Managing a Contingent Workforce – Some Simple Rules

"There is an absolute smorgasbord of talent out there – choose wisely!"
“There is an absolute smorgasbord of talent out there – choose wisely!”

By Chris Gandy

Contingent workers are becoming common place in all sectors of the economy and now represent a substantial proportion of the workforce.

As a provider of specialist contingent resources to not for profits, we at Cause & Effective are in front row positions to see the tremendous positives these people can potentially bring to this sector in particular.

This vantage point also provides an opportunity to see some of the struggles organisations are facing as they adjust to this new normal.

By their very nature, contingent workers are not part of the traditional workforce. As such, these freelancers, independent experts, professionals, contractors, contingents, consultants or how ever we wish to label them, need to be managed differently if we want  to untap the great benefits they are capable of providing.

So from our privileged position of observing many of these engagements, here are some suggestions on how to make the use of contingent resources truly effective for your cause.

  • Orientation – View the relationship as a partnership not a transaction. As more and more of these people are engaged via an organisation’s procurement, rather than traditional HR, channels there is a risk of de-personalising the process. Remember, contingent workers are people too and need to be treated as such to perform at their best for you.
  • Prudence – Make sure the contingent resource you engage is the very best your organisation can afford. The days of “jobs for old mates” should be well behind all of us. There is an absolute smorgasbord of talent out there – choose wisely!
  • Clarity– Clearly articulate the goals of the assignment. How will a fantastic outcome look to you? Let the contingent worker know. No hidden agendas please!
  • Support – Ensure the availability of any supporting resources and or information. Time is money and if your contingent  is left sitting around waiting for that report, data, equipment or a permanent employee they need to interact with, you are doing you and your organisation a disservice.
  • Evangelise – Advocate the project internally and externally. In relative terms your organisation may be making a significant investment in this assignment. Show all who will listen that you believe in it.
  • Evaluate – Review the outcomes with the contingent worker. You need to be assured that this was a wise investment. And they appreciate honest feedback as well.

Follow these simple steps and your contingent worker experience will provide great results. Throw Cause & Effective into the mix and it will be taken to an even higher level!

About Chris:  Chris Gandy is the founder of Cause and Effective – a provider of contingent resourcing and leadership search and recruitment services to cause-based organisations.

About B-Cause

B-Cause is published by Cause and Effective. Our goal is to inspire, inform and encourage people doing good to do even better.

Thats our take on things. Over to you, please add to the discussion.

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