Contingent Labour – What Are Industry Leaders’ Priorities?

You may remember earlier this year 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. Here is an extract from what we said at the time when we reported on the event.

“…  it was an excellent discussion, organised and hosted by supply management specialists Comensura, and I really thought the quality of the thinking was very impressive. What was gratifying was that no-one saw agency margin reduction or beating up either individual workers or agencies as a key procurement tactic. The discussion was much more around managing the demand, looking at getting the specifications for contingent roles right, and fundamentally how to get real value out of all elements of the supply chain for contingent labour”.

Anyway, the fine people at Comensura have 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 first video looks at the panel’s key priorities in terms of contingent labour issues.  Is it cost, efficient processes, getting the best people …?

The comments back from the panel suggested that cost was not top of the list generally – it is important for everyone, but various factors play strongly for different organisations. We saw both similarities  between our participants and some real industry differences - engaging warehouse operatives versus video film crews for instance!

The pharmaceutical firm represented at the session put efficient processes very high on the list, along with risk management – not unexpected when you look at their regulatory environment. “Getting the balance” was a key theme here for everyone who has to juggle the different factors.

Another interesting aspect that came up was the move in some quarters towards a wider workforce planning approach, one that does not look at the permanent and temporary workforces as two separate worlds, but sees them as different aspects of the same big picture. Making sure stakeholders understand the various risks around the contingent workforce is a further important issue. And in some areas where there are staff shortages, such as social care in the public sector, speed of action is a key priority. If you wait a week before you decide on hiring someone, they’re gone.

The video has a lot of thought-provoking comment in its 10 minutes or so; it is relevant to both public 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 with some highlights from the other videos.

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