CWS 3.0: March 15, 2011 - Vol. 3.7

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Behind the News: Talent Mangement is Key

Hiring is going to pick up. Confidence among U.S. employers is growing, according to the new second-quarter employment outlook survey of 18,000 U.S. employers released last week by Manpower Inc.

Sixteen percent of U.S. employers expect their staff levels to increase in the second quarter of 2011. These significant hiring increases are planned for 33 of the 50 states, according to the survey. "Nearly all of the of the key data points in our survey show that employers are positive, but hiring plans are still reserved due to their continued ability to manage the slowly increasing demand with the existing workforce," said Jonas Prising, Manpower president of the Americas.

Across the border, employers in Canada are upbeat too. The employment outlook for the upcoming quarter indicates more hiring for the April-to-June time frame. The upbeat employment trends indicate companies are planning to focus on strategic growth. As a result, talent management will become a priority.

So what does this mean for users of contingent labor? Companies need to focus on strategic workforce planning. Analyzing and forecasting the amount and type of worker a company will need is critical to success. And a full-time worker may not be the answer. The recession has revealed that contingent work smoothes out labor costs. Having idle resources is not an option in today's business environment, while having resources exactly where and when you need them is more and more an imperative.

So for starters, CW managers need to get their C-suite to recognize -- if they haven’t already -- the importance of contingent work as a strategic tool. Then the CW group, together with HR, needs to examine its needed skill sets, understand hiring patterns and trends and customize its approach to managing different segments of the workforce. Managed service providers or suppliers can be very helpful with charting a course. The goal is to plan ahead so there is no difficulty filling jobs with the right people -- full time or contingent.

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