In earlier CWS 3.0 articles, authors have discussed multiple methodologies and best practices regarding building effective visibility reporting, metric management designs and fundamental program data tracking systems. At the core of these methodologies and best practices is collecting and compiling data on multiple perspectives that naturally occur in a contingent workforce program whether that be a program that administers staff augmentation, statement-of-work engagements and/or independent contractor activity. At the end of the day, contingent workforce program management needs a 360-degree management perspective that includes some level of visibility of all key stakeholders participating in a program’s multiple service offering portfolio and subsequent various process value chains.
What might a 360-degree management perspective look like? First, you’d need to recognize the major stakeholders participating in and affecting the program: engagement/hiring managers; delivery partners, which might support staffing, SOW, supply chain partners (VMS, MSP, etc.) and corporate partners (IT, security, legal, etc.); organization leadership and executive sponsors; and finally, the contingent workers themselves. The list here defines the major stakeholder groupings that define key perspectives/impressions of a program and what level of satisfaction they have with the services value the program provides. The contingent workforce talent perspective is one of the least understood for all the wrong reasons, such as misappropriated co-employment mitigation policies. Their knowledge of the contingent workforce program’s operations is invaluable as they sit in such a prime role of the program’s operating process. They know a lot, and most programs do not have visibility into their perspective simply because they never bothered to ask.
A second 360-degree element is developing a viewpoint by service offering across major client groupings and geography. In the past, this has not been much of an issue because there was only one major service offering: staff augmentation. Now, programs may have multiple talent management service offerings, ranging from staff augmentation and independent contractor administration to SOW engagement management. Just understanding major client groups’ usage trends of these various service offering can provide critical insights. Remember, some service offerings can have their own service mode type perspective levels that will need to be segmented and understood in the performance data.
So, understanding client groups served and their perspectives offers quite a few vantage points to view the performance of one’s contingent workforce program.
Sometimes, designing a 360-degree management perspective is a matter of data segmentation analysis — making sure you can cut performance data by type of service offering or by major organizational business units/client groups. For example, it is important to know, comparatively, if the IT function unit is satisfied with the contingent workforce program’s staff augmentation service versus the program’s SOW engagement support. Understanding performance management issues across service offerings and cross referencing by client groups will enable the program office to tailor the operational delivery of the multiple service offerings provided.
At some point, someone segmented different perspectives of using a vendor-neutral sourcing model for a light industrial contingent worker application versus a professional contingent workforce application. The conclusion was the vendor-neutral sourcing model for light industrial led to performance problems. Comparatively, the vendor-neutral sourcing model works well for a professional staffing application. A further review of a light industrial sourcing reality might also lead program management to implement a master vendor solution to best deliver the staff augmentation service value required.
A final consideration in a 360-degree management segmentation would be geography/location. That perspective could be segmented at the state or country level. There can be performance operation differences by geography because of available talent in specific marketplaces or the regulatory environment, as they can differ from state to state and country to country. This is especially true for light industrial applications such as a distribution and/or call centers.
Ultimately, this community of participating stakeholders will jointly form a market impression and affect the brand of the contingent workforce program. Just understanding what the engagement managers think of a program is critical, but understanding their impressions of the value the program delivers across it entire, growing service portfolio allows investment mix priorities to occur that enhances the overall effectiveness of the program. There is more than one perspective of today’s contingent workforce program and understanding each vantage point will create better visibility reporting, metric management design and program operation resource investments.