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null How do you manage the performance of your contingent workers?


Manager reviewing the work of employee
Managing a contingent workforce can be an effective way to fill internal resource gaps efficiently. However, as your contingent staffing programme matures, using third-party labour hire firms to engage contractors can separate you from your contingent workers.
Larger contingent programmes are often overseen by a Managed Service Programme (MSP) provider. These systems are great ways to improve hiring efficiency. But we must work extra hard to avoid a disconnect between managers and their workforce.
A purposeful performance management programme for contingent talent management is vital.

Changes to the contingent workforce

Contingent staffing programmes are evolving. As a result, managers expect a higher standard of insights from their temporary team members. The performance management systems that support the acquisition of contingent staff often measure specific activities.
These measurements often include:
  • Speed to hire.
  • Fulfilment rates.
  • Diverse hiring targets.
  • Cost savings.
  • Accuracy of candidate shortlists.
There is a growing trend of organisations seeking a more flexible and project-based workforce. The talent pool of employees is also now more open to contract assignments than ever. Because of these changes, one area now needs more attention: how we measure contingent workers' performance.
This includes how an organisation measures effective performance management. It also justifies spend versus return and ensures contractors receive suitable feedback.

The most important performance management process of all: capturing feedback

Step 1: Ask hiring managers to collate feedback

Always take the opportunity to capture feedback from hiring managers during the course of a contingent staff project. Vendor Management Systems (VMS) can be a valuable way to simplify this process.
At key milestones throughout a project, aim to gather:
  • Insights into any project specific outcomes met.
  • Details of project outcomes not met.
  • Positive feedback on key tasks.
  • Areas for improvement.
Combining general and specific feedback is a valuable way to prepare for performance reviews.

Step 2 : Discuss feedback with your team

Once you have collated a range of feedback for your contingent workers, it’s time to share these insights. The MSP or host organisation should present these findings to the relevant labour hire firm.
The next stage will be to trigger direct contingent feedback sessions.

Step 3: Translate feedback into a performance dashboard

Create a dashboard to track key performance management metrics. A clear view of your contractors’ performance will help you to set goals for high performance. Collating a range of statistics will also help senior management and human resources to inject change if needed.
For more guidance on which metrics to track, read our guide to key metrics for assessing your contingent workforce programme.

The benefits of sharing feedback

Empower managers and employees to improve 

This information provides a level of transparency that serves to empower managers and employees. These benefits are apparent irrespective of the nature of the feedback. Open, honest feedback sessions can drive contractor engagement and performance in cases of highly satisfactory or exemplary performance.
Hiring managers can also allow the labour hire firm to address underachievement. Team members can then set about improving performance through coaching or training.

Seek more suitable contingent workers

Alternatively, if the feedback has been negative, you might want to hire a more relevant contractor. In these circumstances, replacing contingent workers mid-way through a project can set you up for long term success.

Improve hiring processes for future projects

Project feedback check-ins can also be valuable beyond your current project. By sharing feedback, MSPs and labour hire firms can hire more suitable roles for future projects.

Provide more accurate project reporting

The culmination of feedback scores can surpass current indicators of contractor success. These indicators lean mostly on simple contract completion reports. Performance management should consider more than just the overall percentage of a contract that was completed by the contractor.
Contractor completion reports fail to showcase a contractor’s level of achievement and return on investment. Instead, they only indicate whether the performance appraisal was satisfactory enough to not warrant intervention.
Contrastingly, a holistic workforce performance, combining metrics such as speed to hire and cost savings, can provide an indication of how well a contingent staffing programme is meeting company goals.

Contingent Workforce Management: Next steps for your organisation 

If you manage a contingent workforce, you may also want to read:



Bartosz Dabkowski 
Executive Director CEE, External Workforce Solutions

Bartosz started at Hays 8 years ago, joining as an MSP Solutions Manager in Poland. With a demonstrated history of working in the staffing and recruiting industry in Poland and abroad, he is now an Executive Director for the Central and Eastern European region, responsible for developing and implementing external workforce solutions for our clients.