In the most recent issue of CWS 3.0, we reviewed the most important articles written last year by SIA’s CWS Council and advisory team. This week, we feature the top articles written by our editorial staff in 2023.
In a year full of technology advancements, regulatory changes, international conflicts, talent challenges and more, contingent workforce program managers had full plates and plenty to keep on top of. However, change brings opportunity, and CWS 3.0 provided its readers with insights improve their talent management strategies while protecting and expanding their programs.
Here are the top stories written by our staff.
Artificial intelligence. Organizations are turning to artificial intelligence to overcome human biases in hiring, but questions remain about its effectiveness, Associate Editor Danny Romero reported. His coverage also explored why CW program managers should keep up to date on existing and proposed regulations for AI being developed around the world — including in the US, EU and China — as organizations globally look to use artificial intelligence in their recruitment processes.
In the US, President Biden in October issued an executive order aimed at establishing standards for artificial intelligence, including providing improved safety and protections. It’s one of several AI-related regulations that SIA has seen globally, reported Senior Editorial Director Craig Johnson, and its impact could be felt in several aspects of contingent workforce management.
What exactly is ChatGPT? The AI tool has been garnering headlines, but its full effect and that of similar AI is still unknown. Early this year, Johnson took a deep dive into what the new AI tool means for the contingent workforce and asked the technology to weigh in on its potential future impact on program managers.
How CW programs use AI. With AI also comes unintended risk and concerns around data privacy, algorithmic bias and potential discrimination in the hiring process. Kersten Buck, VP of global strategic solutions for SIA, reported on what program leaders need to know and provided examples of how each type of provider uses AI to support their programs.
A balancing act. Remote work remains an important benefit to many temporary workers even after the pandemic, and a majority have worked an assignment at least partially on a remote basis. However, there is still controversy, Johnson reported, with some managers pushing workers to return to the office and some research pointing to the benefits of doing so.
Monitoring remote contingents. With hybrid and remote working here to stay, many companies are turning to technology to track remote workers’ performance, measure billable hours and keep an eye out for employees’ well-being. Romero examined how CW program managers should approach this delicate process.
Managing a remote workforce. How, when and where contingents work can critically impact a program’s operations, security, safety and cost. Adrianne Nelson, VP of solutions delivery for SIA, discussed why the contingent workforce should be part of your company’s remote work policies for reasons such as data security, taxation and increased risk of misclassification.
Hire-train-deploy strategies. Hire-train-deploy models, also called recruit-train-deploy, offer an alternative way to broaden contingent talent pools and also widen the door for diverse candidates — both diversity of demographics and diversity of thought, Managing Editor Katherine Alvarez reported. This strategy can also provide programs with qualified cohorts trained in specific skills.
Going global. If your organization is considering global expansion, you will want to evaluate the complexity of potential expansion markets and their strengths and weaknesses. Assistant Editor Claire Cook breaks down an SIA report covering the most and least complex markets around the world to support your program expansion pursuits.
Fair chance hiring. Employing those impacted by the justice system, recovering from addiction or facing similar challenges that often eliminate them from hiring consideration opens up a large, untapped pool of potential workers, Alvarez reported. While such programs do come with unique challenges, these can be overcome with sufficient knowledge, good policies and the right supportive staff.
DE&I initiatives. The next generation of workers is closely watching companies’ behavior from both a social responsibility perspective and a DE&I perspective. As a result, there is a risk in limiting DE&I to just your employed workers. Jenn Simon, director of workforce strategies and research, discussed why DE&I strategy should encompass contingents.
Nearshoring solutions. Nearshoring opportunities can bring cost savings, qualified talent and increased flexibility for US businesses. While the benefits are many, Nelson wrote that programs should be aware of the challenges their programs might face in pursuing nearshoring as a talent acquisition solution.
Skills-based hiring. Organizations are reducing college degree requirements and exploring skills-based hiring as they struggle to find suitable talent in the tight labor market, Alvarez reported. The coverage offers some ideas to get your initiative off the ground. And while some staffing buyers are ditching the college degree requirement, dropping a high school diploma requirement for some roles could be the next step.
Regulatory and Legal
New joint employer rules. The US National Labor Relations Board in October issued its final rule addressing the standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act, Johnson reported. The new rule, which replaces a joint employer rule that took effect in April 2020, dictates when two companies that conduct business together can be considered joint employers and thus liable for one another’s — or their contractors and franchisees’ — labor law violations. The new standard had been scheduled to take effect Dec. 26, 2023, but that date was subsequently delayed until Feb. 26 of this year.
Joint employment and misclassification. Compliance issues were a big concern for program managers in 2023. Senior Editorial Director Sharon Thomas reported on several cases, including a Grubhub driver’s win, which could have a big impact on the gig economy despite the small financial award.
The cost of IC misclassification. An article by Thomas examined analysis provided by the Economic Policy Institute that calculated the cost of independent contractor misclassification in 11 worker categories and issued policy recommendations for governments to combat the issue. The research also examined the cost of misclassification to social insurance programs.
Equal pay for temps. Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker in August 2023 signed into law regulations requiring staffing firms to provide temporary workers with pay equal to that of directly employed workers, Johnson reported. Meanwhile, a group of staffing organizations appealed a New Jersey law mandating equal pay for temps, among other provisions, which also went into effect in August.
Pay transparency. The US House of Representatives introduced the Salary Transparency Act. If passed, HR 1599 would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to require all employers nationwide, irrespective of their size or number of employees, to include wage ranges in all job postings as well as provide wage ranges to applicants and existing employees upon request, Alvarez reported. Meanwhile, Illinois and Hawaii have joined several other states — New York, California, Washington and Colorado — that have enacted pay transparency laws.