Delta Air Lines’ Keith Browning, managing director, supply chain management, had his eye on the post-pandemic recovery when he decided to evaluate his extended workforce program.
His mission was to make Delta an industry-leading airline while identifying policy and process inefficiencies that might hinder its ability to grow as travel picks back up. Therefore, Browning sought an independent advisor that knew the ins and outs of managing non-employee programs. Enter Monument Consulting, which delivers contingent workforce solutions that can be customized and tailored to meet clients’ concerns.
Browning discusses Delta’s experience and what his program gained from the assessment.
What was the scope of Monument Consulting’s work with Delta?
In March 2021, we engaged Monument Consulting to assess our non-employee workforce — and the contingent workforce program overall — with a focus on stakeholder feedback, our policies and procedures, the effectiveness of the technology we are currently using, and the overall program for improvement opportunities.
We wanted to use Monument’s data to identify gaps in our current program to enable us to become what we consider best-in-class in the marketplace. For example, we were looking to improve our timelines associated with our direct-hire processes. Monument provided us with benchmarking data to assist in our analysis of our direct-hire processes and associated timelines to understand if our methodologies were on par with the market. It took about six weeks.
It aligned with our goal to streamline the use and engagement of contingent labor and prepare ourselves for growth. Coming out of the pandemic, travel will pick back up and hopefully exceed where we were in the past. Conducting this assessment helped us understand our resource needs as demand for travel comes back and our operations grow.
Given the increase in travel that you expect, what are your plans around your contingent workforce program to meet this need? What’s going to be different?
Obviously, our goal is to make sure we have enough resources to meet the demand of our operations. We are focused on making it easier for our hiring managers to get the talent they need in a very challenging market.
One of the changes we plan to make will include updating the tenure policy so that we do not have to go out to market to replace a resource that already has experience at Delta and knows our culture.
Were Delta’s executive leaders aware and supportive of the project? Who sponsored it?
Yes, our executive leaders in our talent acquisition, supply chain management, IT and internal audit departments were aware of and fully supportive of this project.
The project was sponsored by our chief HR officer and chief people officer; it was championed by the supply chain management and HR/talent acquisition leaders.
What was the exec team thinking before assessment and after?
One of the issues related to the program was lack of visibility — I would say that our senior leaders had minimal, if any, visibility into the program and the day-to-day operations.
In my opinion, our executives view the program as very tactical, but our goal is to have a more strategic focus by developing a comprehensive approach for all resources — including employees and contractors. Monument’s recommendations of developing a communication plan and implementing a governance structure will help us achieve that.
What was unique about the service you received from Monument?
One of the things that stood out was their willingness to collaborate with our current MSP provider and identify opportunities for improvement. It was great to see both companies, who are competitors, work very closely together and be open and honest in their discussions, with minimal resistance offered when exchanging information.
I would say their openness and transparency separate them from not only companies in the industry, but companies that I work with overall. I was impressed by their willingness to truly dig deep and understand our needs, and their willingness to be an independent evaluator of our program. Rather than potentially selling us their business model, they truly were a consultant and a trusted advisor for us.
How did Delta benefit from the assessment conducted by Monument?
For starters, Monument conducted the assessment and delivered on the scope of work within the prescribed timeline — six weeks.
Monument provided a summary of items that needed to be addressed. Some of these issues we were already aware of, but Monument created a comprehensive list of items and recommendations. Now, it is up to us to prioritize and implement.
As mentioned previously, some of the recommendations included implementing a structured governance model by creating a committee of key stakeholders, end users and service provider partners. This will enable escalations of issues and program controls. It will also help us gain alignment on the strategic roadmap for the program.
They also recommended that we develop a concise and defined change management approach to ensure all stakeholders understand any changes to policies or processes.
What are Delta’s plans — short and long term — for its CW program?
Short-term, our goals are to implement the governance structure and a communication plan. We also plan to implement some policy changes related to tenure to reflect the current environment and challenges associated with finding and keeping talent. We also plan to develop a process to keep policy and process documents updated and current.
Our long-term goal is to become a best-in-class contingent labor program that is part of the overall approach for human capital at Delta. We plan to look at our technology requirements and implement a VMS that will accommodate our future needs. We also plan to implement strategies to improve diversity for both candidates and suppliers within the program.
To learn how Monument Consulting can assist or advise your program, contact Maritza Morris, director of business development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.