Enterprise organizations have long been in need of a new take on contingent talent. Although typically handled by Procurement, contingent talent management is currently undergoing a radical and HCM-infused shift. Untenable sourcing activities brought on from 2020’s economic uncertainty has forced organizations to rethink contingent talent in the digital age. With an aim towards moving beyond the “contingent equals commodity” mindset of years’ past, our clients are increasingly turning to Avature’s talent solutions to aid them in their quest to develop a cost-effective and experience-driven approach to all things contingent.
One such customer is KellyOCG. As an industry pioneer and one of the largest specialty talent firms, KellyOCG has long been a leader in connecting top-tier contingent workers with organizations in need of talent. Serving a diverse range of large and forward-thinking enterprise clients, KellyOCG enlisted the help of Avature to co-develop a number of creative and flexible solutions focused on improving the contingent talent experience. Recognizing the importance of transparency for all parties involved in project-based employment, KellyOCG concentrated their efforts on optimizing contingent sourcing, as well as the essential – but often neglected – next step of new hire onboarding.
KellyOCG’s clients now have the tools to save on sourcing activities while providing contingent workers with an engaging experience that encourages the best of the best to return and apply for future projects.
Contingent Talent Communities Drive Direct Sourcing
With today’s increasingly competitive landscape for contingent talent, direct sourcing has emerged as the most efficient strategy for organizations looking to engage, acquire and retain contingent talent tailored specifically to their business needs. KellyOCG has harnessed the power of Avature to assist a number of clients in developing highly configurable direct sourcing contingent solutions engineered to offer candidates a personalized, relevant and dynamic user experience. A multinational chemical company and a global pharmaceutical company are two such clients that immediately come to mind.
The world’s largest producer and marketer of chemical products with yearly global contingent hirings in the thousands, this chemical supplier was ahead of the game in recognizing the clear advantages of moving the contingent labor process in-house. Working with the contingent experts at KellyOCG, they successfully leveraged their employer brand to quickly attract, hire and integrate contingent talent via Avature’s talent ecosystem. The partnership was successful, allowing KellyOCG to not only cut their standard technology implementation timeline from four months to three weeks, but they successfully sourced their first contingent placement within one week of launching their talent community. Now empowered to collect viable talent faster than before, their agile and sustainable contingent talent network has consistently exceeded their expectations.
Our second great example of SaaS-powered contingent sourcing efficiency is the case of a global pharmaceutical company. A longtime Kelly client, they were looking to move away from their traditional supply chain model of contingent sourcing and infuse some agility into their hiring workflows. They were keen to leverage their employer brand and global reach with the ultimate goal of overcoming the industry’s notorious sourcing challenges (i.e., regulatory oversight, niche labor, intense competition, etc.) and sustainably filling a number of key positions. With Avature’s technology acting as linchpin, KellyOCG provided them with the in-house sourcing infrastructure they required (including branded landing pages) to more effectively create, maintain and fill in-demand contingent positions on a global scale. What’s better, the technology sits on the backend, making for a more personalized and seamless user experience for KellyOCG customers. Now empowered to track and communicate directly with specialized talent, they are saving between 10-20 percent on each hire originating from their active talent pool of viable contingent candidates.
Contingent Onboarding With a Purpose
At Kelly, total talent management is more than just a catchphrase, it’s ingrained in their DNA. As true believers in the notion that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression, KellyOCG’s dedication to modernizing contingent talent management doesn’t stop at sourcing the best contingent talent, it ensures an amazing onboarding experience as well.
In fact, KellyOCG has been working for a number of years to fundamentally change how their clients approach new hire onboarding for contingent labor. Although most Kelly clients understand the critical need to get contingent workers up and running as quickly and effectively as possible, many did not have an official onboarding framework in place. Not only were they limiting their workers’ ability to reach productivity at an accelerated pace (as is required in the world of project-based/short-term labor), but they were providing their contingent workers with a less than ideal experience. Kelly saw an opportunity for solution agility, on top of the tracking functionality that came from their Vendor Management Systems (VMS). Determined to do better by their clients, KellyOCG and Avature put their heads together to develop a next-generation contingent onboarding solution focused on visibility, flexibility and creating a contingent experience driven by purpose.
It was from this joint effort that a first of its kind contingent worker management platform was born – KellyOCG Identity Management (IDM).
With the ability to provide new workers with role clarity, deliver position-specific training materials and facilitate regulatory compliance prior to day one, KellyOCG IDM delivers contingent talent an onboarding experience that, while similar to the experience of their full-time peers, can be uniquely customized to meet the needs of the modern contingent worker. As a global and highly scalable solution, KellyOCG IDM is designed to streamline and automate hiring workflows across corporate functions. From payroll, to IT, to security, the KellyOCG IDM solution eliminates communication silos and ensures that key contingent stakeholders are no longer in the dark. Factor the ability to directly communicate, inform and engage contingent hires, and you have a dynamic user experience that proves highly effective in providing both contractor and hiring manager with the tools they need to ensure a successful and seamless contingent experience.
“We’re able to fill a gap that traditional technology providers haven’t yet,” says Kelly’s VP, Digital Product Architecture, Tim Pröhm. “VMS technologies provide basic functionality to track contingent workers who aren’t managed by an MSP. We can do that better, with a proposed onboarding solution with Avature that automated certain areas and defines onboarding and compliance activities before a contingent worker joins an organization.”
It is important to note that while most major contingent worker management solutions place a premium on data management, this most often manifests as an exclusive focus on contingent planning, forecasting and budgeting. In other words, data flows in one direction – towards the enterprise. Contingent workers are very rarely – if ever – granted visibility with respect to their records. IDM’s centralized recording keeping bucks this trend by allowing for bi-directional transparency and data flow. Contingent workers are provided access to a data “hub” where they review their own information, edit their worker profile, review essential documents, sign contracts, access training materials and much more.
The long-term aim?
To bring autonomy and utility back to the contingent worker.
“We’re about to live in a freelance-dominated workforce, yet ‘temps’ have historically been perceived as commodities,” says Tim. “With Avature, we’re able to reinvent a process and a perception, simply by caring more and making the worker experience more purposeful.”
The Future of Contingent Talent
With uncertainty at an all-time high in since the COVID-19 pandemic, Avature is proud to call Kelly a client and a partner in contingent talent innovation. As things stand in 2021, the global gig economy is at a crucial talent crossroads. Those organizations willing to invest in the right technology and adopt a modern approach to contingent talent – such as Kelly’s clients – will soon find themselves at the forefront of the future of contingent hiring.
“It’s especially important right now for organizations to embrace new opportunities for collaboration,” says Tim. “We didn’t buy Avature off the shelf. Instead, we pursued a custom solution. We had an idea based on a problem we wanted to solve for our customers, went to Avature and said, ‘ how can we co-develop this together?’ There’s a real need for HR tech companies to partner in ways they haven’t explored before. The market demands it.” As markets continue to shift towards non-traditional working arrangements, sustainable contingent talent pools built on the backbone of cost-effective sourcing and an engaging new hire experience will only continue to increase in importance.
Download a copy of the Avature’s guide to digital age contingent sourcing, Leveraging a Total Talent Strategy.