How Alumni Can Help Uncover The Value Of Contingent Workers

by Alumni Content in Corporate Alumni   |    Last Edited: 21st July 2021

With the growth of the gig economy and contingent workforce – propelled in part by the pandemic – talent now comes in many forms. Organizations have to recreate their workforce to include contingent workers alongside their full- and part-time employees.

The most effective way to make this expansion seamless is by including corporate alumni: the largest pool of verified and qualified talent outside your organization. The key to its success is maintaining an engaged relationship with your alumni groups. This way, should the need arise, you can employ them in a flexible environment that benefits both parties.

Who Is The Contingent Workforce?

Deloitte defines contingent workers as the people who are not on the company payroll but still provide services to an organization. These positions are temporary, on-demand, contract-based, and flexible for both employee and employer. They could be:

  • Alumni who are ex-employees of the organization.
  • Expert consultants who often work in highly specialized, complex, and technical fields.
  • Freelancers who are independent, self-employed specialists the business draws on for specific tasks or projects.
  • Contract workers who offer specialized services or expertise for either a short period of time or regularly.
  • Seasonal workers who supplement talent shortages, allowing businesses to meet seasonal demands.
  • Retired professionals who are workers with vast business experience and institutional knowledge.

Contingent Workers In The Current Work Landscape

Alumni As Part Of The Contingent Workforce

With remote work and work-life balance being major considerations for employment since the arrival of the pandemic, the size of the contingent workforce is expected to continue growing. At the same time, a recent hiring survey by Monster found 92% of respondents think now is a good time to look into gig work. In fact, more than half said they would like a long-term contract with flexible hours. 

Which came first? Did employees demand independence and flexibility, or did businesses see the financial benefit of a contingent workforce?

Whatever the case, the pandemic has accelerated the new way of work, and specialists agree there is no turning back.

If we look at workers, the general trend is away from permanent, full-time jobs. Even full-time workers want the freedom to explore other income-generating opportunities.

The new contingent workforce values flexibility, short-term appointments, versatility, not being geographically bound, and controlling their own work-life balance. They also want quick access to their wages and greater ownership of their work.

Computer-based office workers, according to McKinsey, are set to be the largest pool of remote workers. For instance, essential office tasks such as accounting, admin, and IT are often done by contingent workers or outsourced.

Even before the pandemic, businesses were talking about a shortage of skilled manufacturing and tech workers, jobs that are critical to the United States’ global competitiveness. Add to that the continuous outflow of baby boomers (10 000 people a day in the US alone) that has left many organizations with vacancies to fill. These people have years of work experience and can be valuable members of your alumni network who can be called on to mentor or take on part-time jobs.

Embracing The Gig Economy

Why Work With Contingents

Forward-thinking companies have embraced this trend, prizing mobility, adaptability, and optimal ROI by maintaining lifelong relationships with former employees. Many are seeing financial benefits as their core workforce becomes smaller.

Those who are still unsure about what the future of work holds must consider the need to embrace the gig economy and offer alternative employment solutions. It’s that or be left on the sidelines looking for talent.

The new landscape of contingent workers does require companies to have the proper resources in place to manage recruitment, communication, and collaboration between employer and worker. This will help businesses better manage projects and workloads while maintaining control over a diverse workforce.

Value Of Alumni As Part Of The Contingent Workforce

Organizations prosper when they create a multi-faceted and diverse talent supply chain consisting of alumni (an available pool of contingent workers) and current workers. A total workforce management strategy – where alumni are part of the talent conversation – enables businesses to efficiently locate, source, engage and manage talent under one consolidated program.

The benefits of including Alumni in a total workforce management strategy are clear. Yet, just 16% of organizations have this type of program in place today. On the upside, over 58% expect to make Total Workforce Management par for the course within the next two years.

A total workforce management strategy merges human capital management (HCM) and contingent workforce management (CWM) into one productive unit, stabilizing these otherwise siloed functions. It provides complete transparency in terms of expectations for both parties and creates a standardized work experience. The immediate benefits to a business are incalculable:

Access To Exceptional Talent

An alumni network comprises experienced talent that already knows your business, culture, and objectives. This gives them a considerable advantage over candidates who come in cold.

Flexible Workers

Keeping Tabs On Gig Workers

Contingent workers are adapted to short-term work contracts, allowing the business to call on them depending on their workforce needs. It lowers the risk and cost of letting go of permanent workers when the market drops and then rehiring when it picks up again.

Less Training Needed

Companies save time and money by drawing on alumni contingent workers because they will require less training and are productive in a shorter time.

Lowered Payroll Costs

Some contract workers and consultants may cost more per hour than full-time employees. That said, your business will save money in the long run by not having to pay for benefits and perks or contribute to payroll taxes.

Final Thoughts

Contingent workers can take the pressure off your full-time employees and help create a happier, more productive workplace.

To this end, a contingent workforce management system is essential among businesses looking to reduce spending while increasing productivity with outsourced human capital.

While the need for full-time employees will not end anytime soon. It can be expected that, over time, an organization’s core workforce will become smaller, and its contingent workforce will grow.

For more information on how an alumni program can work for you, get in touch with the EnterpriseAlumni team today.