2020 brought significant change to contingent workforce management. SIA strives to provide actionable insight to enable you to run your program efficiently and effectively. As we near the end of the year, we look back at the most popular insight articles from our advisory team.

1. The year started with the US Department of Labor on Jan. 12 announcing a final rule revising and updating its regulations interpreting joint employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA — the first update to this guidance in more than 60 years. Fiona Coombe,  director of legal and regulatory research, discussed the implications in “Behind the DOL’s updated joint-employer guidance.”

2. The impending IR35 off-payroll working rules (since delayed until April 2021 due to the pandemic) had SIA’s analysts having numerous discussions with procurement, HR and talent acquisition leaders around the topic of worker types. Realizing companies were using too many categories, Peter Reagan, senior director of contingent workforce strategies and research, explained the three categories into which contingent workers should fall in “Worker engagement: Only three primary types needed.”

3. As the year began, buyer organizations were starting to see direct sourcing as a way to increase quality, improve efficiency, reduce costs and take more control of their talent brands. Chris Paden, director of contingent workforce strategies and research, discussed the concept in “Why direct sourcing is worth exploring — now.”

4. Then the pandemic hit, and direct-sourcing concepts and functions were being used in unforeseen ways by organizations seeking to quickly mobilize their workforces, track and redeploy displaced workers, and even solve new problems with existing skills and resources. Paden shared some interesting examples in “Changing the paradigm: Using direct sourcing to deliver Covid-19 solutions.”

5. Just weeks into the pandemic, workforces were dealing with new rules as working from home becomes a necessity for businesses that can support it and worker safety and wellness was top of mind. Frank Enriquez, senior manager of contingent workforce strategies and research, the Americas, outlined four key areas programs needed to keep in mind to ensure continued compliance and quality  of service in “Life after Covid-19: Mind the four Ps.”

6. Amid the dire healthcare and economic impact of the pandemic, the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer sparked months of protests worldwide. In “Building back a better industry,” SIA President Barry Asin pondered how staffing executives and contingent workforce managers can work to build back a better world for the entire ecosystem and society out of the crisis.

7. If you have discounted RPO in the past, you might want to take a second look, wrote Jo Matkin, former global workforce solutions research director at SIA in “Is now the time to consider RPO?” The economy may be shaky, she wrote, but it is wise to prepare now for future needs.

8. Many buyers found VMS implementation to be easier in the work-from-home environment forced upon them by the pandemic. In “VMS pursuit in a virtual age: Think RFP,” Reagan wrote about what programs that were tempted to consider a VMS should think about for the RFP process.

9. Typically, a direct-sourcing program will target referrals and brand-attracted talent who are interested in full-time or contingent roles. What they often overlook are independent contractors. In “Direct sourcing: Don’t overlook ICs as a talent pool,” Paden explored how companies can maintain the value of ICs while folding them into the CW program.

10. A well-designed and well-executed background check can reduce negligent hiring and reduce litigation exposure. Therefore, CW programs should apply a consistent management strategy by weighing the pros and cons of such checks, wrote Stephen Clancy, SIA’s senior director, contingent workforce strategies, knowledge and research, and Eric H. Rumbaugh, a partner with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, in “Today’s background checks: Catch up.”