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4 Steps to Building a Winning Contingent Workforce Program

Building a contingent workforce program in 2023 is not likely to be any less of a challenge than in recent years, as the competition for talent in many sectors is still fierce and shows no signs of easing up. Yes, it’s been an incredible time of change, but the tumultuousness has also given experts a clear view of the new talent landscape. Never before have workers been so emphatic about how they want to go forward in their professional lives. In many cases, the changes brought by the pandemic and the Great Resignation reveal opportunities for organizations looking to build a more dynamic workforce. 

About one-third of workers in the United States, more than 51.5 million workers, are considered contingent workers. Of those contingent workers, 59 percent are independent contractors. The numbers emphasize the ongoing and significant rise in non-traditional work models. Still, the bigger pool of non-traditional workers doesn’t meet the demand for talent in many sectors. No simple solution exists for this complex problem, but understanding the motivations of those who make up the workforce can help when developing a staffing strategy. 

1. Give top talent the experience and benefits they seek 

By now, it’s no surprise that remote and hybrid work arrangements are must-haves. Workplace and schedule flexibility is expected. Competitive pay, of course, is imperative. Beyond those basics, you must clearly show what sets your organization apart from others and why your independent worker experience excels. All employees, contingent and otherwise, want to feel they belong. 

Make sure the unique value proposition you communicate to candidates is tailored to their needs and preferences. They want to know what it’s like to work for an organization, how they can achieve their professional goals and more. Importantly, job seekers are looking for a diverse workforce and 76 percent of prospective employees say an inclusive workplace is an essential factor when considering a position. 

The Great Resignation showed that workers started to think differently about their approaches to employment. Talent started to let go of the mindset that they needed job security via a single, full-time job when it became clear that they could achieve income security through multiple work engagements. In fact, a survey found that 2 out of 3 independent workers felt they were more secure than a full-time worker. Recognize that the talent you’re recruiting are open to multiple work arrangements and may prefer that over a single opportunity. 

2. Embrace opportunities for a global workforce 

We have a pretty good idea why the labor market appears to have such a shortage of workers, and it might not be what you think. It’s a combination of factors including reduced immigration, retirements, increased flexibility, and a pronounced pay gap. The pandemic brought those changes quickly, but the pandemic also made people and organizations more open to hiring talent wherever they could find it.  

Remote work removes location as an eligibility factor and ushers in a global talent pool. A company based in the United States can source candidates from multiple countries. In some cases, searching outside a company’s country of origin is essential to filling open positions when everyone is competing for the same talent.  

When managing your global workforce, it’s critical to find a partner that understands pay and taxation complexities in the countries you’re sourcing from. As an example, People2.0 has boots on the ground in 50 countries across the globe, ensuring full compliance with the multitude of pay and tax requirements. 

3. Manage risk and compliance 

Building a contingent workforce brings with it extra intricacies. Organizations must be prepared to address challenges such as worker classification, global payroll, and tax regulations. However, the rewards of adding independent workers – a nimble workforce with opportunities to bring in global talent – can more than offset the complexity.  

Experts will tell you that compliance is the biggest challenge to adding independent workers, and the complexities only grow as your workforce becomes more global. As an example, a misclassification penalty can be a costly hit to both budget and reputation. Luckily, companies also have up-to-date resources to help navigate hiring questions. Labor laws and regulations are constantly evolving and vary from state to state and country to country. Bringing in an EOR or AOR is an efficient way to hand off employment classification compliance and payroll processing. And it can ease the heartburn about compliance risks as your organization expands. 

4. Adopt technology to grow and recruit at scale 

Recruiters who embrace technology and provide candidates with a smooth, seamless experience can easily go from filling dozens of roles using traditional methods to hundreds of roles with a tech-first approach. 

AI-driven sourcing and qualifying of candidates makes recruitment faster and more efficient, and is the first step to being able to scale up the hiring process. When AI takes on the heavy lifting of finding and vetting talent, recruiters and managers have more time with candidates and can focus on the recruitment and onboarding work that machines can’t do. 

Talent platforms, where everything from sourcing to payments is handled on a single platform connecting workers to companies, offer a lot of insights into the expectations of independent workers. Millions of jobs are managed on these talent platforms by relying heavily on technology and making processes that are attuned to the user experience. The technology-forward approach doesn’t stop with hiring and recruitment: build efficiency and ease with tools like mobile apps for workers to manage their schedules and get payroll information whenever they want. 

Build what’s right for you with an eye toward growth 

All the opportunities that have come about through changes in the last few years – global recruitment because of remote work, employees with skills that span multiple industries, a growing pool of workers seeking flexibility – are good for business. Every organization will have to evaluate the blend of talent that works for now and decide how to build processes to scale for the future. The complexities and risks shouldn’t be ignored, but EOR and AOR services can help ease the strain that may come with payroll, benefits, and employee classification needs as an organization’s independent workforce evolves.  

Contact People2.0 today to learn more.  

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