6 Components Every Successful Contingent Workforce Program Should Have

6 Components Every Successful Contingent Workforce Program Should Have

Lightbulb on chalkboardWith SIA estimating $117 billion in spend under management and consistent year-over-year growth in the global MSP market, it’s evident that more and more organizations are turning to third-party providers to oversee their contingent workforce program (CWP).

In addition to being a trusted advisor for all things contingent labor, as a managed service provider (MSP), your clients are looking to you to increase efficiency, enhance visibility into their non-employee workforce, reduce costs, and lower risk—all while ensuring access to the best contingent talent the market has to offer.

So what facets of a CWP should you provide? The following components ought to be considered to ensure success and client satisfaction:


Proper Change Management and Implementation

Whether your client is a first-generation MSP client or have an incumbent in place, having a solid change management plan is crucial to guarantee appropriate program adoption.

As such, developing detailed implementation timelines and resource plans that outline the people you will provide before and during go-live, as well as the necessary client stakeholders that will need to be involved, will offer your client visibility into the process and set proper expectations. Further, creating templated communications for your client to use can help better explain your value proposition and impact to their organization and their suppliers.

Optimal Program Operations

As a part of the pre-planning and implementation process, it’s necessary to identify who from your organization is going to support your client. Factors to consider include: how many resources a client’s program will need, who will be dedicated versus partially-dedicated, and who will sit onsite with the client versus offsite.

After program go-live, it’s important to continually monitor and manage program operations to ensure efficiency and excellence. In addition to tracking standard and program-specific KPIs, relying on market intelligence and what’s going well with comparable programs can open the door for new suggestions to optimize your client’s CWP.

Additionally, program operations should be re-evaluated when a client is looking to expand the size or scope of their program. Developing client-specific roadmaps can provide a high-level overview of what you’ve done for them so far, as well as offer recommendations for the next phase in their CWP.

Leadership of Talent Technology

Regardless of whether or not a client has a vendor management system (VMS) in place or not, they’re likely going to turn to you for guidance. For clients new to the contingent workforce landscape, are you equipped to offer recommendations for which VMS your client should use, and what resources will be involved to make sure its properly implemented? For clients who already have an existing VMS in place, do you have established processes in place to integrate with their system or transfer information, as necessary?

Similar to the implementation process, it’s also crucial to establish what technical resources on both sides will be needed to manage anticipated system integrations, configurations, and system updates. This will help make sure your client’s VMS is optimized to include system enhancements and account for client growth.

Solid Supply Chain Management

Given suppliers play a fundamental role in the success of your client’s CWP, it’s important that you provide resources dedicated to overseeing all facets of your client’s staffing supplier community, while serving as a liaison between hiring managers and their supply chain.

Creating a supply chain management team helps to safeguard supplier success and drive consistency across a client’s program. This team can help establish measurable KPIs, monitor performance, vet new suppliers, and optimize out underperforming/uninvolved suppliers, while also focusing on supplier satisfaction.

Usable Business Intelligence and Market Analytics

Gathering information from both the larger labor market and your individual client base allows you to serve as a contingent workforce advisor and offer the best program recommendations to your clients.

Through market analytics, you can provide insight into items such as proper bill rates for skill sets and access to talent in various geographies. Further, with business intelligence tools, you can access program data that allow you to make recommendations, based on comparative program analytics.

For example, if your client was looking to establish a KPI surrounding time-to-fill, looking to the market could provide you with a baseline, while data you gather from across your client base can create a baseline for time-to-fill based on client industry, skill set, program size, geography, time of year, etc.

Strong Risk Management

Perhaps one of the most crucial elements of a successful CWP is ensuring compliance. To make sure your client’s program is running not only efficiently, but also being mitigated of risk, it’s necessary to have established processes in place to account for issues like worker misclassification or co-employment.

Methods to guarantee and track compliance, as well as proactively mitigate risk that are associated with using contingent labor, including on- and offboarding processes, background checks, drug tests, etc., are time-consuming, yet crucial items that need to be implemented and automated to guarantee your client’s protection. As such, offloading these function to a third-party, back-office services provider can allow you to focus on managing relationships with your clients and their suppliers, and all the other front-end facets of running a successful CWP.


At the end of the day, your client is looking for a provider than can provide them with the necessary tools, expertise, and resources to realize the full benefits of a CWP. Demonstrate that they’re not just your client, but also a valued partner by having them involved in the 6 major components listed here, and beyond!