CWS 3.0: June 6, 2012

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The Role of the CW Manager

Back in the old days, before the Internet became so popular, there were no contingent workforce managers. That’s right, the title simply did not exist, nor did the job description, but the responsibilities did in a variety of flavors, usually as an add-on to another job. As the workforce and technology have changed, a mix of skill sets have come to the forefront to create what makes a successful contingent workforce manager today. Whether a contingent workforce manager comes from HR, procurement, staffing or another professional realm, the role now requires a high level of expertise and understanding of complex issues in different areas including HR, legal, procurement, technology, recruitment, security, facilities and beyond.

Six-figure salaries with bonuses are now commonplace for these managers. In our 2011 Contingent Buyer Survey, we asked respondents about their 2010 compensation (base salary plus bonus and incentive pay). Those respondents with HR as their primary job function had a median compensation package of $116,000; it was interesting to see that the median for those in procurement was only slightly higher at $120,000 (perhaps being a trained negotiator helps). Titles for those who participated in the survey included VP and above (7 percent), director (22 percent), manager (51 percent), individual contributor/other (20 percent).

In their roles today, contingent workforce program managers are now typically tasked to manage billions of dollars of spend in the global marketplace and are accountable to both C-suite executives and line managers for maintaining consistent cost and quality of talent in a CW program. These managers have to deal with changes in technology, legislation, recruiting shortages, internal alignment, security issues and global issues. The role also demands the ability to apply cost, efficiency, quality and risk to many types of flexible labor (traditional temporary staff, statement of work consultants, independent contractors, etc.) and harness the same resources across varied business units and geography to support company workforce goals. The marketplace has many tools and resources now wholly devoted to contingent workforce management, you can pick those suited to you.

Another great resource is Contingent Workforce Strategies 3.0, a weekly newsletter devoted to keeping managers informed and helping them better do their job. It also helps to network with your peers, have links to organizations that can help you and attend conferences and webinars that showcase subject matter experts. 

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