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Explained: Best Practices for Managing a Contingent Workforce

Best Practices for Managing a Contingent Workforce - SimplifyVMS Resource Guide

Are you finding it difficult to manage your external workforce working in different business units?

From compliance to performance tracking, there are a lot of aspects to consider when managing a contingent workforce.  

Today’s post will discuss best practices for effectively managing contingent workers, including freelancers, contractors, and temporary staff. Also, we will share some expert tips on how to elevate vendor performance.  

Without further ado, let’s get started.  

Strategic Workforce Planning 

Managing a contingent workforce requires strategic planning and execution to ensure that organizations maximize productivity, maintain compliance, and foster a positive working environment.  

Effective management begins with strategic workforce planning. Understanding the specific roles that contingent workers will fill and aligning these roles with business goals is crucial. 

Learn how a global hotel chain enhanced vendor efficiency in just 6 months 

Let’s begin by understanding the core components of strategic workforce planning: 

  • Assess Organizational Needs: Identify the skills and roles necessary to meet business objectives. Determine which tasks are best suited for contingent workers versus permanent employees. 
  • Budget Allocation: Allocate budget for contingent labor, considering factors such as market rates, duration of contracts, and potential for conversion to full-time roles. 
  • Risk Management: Develop a risk management plan to address potential legal, financial, and operational risks associated with contingent workers. 

 Once we have a strategy in place, the onus will be on managing the broader aspects.  

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Best Practices for Managing a Contingent Workforce 

Be it new labor laws or tax rate fluctuations, the dynamics of managing a contingent workforce are ever-changing.  

As a business owner handling a contingent workforce, you need to consider various aspects ranging from onboarding to vendor risk management.  

This is where you will need advanced VMS software with limitless capabilities regarding onboarding, risk management, performance tracking, and more.  

Now that you already understand the key components of strategic contingent workforce planning, let’s discover the best practices.  

A contingent workforce management strategy powered by a combination of a cloud-based VMS and best practices can instantly turn your contingent workforce into your biggest competitive advantage.  

Let’s discover the best practices:  

#1. Comprehensive Onboarding Process 

A thorough onboarding process is essential for integrating contingent workers into your organization effectively. 

When we say a comprehensive onboarding process, we imagine a simple and effective UI that can be seamlessly used by vendors, MSPs, and hiring managers. 

 Also, it should have a complete process with everything in place  

  • Clear Communication: Provide clear communication about job roles, expectations, and organizational policies. This ensures that contingent workers understand their responsibilities from day one. 
  • Access to Resources: Ensure that contingent workers have access to the necessary tools, resources, and training required to perform their tasks efficiently. 
  • Cultural Integration: Introduce contingent workers to the organizational culture. This can be achieved through orientation sessions, mentorship programs, and team-building activities. 

#2. Performance Management and Feedback 

Maintaining high performance and continuous improvement among contingent workers requires robust performance management practices. 

  • Regular Check-ins: Schedule regular check-ins to monitor progress, provide feedback, and address any concerns. This helps maintain alignment with project goals and timelines. 
  • Performance Metrics: Establish clear performance metrics and KPIs to measure the effectiveness of contingent workers. Use these metrics to provide constructive feedback and recognize achievements. 
  • Professional Development: Offer opportunities for professional development to help contingent workers enhance their skills and contribute more effectively to the organization. 

#3. Compliance and Legal Considerations 

Adhering to legal and regulatory requirements is critical when managing a contingent workforce. 

  • Classification Accuracy: Ensure that contingent workers are accurately classified to avoid legal issues related to misclassification. This involves understanding the distinctions between employees and independent contractors. 
  • Contract Management: Develop comprehensive contracts that outline the scope of work, duration, compensation, and termination conditions. Regularly review and update these contracts to remain compliant with changing regulations. 
  • Labor Laws: Stay informed about relevant labor laws and regulations, including those related to minimum wage, overtime, and benefits. Implement policies to ensure compliance and avoid penalties. 

#4. Effective Communication Strategies 

Effective communication is key to managing a diverse and dispersed contingent workforce. 

  • Centralized Communication Platforms: Utilize centralized communication platforms to streamline interactions and ensure that all team members are on the same page. 
  • Transparent Information Sharing: Foster a culture of transparency by sharing important information, updates, and changes promptly. This helps build trust and keeps contingent workers informed. 
  • Feedback Channels: Establish clear channels for feedback, allowing contingent workers to voice their concerns and suggestions. This can lead to improved processes and a more engaged workforce. 

#5. Utilizing Technology and Tools 

Leveraging technology can enhance the management of contingent workers, making processes more efficient and effective. 

  • Workforce Management Systems: Implement workforce management systems to streamline scheduling, time tracking, and payroll processes. 
  • Collaboration Tools: Use collaboration tools to facilitate seamless communication and project management among contingent workers and permanent staff. 
  • Data Analytics: Utilize data analytics to gain insights into the performance and productivity of contingent workers. This information can inform decision-making and strategy adjustments. 


Managing a contingent workforce effectively requires a strategic approach that encompasses workforce planning, onboarding, performance management, compliance, communication, and technology utilization.  

By implementing these best practices, organizations can optimize the contributions of their contingent workers, ensuring both compliance and high performance. 

We hope you really enjoyed reading this post, if that’s the case then you should definitely check out the following resources:  




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