The question of where a company’s contingent workforce program should reside is one that continues to be asked – Procurement or HR? – Which is better? If there were an easy answer the question would not pop up so frequently, nor would companies like mine find themselves working with both groups depending on the client. Companies would choose the right one; if there is a clear option that is better, smart people will gravitate to it. The truth is that both models can work and both models have their downsides. The truth is also that wherever you “house” your program, you want to be sure that it involves people from all constituencies – procurement, HR and your internal clients. Bringing together the strengths and guarding against the weaknesses of each will help ensure that your program is the most successful it can be. And don’t forget about your suppliers. A program cannot succeed if it doesn’t attract great staffing partners who are committed to quality and developing a good business relationship. Make sure your program attracts and rewards good suppliers and great performance.
Are recruiters obsolete and staffing firms’ days numbered? Will technology completely replace what my firm and my colleagues do for our clients and contractors? If you Google these questions you’ll get plenty of opinions: our demise has been predicted for more than a decade and just as vociferously denied as well. The defenders point out that recruiting, at heart, is a people-centric endeavor, and while technology can enhance efficiencies and even replace manual functions, you can’t take the human factor out of it entirely.
In Staffing Industry Review’s December 2012 edition, the “Straight Talk from the Customer” was an article about rate benchmarking and “beating the market” to achieve significant cost savings. While I don’t doubt that this has worked for the author as he states, I’d like to offer a few counterpoints to highlight some concerns that I don’t think he addresses, and why this is certainly not an approach that makes sense or will work for everyone else.
CareerBuilder, in conjunction with Inavero, just released its 7th annual Opportunities in Staffing study which identifies key trends and performance benchmarks for staffing clients, talent and providers. The report provides a host of interesting statistics and information on a range of topics but I’d like to highlight something that I found particularly informative: on many questions there was a significant difference between the perceptions and realities between the groups. For example:
As regular readers of Staffing 360 know, last month I attended the SIA’s CWS Summit in San Diego. This year, also for the first time, the SIA held what it called a Case Study Competition. They invited submissions from CW Program Managers that highlighted their recent challenges, solutions and successes. There were six finalists that presented at the conference and a winner was chosen by the attendees. As a sponsor, I wasn’t allowed to vote and that probably saved me a headache because all the entries were impressive! In reality, anyone who listened to the presentations is a winner because we all benefited from their experience and generosity in sharing their knowledge.
I recently attended the SIA’s 2012 CWS Summit in San Diego with a number of my ATR colleagues. We were actually a sponsor of the event for the first time and we had a wonderful experience! The sessions addressed a variety of subjects related to contingent workforce programs. They were interesting and provided great learning opportunities, but, as usually is the case with conferences, the best part was simply the chance to meet and speak with people. In our fast-paced, technology-laden world, a face to face conversation can turn into a rarity. The Summit was just the latest reminder that it’s important to make time and get out there! I learned just as much by simply talking to those who stopped by our booth. In fact, I actually missed a few of the sessions because I was deep in conversation (thank goodness for MP3s)!
ATR recently released its latest eGuide, 6 Things You Can Do to Improve IT Contractor Retention, and in it we discussed tenure policies or term limits and how they affect retention of IT contract employees. This week I want to focus on term limits in more detail, especially the idea that they are not necessary and not protecting you the way you think they are. A radical idea? Read on and see what you think.
IC misclassification is a major concern for businesses. The use of independent contractors has risen over the past several years and government scrutiny of IC classification has become more aggressive at both the state and federal level. Staying on the right side of classification regulations and guidelines takes constant vigilance and the assistance of HR, legal and staffing professionals, working together, is invaluable. The issues can be complex and the guidelines are sometimes murky, open to interpretation and differ from state to state. The risk for accidental misclassification is high and the penalties are growing ever more costly. Companies must use a variety of strategies and tools to ensure that their use of ICs is a benefit, not a costly risk to the company.
Staying on the right side of the law is something we all strive for in our personal lives as well as business dealings. The regulatory burden on businesses, small and large, is a hot topic of conversation these days, from the campaign trail to the boardroom. Whether or not current regulations are onerous, too lax or just right is not my concern today. What I want to discuss is the importance of knowing who you are doing business with and how that affects your own ability to stay in compliance.
Happy New Year readers and welcome to 2012!
The legal and regulatory environment is constantly shifting and it is a challenge to keep up with all the news and developments. Nothing can take the place of your own research, good counsel and proper legal advice in ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. What I offer today is nothing like that kind of advice, it’s simply a few things that caught my eye as being pretty relevant to those of us in the staffing industry. My aim is to raise awareness, whether it is the first time you hear about something or it’s just a timely reminder.