Three takeaways from SIA’s CWS survey: concerns and priorities emerge for contingent workforce leaders

Learn more about the top priorities for contingent workforce leaders

June 19, 2024

SIA’s CWS event is one of the largest events for HR, procurement, and workforce solutions professionals in the world. These attendees come together to talk about the biggest challenges they face and hear from leaders in the industry on how they’re finding success. 

SIA provided us with data from the attendees around priorities for these contingent workforce management professionals and the results are pretty telling. We’ve analyzed the data to share our top three takeaways with you here.  

Efficiency, performance, and adoption are at the top of everyone’s minds

When asked what their top three challenges were, 54% of respondents chose increasing efficiency. This is at the top of everyone’s mind, but many contingent workforce professionals lack visibility into their workforces. This makes increasing efficiency even more challenging because it’s hard to optimize where you don’t have full visibility. 

Optimizing performance and program adoption come in pretty close for 2nd and 3rd place. Optimizing performance comes down to visibility issues as well. How can you improve performance when you don’t have visibility into your current levels of performance?

When it comes to program adoption, this is especially challenging for organizations because it involves a lot of advocacy throughout the org and convincing stakeholders in many different departments to care about adoption. And these stakeholders can often be people who typically see it as something that doesn’t really affect them, or is actually a nuisance to them because it adds a few steps. They don’t understand how much a more efficient program would help them in their day-to-day as well and this is the struggle that contingent workforce professionals face. 

It’s also worth noting that return to office protocol was by far the least selected priority, with only 6% of participants selecting this. The next lowest priority is almost 20% higher, suggesting that all of the other options are important to these professionals except protocol around returning to in-person offices. 

Maturity size makes little difference in priorities 

When we look at the maturity of a program, top-ranked priorities don’t differ significantly in almost any category. Direct sourcing is the only difference worth noting, but these results suggest that top priorities don’t change much as a program grows. 

This means that program managers need to continually focus on their top priorities and know that they’ll be looking for better ways to optimize those areas on an ongoing basis. The bright side is that it means getting things like adoption and efficiency down correctly solves a lot of your biggest challenges and that putting a lot of focus on these challenges as early as possible can help set your program up to be successful for years and years to come. 

Nearly half of the respondents are interested in VMS and MSPs

When asked about their top interests from the blow list, almost 50% of respondents selected VMS and MSPs. Data analytics, SOW, and DE&I also ranked very high on potential interests for these program managers. They know that a better focus and investment in these areas will help them see a more successful external workforce.

It’s worth noting that post-covid workforce policies also ranked the lowest here. This suggests that most companies understand that we’re not returning to the way we worked before and that investing in these areas is a waste of time and money. This will make it increasingly difficult for the few companies that are adamant about post Covid-19 workforce policies as they continue to lose talent to organizations that are more comfortable with the new way of work. 

Worksome for better efficiency and performance

If efficiency and performance are a big priority for you as well, implementing an external workforce management system can help take care of that quickly. Take a look at our guide to learn how Worksome can simplify the five layers between your hiring managers and the talent they need into just one. Our tool also gives you better visibility into your external workforce, so you can understand where those inefficiencies lie and improve them more quickly.