As you will likely be only too aware, one of the biggest challenges faced by any business is the ongoing management of its workforce, particularly when utilising contingent and contract workers in addition to permanent teams. Pre-pandemic, this was complex enough, but now we live in a world where talent is potentially spread across borders and in different time zones, which requires a considerable amount of ongoing administration.
It would be fair to say that while people are your biggest asset, they’re also potentially your greatest challenge to manage, and in the turbulent times in which we’re now living, we’re seeing more and more firms turn to alternative approaches to managing the professionals under their remit.
As well as representing a major challenge, managing the recruitment and performance of your workforce is also a significant expense, particularly in the current climate where skills shortages have impacted many industries, and contractors are able to drive rates up and ultimately lead the market. This issue is particularly acute in industries like banking and IT, however you would be hard pressed to find many sectors that aren’t being impacted by shortages and aren’t turning to the skills of specialist contractors as a result.
This combination of growing demand for contract and contingent skills, more stretched HR and employment teams, and pressure on wider budgets has meant that many organisations are seeking an alternative approach, like adopting a Statement of Work (SoW).
Using SoW to deliver successful projects
Companies that use a Statement of Work approach to manage their workforce remove many of the aforementioned risks. This method means that a company outsources its work and project requirements, along with the management of the contractor workforce, to a third party – meaning they don’t have to pay individual contractors or increase their headcount.
This can potentially provide solutions to several issues. Firstly, projects are better aligned with wider corporate goals and objectives and there’s less scope for project creep as all parties are aware of what is required from their work. It also removes variable workforce costs as, again, these and the timeline and purpose of the project are agreed in advance. And there are no issues with lack of project control or concerns over efficiencies or quality as these factors are all also managed externally.
Using SoWs also means that employers don’t have to concern themselves over supplier and contractor performance, and adds another management stage into the process, further mitigating risk for the company the project is delivered for. More broadly, firms gain from greater process efficiencies and can manage their contract and contingent workforce as a whole, rather than having to worry over differing rates, employment schedules, contracts and more. This outsourced management solution provides improved project performance management and better visibility into all outsourced projects within a single purview.
Another benefit of the SoW approach, that tackles a potentially huge headache for employers, is the removal of the compliance burden. In many countries, including the UK, firms can be responsible for the non-compliance of the contractors that they are employing, with potentially major fines at risk for those who employ professionals – even on a contract basis – that are suspected of non-compliance. A SoW isn’t a way to mask the provision of labour as a consultancy agreement, but instead means that the third party is responsible for assessing and managing the taxes of the contractors it engages. For already stretched HR teams, this work can be an additional, complex, workload that they might feel reluctant to take on, however adopting a SoW agreement means that the burden is removed, and that internal departments are free of the stress, time and workload that managing compliance can create.
Obviously, making the correct choice with who you tender to and choose to manage your Statement of Work is a critical factor and will make all the difference, however it’s unsurprising that more firms are adopting these types of different approaches in the turbulent world that we’re operating in. The right partner will offer strong SoW management with the tracking and reporting necessary to enable business leaders to make changes to a programme if required, which will in turn give hiring managers the tools necessary to make informed buying decisions and maximises productivity throughout an organisation.
Our SoW Programme provides visibility and governance of smaller projects and associated spend. We help produce a scope of work, document and agree milestones for projects, onboard consultancies providing the projects and ensure that all documentation is accurate, compliant and auditable. We offer invoicing and payment services as well as supplier performance analytics to help you make better purchasing decisions in future. As an award-winning provider of Contingent Workforce Solutions, Omni can bring control and visibility to the entire recruitment process, whilst sourcing the best talent in the most efficient and cost-effective way. If you’re interested in utilising a Statement of Work approach to managing your contingent and contract workers, then get in contact with us today.