Procurement Increasingly Seeks Alternative Sourcing Models for Talent: Upwork Shares its Predictions for 2016

Upwork talent gap gustavofrazao/Adobe Stock

We recently spoke with Upwork to hear what the work intermediation platform (WIP) sees as the top procurement trend this year. Our discussion with Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel is part of our ongoing Spend Matters series on procurement technology provider predictions for 2016. Kasriel identified the continuing talent gap, which is seen across a variety of industries, as a main driving force for companies this year to access skilled workers in new ways.

Hiring managers and procurement are increasingly realizing the talent gap isn’t going away either, Kasriel said. It’s a problem they will need to tackle this year. As a result, companies will be turning to independent contractors and be engaging with talent directly more so than ever before.

“What that will do specifically, is companies are going to be more open to alternative sourcing models than in the past,” he said.

Companies will have to “expand their horizons” this year, according to Kasriel, to find talented workers. For example, companies may consider bringing onboard a contract worker located hundred of miles away but who can complete the project working remotely offsite. This strategy may not work for the manufacturing industry, Kasriel pointed out, since many manufacturing jobs do need to be done onsite, but each industry will need to address the talent shortage differently and find the best way to source skilled labor.

More Direct Engagement

Another trend Kasriel expects this year is for companies to engage with and source talent directly, as opposed to working through a sub-vendor or staffing firm. Companies are increasingly developing their own talent pools of skilled contingent workers. These can be former full-time workers of the company still interested in coming onboard for contract work or former independent contractors who served the company well in the past. Procurement professionals can then tap that talent pool when looking for skilled workers, saving time filing a specific job and saving money, Kasriel said.

Integration of online staffing solutions like vendor management systems and freelance management systems will also be a rising trend in 2016. Everyone agrees it needs to happen, and the result will be a streamlining of operations for procurement and staffing managers, Kasriel said.

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