can learn from the one another and the company can benefit from sharing jobs/requisitions and candidates to get the best talent and get closer than others at winning the war for talent.