On-demand hiring: Tools to help manage your contingent workforce

March 15, 2016

There are shocking numbers of contingent workers in the U.S. Last year the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that 40.2% of American workers were contingent workers. This means that a significant portion of the U.S. workforce is comprised of part-time, independent contract workers, self-employed workers, on call workers, and agency temps. Contingent workers often do not qualify for the healthcare or other benefits full-time workers receive.

In order to manage the current and future influx of these unique workers, companies need to start thinking about how to more effectively and efficiently manage these types of employees. The contingent workforce is projected to grow in the coming years; addressing the issue now is paramount.

Because such a large part of the American workforce is working outside the boundaries of regular 9-5 hours and predictable locations, creating a central system to manage these irregular work conditions is necessary to sustain a business adaptable to workforce trends and changes. Cloud based systems are an essential tool to help employers accomplish this. These systems allow real-time access to information while keeping it centrally located. Cloud systems are invaluable in tracking contingent workers, while saving employers the hassle of collecting and organizing vast amounts of time card data. Employees and employers can access all of their information, adding or deleting punches as needs be.

For example, cloud based technology allows contingent workers to clock in from a remote location on a mobile device. Is the employee working from Starbucks, at a park, at home, or at another company facility? Wherever your worker might be, with mobile time collection software, she or he can check in by taking a “selfie” when clocking in and out. Utilizing biometric technology for clocking in or out eliminates the possibility of buddy or ghost punching, and lessens the likelihood of error on the employee and company’s part.

Payroll managers have been shown to be 97% accurate. While 97% seems like a high accuracy rate when it comes to tracking salaries, every little bit counts. With payroll being the largest expense for most businesses, 3% error can add up very quickly. Using a cloud based system to manage contingent workers saves money for employers. Over the course of a year, managers spend on average 61 hours calculating and approving timesheet information, hours that could be saved with an automated system and better spent elsewhere.

Triangulating the location of your employee using geolocation software also helps ensure mobile workers are at the right place at the right time, motivating them to be honest while on the job. Is he really on the job site or at Disney World? Location can’t be faked when geolocation software is utilized.

Integrating the contingent workforce into your current full-time worker culture is also crucial for generating connections and instilling trust amongst members of the company.

“…Thinking differently about the workforce is only one part of the larger solution. Contingents must be included in processes that are traditionally reserved for full-time, permanent employees: onboarding, corporate learning, expertise sharing, performance reviews, and succession planning,” Mike Ettling, President of the HR Line of Business SAP said in an article for Forbes.

Integrating all of your employees, whether full-time, contract, part-time or other various company roles is essential to the health of any business, large or small. Virtual connectivity between all components strengthens each thread within a business make-up. Without paying attention to or maintaining each strand of a company, the infrastructure becomes more susceptible to unravelling.