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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How Greater Insight Fuels Collaboration and Talent Engagement Excellence

If it takes a village to raise a child, what does it take for a business to maintain a thriving workforce of productive people with diverse skills? How do you cultivate a next generation workforce in which full-time employees and contingent talent (temps, freelancers, and consultants) work in strategic, economical balance? Workforce excellence also takes a village—a village of experts that includes HR, procurement, supplier, legal and compliance teams all working together to align the right resources with the right work.

If you think that’s lot of experts on the job, you’re right. One of the biggest dilemmas in workforce management today is how to help all these experts—recruiters, procurement analysts, compliance managers, sourcing professionals and lawyers—to work together effectively. The solution starts with greater insight. When each business group can see and understand the value of its counterparts’ contributions, they begin to engage in active collaboration.

If HR only sees procurement as a cost cutting department, HR will resist collaboration. If legal sees only the risks of talent suppliers and not their contributions, legal might stifle collaboration. However, if each player has greater insight into the role, the performance and the contribution of their business counterparts, they will choose collaboration over isolation. Here are three examples of how expanded insight will encourage greater collaboration and workforce results, thereby boosting talent supply chain effectiveness:

HR Insights

HR’s primary focus is quality—sourcing, engaging, assessing, onboarding and retaining quality staff members who will contribute to company success. HR’s effectiveness is measured in key performance indicators (KPIs) like cost per hire, cycle times, employee job satisfaction, hiring manager satisfaction, turnover rates and job performance results. All of these metrics can help other business groups, from procurement to third-party talent suppliers, better understand the workforce and talent demand. To collaborate more effectively across the talent supply chain, HR can share more than its metrics. It can also share its workforce planning knowledge (key attributes, skill makeup and future needs). This expanded insight into workforce makeup and outlook can help groups like procurement and talent suppliers improve how they select partners and even choose candidates for submission.

Procurement Insight

Procurement plays a critical control role, helping the business maximize the effectiveness of talent spend and carefully managing to talent engagement KPIs (e.g. market rates, cost savings and supplier incentives). To help other supply chain contributors understand its work and value, procurement can do more than provide a “yes” or “no” to talent expenditure requests. When HR, hiring managers and even third-party suppliers can see and understand the benefit procurement achieves as it balances talent cost and quality, they too will embrace and contribute to cost containment. More insight into procurement’s role and results means that cost control is more likely to become a shared value and not simply “a procurement thing.”

Supplier Insight

Suppliers have the challenging job of rapidly delivering contingent talent, and their effectiveness is measured by widely visible scorecard metrics like speed, quality, performance and compliance. The most effective suppliers know how to interpret that scorecard data and use it to identify areas for process improvements. In addition to leveraging scorecard results to improve performance, suppliers can greatly improve their placement results when they are given deeper insight into the organization. For example, suppliers have to work hard to attract talent by understanding the jobs and aligning them with what most job seekers are looking for, such as:

  • A work environment with a strong team dynamic
  • The opportunity to participate in exciting and meaningful work
  • The chance to add new proficiencies and skills to their portfolios

The more insight suppliers have into the client/work environment and which types of candidates thrive in which roles, the more effective they will be at aligning jobs with the values and aspirations of great candidates.

How to Encourage Greater Collaboration

Collaboration is not something that happens with a simple mandate to “share knowledge.” After all, what is knowledge without meaning and context? Great collaborators see, know and understand the purpose and value of the work done by their collaboration partners.

To get on the path to increased insight and collaboration among workforce engagement partners across your organization, start with these three steps:

  1. Ensure business groups are centralizing key information and sharing KPIs and business outcomes through your MSP and its VMS system
  2. Teach business groups to leverage insights from key partners across the workforce development life cycle to improve performance and drive continuous process improvement
  3. Create opportunities for procurement, HR, compliance and legal teams to meet, discuss talent engagement challenges, share successes and help each other reach their goals

Once the practice of sharing talent engagement work and results becomes second nature to business teams, you’ll see broader, better collaboration throughout your organization and benefit from the many ways it drives greater people and performance results across the talent supply chain.

Lisa Quattrini is an executive vice president of enterprise solutions at Workforce Logiq with over 20 years of operational experience and excellence in human capital management solutions. She develops and deploys successful customer-centric workforce management strategies and operational methodologies that increase transparency and efficiency and reduce total cost of ownership.

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