NSCA Foundation

Temporary measures: implications of a contingent workforce

By Sally Danbury*
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019

Temporary measures: implications of a contingent workforce

There's an increasing number of contract workers making up our workforce. What are the implications for your business?

Contingent workforce?

The contingent workforce is pitched to affect almost a quarter of the population by this time next year. It’s likely to affect you, whether directly or indirectly. If you are an employer, a HR leader, a health and safety manager or a worker, this is about you.

What is it exactly?

Think freelancers or temporary workers. A contingent workforce is the adopted workplace collective term for casual or contract workers, ie, those individuals that aren’t employed yet are utilised as and when the business requires specialist labour. Its growth in numbers is on a steep incline here in APAC and across the globe. Originally contract workers were prevalent in industries such as construction and health care, yet nowadays contract workers are across all industry sectors. This also applies to individuals that have second jobs, whether for additional income (such as Uber driving) or to build wider skills and pursue additional areas of interest.

Pros and cons

For contractors, the main pros are seen in the enjoyment of a full variety of experiences yet without the need to commit to a set employer. Normally contingent working also attracts a higher rate of pay and some also feel the benefit of a heightened work life balance. However, the main downside is in the lack of job security and associated benefits employees receive, such as paid leave and superannuation. Downtime between work gigs can also be a recurring factor.

The upside for employers hiring contractors is the quick access to highly skilled individuals, as well as the cost efficiency of hiring for an isolated project. Conversely, contractors may leave mid-project for something that suits them better and there is also potential for reduced loyalty to the company and inconsistency of workmanship.

How to manage your contingent workforce

HR leaders are presented with a growing challenge given the rising numbers of contingent workers. Robert Walters, a leading global recruiter, recently issued a white paper: Leveraging The Contingent Workforce. In this report from research gathered at the induction stage, 60% of contractors had challenges accessing IT systems, 53% had experienced incomplete or unclear induction procedures, 45% had challenges logging into information needed to complete their project, 38% complained of poor communication with line managers and 32% arrived on their first day without an allocated workspace or workstation.

James Nicholson, Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, stated: “A simple review of recruitment, induction, retention and exit processes can increase the value employers are getting from contractors as well as improve the contractor experience.”

HR leaders need to look towards technology and appropriate systems to address the pitfalls and focus on the benefits that come with effective leadership and management of the contingent workforce. With a growing necessity of increased compliance and robust intuitive technology, contractor management systems are a tool that assist with onboarding, induction and ongoing management of contingent workers.

Imagine there could be one place to manage your entire workforce, with complete transparency over your risk and compliance. Sitepass offers a complete workforce management solution for businesses and individuals to connect and manage compliance, risk and onboarding.

We’ve found that many companies either operate with many separate systems or battle with spreadsheets to manage the complexities of their workforce. This can lead to things falling through the cracks, for example, out-of-date information or expired licences.

Sitepass automates and maintains information in one central place. This transparency allows companies to ensure that their entire workforce is compliant, is up to date and adheres to workplace health and safety regulations. There are all sorts of add-ons too, which can help businesses understand the skill sets of their extended employees and support their ongoing development.

Tackling common contingent workforce workplace challenges, Sitepass’s 26,000 clients span every industry vertical offering a platform that shifts and allows for growth in the contingent workforce as workers move from inside to outside and often, with more than one job.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about Sitepass.

*Sally Danbury is Nurture Marketing Specialist at Kineo APAC

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/David Jones

Originally published here.

NSCA Foundation is a member based, non-profit organisation working together with members to improve workplace health and safety throughout Australia. For more information and membership details click here
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