The management of the contingent workforce is having an increasing impact on organisations and their recruitment ecosystems, according to recent research by Guidant Global. This has led to a marked increase in those companies employing the services of Managed Service Providers (MSPs), who specialise in the management and onboarding of contingent workers on behalf of an organisation, often with the use of a vendor management system (VMS) or other technology.

However, the recruitment of permanent staff is often handled in-house, by the HR team, or outsourced to a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) provider, with the help of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This divergent approach to talent creates a problematic disconnect between temporary and permanent staffing.

Surely, if these two categories of workforce were handled together, as part of a Total Talent Acquisition (TTA) solution, this could be a great advantage in terms of ready access to a wider pool of talent, to meet the requirements of each job, both flexible and permanent. Such an approach could also increase efficiency and cost effectiveness for those organisations whose temporary / contingent staffing levels do not justify a dedicated MSP.

That’s why many organisations are looking to implement such a TTA system. This new, holistic recruitment model would enable unfettered access to a wider pool of talent, across both permanent and temporary roles and consolidate data from both temporary and permanent recruitment streams.

So why has a ‘Total Talent’ approach not been implemented widely?

The lack of adoption of Total Talent Acquisition until now is partly due to the complexity of the various types of non-permanent workforce, requiring the specialist knowledge and technology that an MSP and VMS combination can provide; as well as the unwillingness to handle the management and compliance requirements of a contingent workforce in-house: most HR teams has enough on their plates!

But perhaps, the new era of Total Talent Acquisition is about to arrive. Recent research by the SIA found that almost 60% of companies with more than 1000 employees are looking to ‘seriously explore’ a TTA solution in the immediate future. In addition, a new generation of technology is ripe to enable RPO providers to handle both permanent and contingent workforce, on behalf of a client, with the flexibility, compliance and data transparency this approach requires.

Challenges and opportunities for TTA

There will still be challenges with this approach of course; for instance, if a current ‘temporary’ worker with a perfect skillset for a permanent vacancy, is offered the job, who is to say they will choose to take it? As shown in REC’s Flexibility Works white paper, many contingent / temporary workers choose this mode of working for a variety of reasons, not necessarily due to the lack of availability of a permanent role. In fact a recent report by the Office for National Statistics shows the majority of workers already have the type of contract they want, be it temporary, freelance or permanent. This is despite recent negative press often portraying temporary workers as victims (most notoriously, those on zero hour contracts).  

Nevertheless, the Total Talent approach to recruitment will help to ensure employment opportunities are not missed, whether by a company overlooking a talented pool of temporary workers; or a worker willing to change the mode of their work in order to work for the right organisation.

If you would like to hear how Pixid’s range of recruitment technology can enable you to provide a Total Talent Acquisition solution, please feel free to get in touch and we will be happy to discuss.

By Daniel Kieve, Pixid UK & Ireland