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Why HR Should Play Bigger Role in Contingent Workforce Management

Joseph Nordlinger's picture
Companies can benefit from a high conversion rate of contingent into full-time employees.

The rise in the number of contingent workers in the U.S. is significantly changing the way companies are managing their workforce. According to a survey conducted by Staffing Industry Analysts, human resources and procurement professionals should work more closely in the hiring of contingent talent. Traditionally it was exclusively procurement departments who handled these matters, treating temporary employees the same way as other external resources.

The prevailing opinion among industry insiders is increasingly that procurement should be more limited to elements like pricing and risk management, whereas HR's talent acquisition can apply more broadly to temporary and contract employees in addition to full-time workers. Staffing Industry Analysts gives some suggestions on how to overcome the concerns that may be keeping HR employees from taking on a bigger role in contingent hiring:

Legal: HR professionals may be wary of legal issues related to mixing contingent and permanent workforce under a single umbrella, but these concerns are generally unfounded. Share successful examples of organizations that have increased HR involvement in the hiring of contingent workers. 

Territorial: HR managers may feel like their recruiting skills are being disregarded if there is a high rate of conversion of contingent into full-time employees. However, a new approach can in fact give them the opportunity to use those headhunting abilities in new ways.

Value: The conversion rate of contingent workers to full-time employees can be the key to convincing HR of the value of the value of integrating the contingent workforce into their recruiting activities.

Identifying talented individuals who can eventually join the full-time staff is one of the biggest contingent workforce management challenges. HR departments can make that search much easier by applying many of the same strategies they use to hire other employees.

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