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Tips for compliantly and effectively managing your contingent workforce

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by Charlotte Gurney

Even before the business community started dealing with COVID-19, the contingent workforce was on the rise. These are the freelancers, seasonal employees, digital nomads and part-time employees who provide organizations all over the world with the freedom and agility to be more efficient and responsive. A contingent workforce has a wealth of benefits to offer any business but there can be management challenges too. Ensuring that your enterprise gets the most from an investment in contingent support means putting a robust management structure in place. So, how can you go about doing this effectively?

It all starts with the onboarding process

One of the biggest mistakes many businesses make is to view contingent workers as too transient to go through an onboarding process. The reality is that these workers are often very experienced and are bringing specialist skills to the table, however they don’t have knowledge about the inner workings of your business. An onboarding process that is designed specifically for a contingent workforce ensures that each one can get up to speed quickly and start contributing as soon as they begin work.

Transparency about internal communication is vital

That starts with ensuring that your contingent workforce has access to all the tools that they need to communicate as soon as they start work, whether that’s email or a VoIP system. It will also be essential to provide insight into communication hierarchies so that people who are new to the way internal teams are structured know who they need to report to and liaise with over certain projects.

Take steps to minimize any compliance risk to your business

Especially if you’re working with a contingent workforce that is wholly, or partially, international it’s going to be vital to ensure you’ve factored in the various laws and regulations that could be relevant. There are different contractor solutions available that can provide your business with the insight and structure to cover compliance issues and ensure that the business is not being exposed to the legal and financial risk that could result from a legal breach.

Focus on long-term contingent workers

While many of those in your contingent workforce might only be temporarily within the business, that doesn't mean that they couldn’t return at some point in the future. Taking this kind of long-term view when it comes to contingent workers enables your organization to start building strong relationships with flexible talent that will be available as and when required. It’s much easier to bring in contingent workers who already know the business and have a proven track record.

Make collaboration simple and seamless

Especially if your contingent workforce is operating remotely, or in scattered locations, it’s essential to have tools and infrastructure in place to enable seamless collaboration. Cloud-based project management tools can open up communication channels and ensure that you have a single, centralized view of what’s happening in terms of contributions and collaboration.

Having a contingent workforce can provide a huge range of benefits for any business today, as long as it is being effectively and compliantly managed. To find out how the team here at Volt can support you in recruiting and managing your own contingent workforce, please visit our Services and Solutions page on our website for more information.