The Fortune 500 workforce is on track, by the year 2020, to be 50% contingent (temporary and contract workers, independent consultants, etc.).  The impact this shift will have in HR and management will be more than subtle in many environments.  One of the functions most obviously  impacted will be Recruiting.

The stage is set:  HR is already not managing the sourcing, selection, and hiring of what will become half of the workforce.

The budgets and processes used to hire temp workers and contract staff is widely not managed by Human Resources.  You’ll find Purchasing, Operations/Facilities, IT, and Finance largely responsible for this as you look across the Fortune 500.  Staffing firms play a very large role, having embedded themselves as “Sole Source Providers” (SSP), “Managed Service Providers” (MSP), or “Recruitment Process Outsourcing” (RPO) services within these corporations.

This works when temps and contractors drift in and out for short periods of time and are mainly project-focused.   Putting the decisions on the desks of the line managers and having them closer to the source was a necessity.  Cycle times are historically faster in the temp and contract world.  For the staffing firms involved in the process the first to respond is normally the winner.  There just hasn’t been the level of assessment and selection process in the temp and contract world as what is found in the world of hiring Full Time Employees (FTEs).

As contingent workers continues to become a larger part of the workforce, the impact of having separate and distinct processes for each will make less and less sense.  Especially in environments where the work is mission critical.

This is not to say that the existing models of SSPs, MSPs, and RPOs will change.  However, it seems that the need for a new type of recruiter and/or expertise is emerging.  It seems inevitable that in some shops more emphasis will be put on managing the spend and delivering results that map to drivers like project profitability and FTE:Contingent ratio in mission critical projects.  The need for solid, flexible, recruitment analytics tools along with recruiters that know how to leverage them would seem to be increasing in demand some time soon.

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