When preparing to expand your contingent workforce program, whether in terms of new business unit coverage, new global locations or additional worker classifications such as statement of work (SOW) or independent contractors (IC) talent, there are a few approaches you could take.

Some CW program managers engage prospective business stakeholders with readiness assessment tools or success stories that highlight value performances that potential stakeholders cannot operate without. These are solid educational steps and actions that condition future stakeholders for the inevitable CW program management business case that follows.

Others offer visibility through simply tracking the CW activity in their future client’s business unit or operations, which can deliver rare visibility that can become startlingly enlightening. In many cases, this dosage of information stirs interest and action to optimize the cost effectiveness, risk mitigation and quality performance for enhanced competitive advantage.

Conceptually, knowledge in this case is power, and the non-threatening approach of offering previously unknown insight to one’s core operation positions CW program management professionals as true experts to be sought after. The CW program management office becomes a potential trusted advisor and player with the informed business unit seeking more insight and value in optimizing their CW usage.

The capturing and tracking of CW talent data — in and out of the CW program — will also provide a broader view of how the entire organization utilizes CW talent for strategic workforce planning requirements. Additionally, this data can facilitate the competent execution of the on/offboarding process and other organizational security activities/audits for the company as a whole.

CW talent data can help with forming organizational alliances with influential parties across the company; this powerful knowledge can also be leveraged for program partnering advantage.

Delivering this insight is becoming more readily available through talent/vendor management software technologies. In many cases, this is an add-on functionality to the base VMS offering currently in place. Even talent engaged in the organization’s outsourced programs can be tracked via some VMS solutions. Ultimately, this enables CW program management to leverage the known VMS reporting and dashboard creation tools in the delivery of this visibility to non-participating business stakeholders. Some CW program managers are indeed leveraging their VMS platforms presently to deliver this tracking visibility support.

It does come with a price tag, though. Costs may include a monthly case fee plus a per-tracked headcount costs. In many cases, there might also be an implementation cost to engage the add-on tracking capability. Some managers have found these costs to be prohibitive and use other tools and methods to try and deliver this tracking service support.

On one hand, there should be a natural market limit to these costs because the tracking service represents a business development opportunity should you expand the management volume ultimately flowing through the technology. On the other hand, the platform vendor is enhancing its capability, which costs real dollars both to create and implement this functionality. Some fair negotiation should make the funding of non-program CW tracking capabilities cost-effective for all parties involved. One could also make a case that such functionality should be bundled in the base supplier-funded arrangements because the ultimate goal of this service is to expand CW program management adoption and volume for all the parties involved in the value chain.

If you are trying to expand the scope of your program or are struggling to get a stakeholder’s attention, consider sharing insight to their CW utilization, spend, etc. As we know; data is powerful and it’s hard to ignore the numbers and insight when it is staring at you.