HR Trends: Five Best Practices to Effectively Manage A Contingent Workforce

To ensure program success, HR professionals and team leaders need to know how to effectively manage contingent workers.

More and more businesses are seeing the benefits of hiring contingent workers.

This growing part of the workforce is made up of freelancers, independent contractors, and other outsourced and non-permanent workers. Contingent workers are hired on a per-project basis and they can work either on-site or remotely.

Contingent workers are not simply temp workers. They are highly skilled experts in their specific fields and can add high value to projects.

To ensure program success, HR professionals and team leaders need to know how to effectively manage contingent workers.


1.Treat Contingent Workers as Part of the Team

To effectively manage a contingent workforce, you need to treat the workers as part of the family. After all, contingent workers are invaluable assets to projects, so they need to be welcomed and treated with respect.

Including them in your company family in the same way as your employees can be difficult, though. For instance, permanent employees may view them as being only temporary workers and therefore hesitate to accept them as much as they would new full-time employees.

To solve that challenge, onboard contingent workers from the very start of a project. That enables them to feel more connected to your company and the project’s team.

It gives contingent workers the opportunity to form relationships with their co-workers. In turn, that means projects will run more smoothly.

Make sure you take the time to welcome your contingent workforce and introduce them to the other team members while explaining each person’s role if you want your contingent workers to seamlessly fit in with your company.


2. Keep Up to Date with the Latest and Best Managerial Approaches

HR trends are always changing, so to ensure you onboard your contingent workers in the right way over the coming months and years, you need to stay up to date with the latest HR and business trends.

You also need to continually evolve your HR skills to ensure you are providing the most effective managerial methods with contingent workers and employees.

Whether you are new to your HR career or a veteran professional, keep an eye on all the latest HR news.

Check out these HR newsletters worth following so that you can stay informed, active, and engaged in the HR community and continually manage your workforce well.


3. Ensure Two-way Communication Is Consistent

It can be challenging to connect contingent workers to your company culture in the same way as employees due to the temporary nature of the contingent workforce.

But if you want to effectively manage contingent workers and ensure they represent your company’s values and mission, you need them to embrace your company culture.

One of the best and easiest ways of helping bring that about is to ensure two-way communication is consistent.

When contingent workers are able to easily communicate with team members, team leaders, managers, and HR professionals, they will feel much more connected to the team, projects, brand, and company culture.

So, enable contingent workers to access the same communication systems that your employees use, such as your company’s intranet or messaging site. Invite contingent workers to attend meetings too and encourage them to share their ideas and concerns.


4. Provide Opportunities for Contingent Workers to Grow

Just like permanent employees, most contingent workers want to improve, hone, and expand their skills and abilities to increase the value of their services.

If you are able to provide your contingent workforce with opportunities for growth, those workers are more likely to stay faithful to your company and be available for future work.

By having loyal and highly-skilled contingent workers available, you not only gain their professionalism and expertise. You also do not have to spend time recruiting and onboarding new employees.


5. Consider Software Management Tools to Manage and Monitor Contingent Workers

In order to effectively manage any workers, you need to be able to track their performance.

However, that can be more challenging with contingent workers in comparison to permanent employees. For instance, you cannot legally track clocking in and out hours in the same way as you would for employees.

Therefore, measuring performance in a contingent workforce has more to do with assessing contingent workers’ deliverables than assessing things like how long they spend on projects.

By using the right management software, it is much easier and less time-consuming to measure deliverables.

 It also becomes simple to manage the contract details of contingent workers and centralize information like work frequency, invoices, and pay.


When a contingent workforce is properly managed and you ensure the workers feel valued by your company, those workers can become invaluable assets to your organization.

So, to recap, you should help make contingent workers feel part of the team, keep up to date with the latest managerial approaches, ensure there is a high level of two-way communication, provide opportunities for contingent workers to learn new skills and evolve in their careers, and consider the use of management software to effectively manage and monitor your contingent workforce.

By using the right approach and tools, you can optimize the value your contingent workforce brings to your company.