Contingent Labour Spend – The Role of Procurement

You may remember that in 2016 we ran a workshop with an impressive group of procurement leaders who had a deep interest in the procurement of contingent labour. The session was supported by Comensura, who manage those services for many clients, both public and private sector.

Comensura has now put together a series of very professional videos with highlights from the discussion, looking at the key topics that we covered on the day. The second of the videos looks at the role of procurement within the spend category. The comments from the panel relate to that role generally and focuses heavily on how procurement needs to interact with internal stakeholders including HR and the hiring managers. “We need to be able to influence our colleagues – it is not about taking control”, was one comment.

There are some excellent ideas about how procurement can be positioned in a strategic manner in this category – for instance, “we need to understand our manufacturing strategy over the next five years” if we really want to add strategic value, said a CPO working in that sector. Contingent labour might actually be part of a wider debate around outsourcing, insourcing, even investment decisions.

Other participants see HR taking a stronger role in terms of contingent labour, and it may be that the differentiation between permanent and contingent staff is breaking down somewhat, with organisations focusing on the total cost picture. There is also the paradox that when firms cut internal staff, they seem surprised that contingent labour spend goes up – but that is a consequence of the internal cuts of course!

The video has a lot of thought-provoking comment in its 10 minutes or so; it is relevant to both public and private sectors and you can take a look at the trailer for the series here  - and you can then register to see all of the videos. And we’ll be back soon with some highlights from the other videos.

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