This is a much misused expression, as most organisations pay very little attention to managing existing and future talent, especially in the contingent workforce space. More attention is paid to immediate needs of the business and various unit managers, than to actually developing long term requirements and development of employees. Contingent workers are largely “invisible” and are seldom managed. This practice results in organisations paying large margins on contractors to many agencies who actually manage the talent.

Most often, the selection is made on past experience of the contractors, rather than on potential or capability, and seldom is a record kept of actual performance of contractors for future reference or re-use. Talent Pools are slowly being built by progressive HR groups within some organisations, mostly focused on hard to find skills and permanent staff. Very few of these Talent Pools exist for contingent workers.

Similarly, there are very few tools in this space but a combination of tools often suffice. These tools fall under a variety of headings and acronyms like:

  • RMS - Recruitment Management Systems
  • ATS - Applicant Tracking Systems
  • VMS - Vendor Management Systems
  • MSP - Managed Service Providers (often recruitment or staffing firms)
  • RPO - Recruitment Processing Outsourcing tracking software

Most vendors of these types of software and systems are able to solve specific problem domains, but most systems require the user to conform to the vendor methodology which often does not suit the specific business. Most importantly, software is only as good as the users, so the service layer implementing the software is critical to the success of the project, irrespective of the actual software used.


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