Five Key Tips: What To Do Before Starting a Contingent Workforce Program

Last week’s CWS summit clarified a few things for those in the contingent workforce management space. One big take-away for me was that one size does not fit all. There is no right or wrong recipe. But there are some ingredients that have to be taken into account or the meal can be a disaster.

The experts on my panel – ESPN’s Peggy O’Neill, McAfee’s Ariane Pannell, BNP Paribas’s Jo Ann Cohen and Bartech’s Penny Queller — discussed what you should and should not put in place so the program flourishes.  Five key observations from they had to say:

Don’t Ignore

1. Motives behind why you are implementing a program. Regardless of whether it is cost savings, risk mitigation, quality or efficiency, your goals will determine how you structure, run it and ultimately determine its success.

2. The need for an executive sponsor. In fact, having more than one would be the smart way to proceed. These are the folks that will give you mandate, support your mission and lay down the law when required. And if one executive leaves, you still have the backing of the other.

3. Your constituents & the change management process. Supportive leaders in business units and hiring managers can provide ongoing reinforcement and smooth the inevitable bumps in the road toward implementation. Stay in touch and create a process that communicates these fluctuations to your internal stakeholders.

4. The requirements around a VMS. It may seem strange to start thinking of a tool even before you implement a CW program, but our experts say it’s critical. The tool is what provides the visibility both into the spend and the temps in your buildings.

5. Building those fundamental relationships with your vendors. The VMS/MSP providers and your supply base are the drivers of your program. Communicating and understanding their requirements will buy you both goodwill and their desire to work with you.


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