Fee, Fie, Foe, Fum, The Seamless Workforce turns one!

Thank you, Seamless Workforce readers! We are officially one year into the conversation and can happily report that there are no signs of that conversation slowing or growing dull. So, on the occasion of our first anniversary, we thought it would appropriate to take a quick look back and see what we've been talking about.

Segmentation. Since our initial post, a brief interview with yours truly, we have been talking about the impact that the Great Recession has had on the composition of the workforce. It was our contention then, and remains so today, that the necessary changes that were made at the dawn of the economic collapse are not likely to be repealed any time in the future, if ever.

Many firms have begun evaluating all sources of talent that are brought into the organization. The objective of such analysis has been to ensure that workforce plans not only align with the major objectives of the firm, but that they are sourced in a way to maximize cost efficiency while protecting quality.

This is leading to greater utilization of temporary employees. The growth of that segment of the overall workforce has been consistent, with 313,000 temporary jobs being added from September 2009 through March 2010.

Collaboration. This has been an evolving discussion, but one that continues to gain momentum. The reality of detailed workforce segmentation analysis is forging more integrated relationships, specifically between procurement (or sourcing), human resources, and the business.

Historically, these three groups have had a good deal of autonomy, and service levels were more an expectation than a mutually desired goal. Our coverage has lead us to better understand the changing nature of these relationships and the necessity for the three groups to work closely together so that cost, quality, risk, and delivery objectives are consistently met.

Value. Our trip to the Contingent Workforce Strategies (CWS) Summit was a confirming eye opener. Here we heard from some of the most forward-thinking firms that placing cost as the most critical element in consolidation of the supply chain that brings talent into the firm is a mistake. Value, it was stated, is the most important factor. Since then, we have sought to consistently deliver tips and insight into how to drive value through the talent supply chain.

Risk. Not surprisingly, risk has been a hot topic. The recessionary climate has put many large firms on notice to clean up their use of independent contractors as government at local, state, and federal levels seeks to exploit independent contractor compliance to secure lost or generate new revenue.  Risk continues to be a significant topic, look for us to to speak with those who manage risk in other industries, an independent financial advisor perhaps. 

Employment Brand. We have discovered over the last year that employment brand is potentially one area that can suffer in times of economic uncertainty. In fact, there has recently been much discussion here and in other workforce related outlets on preparing for a turnaround.

Not surprisingly, this discussion includes ensuring that the organization is prepared to head off a possible exodus of talent, as those previously fearful of job security feel such pressure lifting. Pumping up the employment brand value is a key element in such strategies.

It has been an extremely rewarding year for all the contributors here. To help celebrate the occasion we've asked our contributors to put their reflections together and share them with The Seamless Workforce community as well. Be on the lookout for these, and know that we are looking forward to injecting more thoughts into the strategic development and tactical execution of workforce management.

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