Could a Contingent Worker Earn Your Top Employee Award this Year?

As the percentage of continent workers, freelancers and independent contractors climbs in the U.S., we’re in the midst of a nationwide shift: Employers are becoming more methodical in regarding their non-employees as valuable contributors to organizational goals. How big of a stretch is it in your organization to think a contingent staffer could eclipse your permanent employees in performance this year?

The Gig Economy Makes Its Mark

According to The State of Continent Workforce Management 2016-2017report underwritten by SAP Fieldglass, nearly 38% of the world’s total workforce is considered “non-employee.” The rise of this “gig” economy is more than just a workforce trend. It’s spurring social, economic and legal shifts too which will ensure its survival for years to come. To get ahead of this curve, leading enterprises are creating convergence in the way they hire and manage the contingent and permanent segments of their workforce. Some use a blended hiring model, others are going the total talent management route. In either case, they’re looking to narrow the difference in policies, procedure, and culture between employees and non-employees. With this convergence, candidate quality becomes more important than ever before.

Approaches to Non-Employee Candidate Quality

The push for candidate quality has long been a pain point in contingent and permanent staffing. What is new is the approach companies and continent staffing firms are taking to elevate candidate quality in the non-employee recruiting process. Here are three of the ways they’re doing it:

  1. HR’s approach is evolving. In its Global Human Capital Trends 2016report, Deloitte notes, “The mission of the HR leader is evolving from that of ‘chief talent officer’ to ‘chief employee experience officer.’” Leaders are reshaping HR’s role, designing processes to be more engaging and people-oriented. In all aspects of talent recruiting, the focus is on becoming more candidate-centric in order to stand out from competitors and give candidates the opportunity to showcase their fit for the role. In essence, these companies are enlisting candidates’ participation in elevating the quality of those they select.
  2. Technology is used to drive better talent decisions. Companies are integrating video interviewing technology in their workflows precisely because it contributes to better quality of hire in both temporary and permanent staffing. Recruiters get the benefits of visual communication much earlier in their process when they use on-demand and live video for screening and interviews. They’re able to screen and shortlist more accurately, with better talent decision-making as a result.
  3. Onboarding non-employee talent is a best practice. According to SAP Fieldglass’ 2015-2016 State of the Contingent Workforce report, 62% of top-performing companies use comprehensive onboarding strategies as a best practice with non-employees. A more extensive process not only ensures contingent employees are well prepared to use their skills and abilities to the greatest advantage in their role, it may also help create closer team relationships and the motivation to go the extra mile in effort – all key aspects contributing to job performance.

It’s interesting to note that 44% of companies surveyed in the SAP Fieldglass 2016-2017 report list “improving the experience of talent utilized by the business” as a top strategy in adapting to the gig economy. Today’s changing talent environment could very well be the catalyst for a new, more progressive relationship between employers and (non)employees.

As Vice President of Inside Sales, Barbara Schwenk is building a world-class global inside sales team at Montage. She is passionate about helping clients better accomplish their HR business goals and create a true competitive advantage through video interviewing. A frequent contributor to talent management blogs, Barbara looks to her extensive SaaS HCM space experience, and her work in building team efficiency and productivity, to fuel her creativity. Reach her at barbara.schwenk@montagetalent.com or follow her @barbaraschwenk.

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