Where C stands for contingent: Down the ages, organizations’ employer branding efforts have revolved around inhouse staff. The same efforts need to be applied to the contingent workforce to attract and retain the best in this war for talent.
The C value proposition
If the accompanying photograph represents the typical working environment for your contingent workforce, with all-inclusive drinks, food, accommodation, sunshine and flexible working hours (so long as the work gets done), then attracting talent might not be much of a concern for you. But how many companies have that?
The fact is organizations have developed wide-ranging strategies and cultures around a comprehensive employee value proposition to help them compete for and attract the best talent.
When it comes to contingent workers, the onus for communicating the value of undertaking a contingent task for a particular company typically is on the preferred staffing providers and/or managed service companies. Among buyer organizations themselves, there has been little or no concerted effort invested to create what I call a contingent value proposition, or CVP.
Organizations need to start thinking about building a culture of awareness in the contingent marketplace, or be prepared to face an ever-increasing struggle to attract the best people
There are a number of reasons for this, not least the fact that contingent workers have generally been considered supplementary to the permanent workforce and somewhat less important — and often still are. However, as the gig economy takes hold and organizations look to an ever-increasing percentage of contingent workers across their organization to get things done and remain competitive, it will surely become increasingly important for organizations to invest a far greater amount of time and effort to develop a compelling CVP … or suffer the consequences.
We are already seeing organizations combine contingent and permanent recruitment as part of a trend toward total talent acquisition, and as this trend develops to encompass all manner of talent acquisition into an organization (of which traditional staff augmentation and permanent workers are only a part), and then eventually holistically engaging, developing and mentoring this talent from engagement through to the time that the individual exits the organization, then the need to communicate a compelling CVP to the contingent workforce marketplace is going to become ever more critical.
As technology develops and one- or two-click hiring becomes possible and ever more adopted by tomorrow’s workforce, there will be less opportunity for individuals to personally and verbally communicate CVP. So organizations need to start thinking about building a culture of awareness in the contingent marketplace, or be prepared to face an ever-increasing struggle to attract the best people.
Take some time out draw two circles that overlap each other. One represents your EVP and the other represents your CVP; the area of overlap represents the common elements to both.
Of course, there are restrictions on how you can manage the contingent worker versus your inhouse staff, so think carefully about how you can achieve your desired aims on the road to building that CVP culture and what partnerships you need to develop and exploit to undertake the necessary tasks in a compliant manner.