Staffing Industry Analysts’ CWS Summit and Collaboration in the Gig Economy conferences, held earlier this month in San Diego, provided a power-packed week. Themes running through the events included new sources of talent, changing legislation and regulations, strategy, and workforce management.

Here are a few key takeaways noted by SIA.

Price for results. Programs often lose sight of the negative impact cost savings strategies can have on efficiency and quality. So challenge conventional wisdom by going beyond price and examining the positive and/or negative impact policies and procedures can have on results. Think beyond the staple CW program cost-saving levers such as mark-up control, strict cost-savings service-level agreements with remedies and discount strategies.

Quantify cost of turnover. Don’t accept turnover as a given with no real plan for reducing or eliminating it. While all industry players feel like turnover is costly and disruptive, it’s a struggle to quantify the true cost for turnover. Three major components can help buyer organizations determine the cost of turnover and push them to review their existing policies, procedures and overall approach to reduce turnover: training cost, assimilation to productivity, and expected length of assignment.

Tactical to strategic. Program managers must specifically define what “strategic” value means in their organization that can be delivered by a CW program; have the infrastructure in place; and have developed multiple classifications and CW talent sourcing options to create solutions that meet the engagement manager’s contingent workforce requirements.

Talent management platforms are in. VMS systems are no longer just for managing vendors. The new generation of technology doesn’t fit in the same box as its predecessor. It’s time to rebrand the technology applications that have traditionally been planted in our contingent labor programs to manage our supplier transactions. Start thinking about the enabling technology as a talent management platform.

Power in the crowd. While it is not a new concept, crowdsourcing has the potential to be re-energized with companies starting to better understand the value of direct sourcing. The platforms and service providers have fueled this revival with substantial advances in the technology platforms that connect companies with the right solutions through contests and awards.

Recruiter power shift. As Robotic Process Automation and AI transform the recruitment process, the focus shifts to recruiters building relationships and being agents for the talent.  We may start to see recruiters more aligned with talent rather than with companies.

Don’t forget the contingent worker. The talent demand does not look to be letting up; focusing on the candidate engagement before, during and after an assignment is now critical. Having relationships and procedures in place with your staffing partners and your internally direct-sourced talent is a must.

A new world. Workforce solutions programs will look completely different tomorrow, as they become more talent-focused rather than cost-focused. Worker communities will also play a larger role than ever before. To stay ahead of the curve,  collaboration along all aspects of the supply chain will be important.