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Measuring the performance of your contingent workforce program is crucial to its success. Traditional hiring metrics such as fill rates and other front-end measurements are helpful, but they provide very little insight into the program outcomes or the relationship between vendors and the program managers or HR executives in charge.

To assess the actual effectiveness of your contingent workforce program, don’t solely focus on potentially misleading front-end data. Put your focus on back-end metrics that illustrate how hires amplified the vendor-manager partnership to provide a true measure of your program’s effectiveness.


An Accurate Look at the Strength of Your Contingent Workforce Program 

For contingent workforce programs, back-end metrics (e.g., service letter agreements, response times, and payrolling/invoicing accuracies) help to contextualize relationships. As project-based workers become more commonplace, contingent workforce programs and their vendors need to quantify success based on the ability to respond quickly, communicate effectively, and create strong partnerships.

Here are three ways to measure the real value of your contingent workforce program:


1. Targets and Benchmarks

It is essential to create a road map for everyone involved. What does success look like for your program? How will you know when you hit the mark? How will your vendor partners know? Are you communicating this to your contingent workers? Put targets and benchmarks in place to give all parties involved the best chance at success.

Think with the beginning, middle, and end of the project in mind. Where do you lack visibility? What can you diagnose from bottlenecks in the process? Ask these questions, and then put service letter agreements or back-end metrics in place to measure your progress.


2. Built-In Touchpoints

As your contingent workforce program grows, make sure there are built-in checkpoints that hold you accountable for your program outcomes. Attach stakeholders and documentation to each of these success measurements to ensure someone is always focused on the big picture.

Schedule regular meetings to recap how these goals are going and re-scope how you’re approaching them. Managing a contingent workforce becomes easier when everyone involved has clear expectations and goals.


3. Collect Feedback

Successful partnerships are built on shared feedback. Your contingent workers will benefit from knowing how they’re doing and what is expected of them as the program continues. They will also be a great source of feedback, giving you insights into the worker experience.

As you engage vendors to support your contingent workforce program, look for ways to solicit feedback and to provide feedback to your partners. Is there anything you can do better? Is something right on point? How effective is your communication? Can leadership or other stakeholders do more to support these vendors?

These questions can shine a light on opportunities for continued growth while being mindful of your contingent workforce program outcomes.

Contingent workforce programs need clearly defined performance benchmarks. By using back-end metrics, you will be giving your contingent projects the substance they need to thrive. With foresight and intention, your contingent workforce program will be built for success.


If your current program is not quite hitting on all the cylinders you think it should be, learn how to kick it into gear with help from our Contingent Workforce Road Map. This step-by-step guide walks you through considerations to help you optimize your contingent workforce program, including assessing the current state of your program and contingent worker use, determining realistic spend across departments, and rating your vendors.


Written by: Antonio Barraza , Business Development Representative

Antonio Barraza is a business development representative and contingent workforce expert at Innovative Employee Solutions (IES), a leading global Employer of Record in more than 150 countries that specializes in contingent workforce solutions such as outsourced payrolling, independent contractor compliance, and contractor management services. Founded in 1974, IES has grown into one of San Diego’s largest women-owned businesses and has been named one of the city’s “Best Places to Work” for 10 years in a row.

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