Contingent workforce managers face their share of challenges in getting the job done. For this topic of the week, we asked “what is the single biggest challenge facing CW managers?” of Bryan Peña, VP, contingent workforce strategies and research, at Staffing Industry Analysts.

“Their biggest challenge, period, is adoption,” Peña said. “Basically, adoption means that you have a program that’s being used in the way it’s intended to being used.”

It’s a challenge that some CW managers forget about. However, programs will fail without adoption. They don’t produce worthwhile results, and it can get to the point where nobody uses them. Poor adoption can also result in “malicious compliance” where hiring managers will do just enough to meet the letter of the law but also just enough to make your program fail — for example, keeping résumés too long.

Peña said there are steps CW managers can make to help gain adoption. One of them is to “recognize that adoption and program management is a sales role first and foremost,” he said. CW managers should listen to their customers and craft a solution that helps meet a need that hasn’t been met or provides a solution to a problem.

Other take-aways include:

  • Don’t overcomplicate the message to stakeholders.
  • Take the long view instead of the short view. For example, don’t plan on getting all your savings in the first year of the program.
  • Craft a compelling vision for the future and get people involved in the outcome.