The importance of understanding the true value of contingent workforce data

Contingent workforce data: is it the most valuable asset in your business?

It’s argued that people are the greatest asset (and investment) of any high-functioning, successful organisation. And whilst this stands to reason, what is perhaps the foundation of this claim, is the supporting insights and analytics about the workforce that creates real value.

This is especially so when it comes to contingent workers.

By understanding the true value of your contingent workers, you’re able to get the maximum benefit from your investment in them.

Here are some examples of questions that can be answered by contingent workforce data:

  • What’s been the most successful source of contingent workers?
  • How can you increase your time-to-productivity of your contingent workers?
  • Are contingent workers enabling your business goals to be achieved faster?
  • Is the contingent workforce representative of your company’s diversity and inclusion policies?

And there’s so much more…

Today we’re going to look at key points of value available from contingent workforce data. These may well be the insights you need to vastly improve the ROI on your contingent talent investment.

How to extract the right data for your business

Firstly though, I want to ensure you’re aware of the best tools of the trade, to help you extract these data points. So below, I’ve outlined the leading strategies and technologies, to help you achieve that:


Your HR information system will be a key source of contingent workforce insights. Keep in mind, your system’s data will only be as valuable as the information it contains. So updating it consistently is a must. The HRIS houses data such as:

  • Recruiting and sourcing contingent workers
  • Project and role architecture
  • Performance management feedback
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Demographic data
  • Contingent worker training and development data

Contractor surveys:

Contingent worker surveys on their experience of your organisation offer valuable business insights. These surveys conducted regularly and consistently will provide insights into:

  • How engaged your contingent workers are
  • How informed the contractors feel, in order to do their job successfully
  • How effective your onboarding and management processes are

Outsourced Contingent Workforce Management Program:

If you’re running a strategically outsourced contingent workforce program, you’ve likely got access to a suite of data and analyses to inform your contingent workforce decision making.

Our clients at CXC have access to a range of contingent workforce data. This includes internal data suited to their business, their workforce size and their strategic project goals. And external data such as demographic data, industry data and statutory data. These data points include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Contractor pay rates tracking by job type and industry, keeping your fees at market rate (not above)
  • Tracking of statutory changes and compliance
  • Success and effectiveness of onboarding
  • Tracking and reporting of agency margins
  • Diversity of your contingent workforce
  • Contract end dates, extensions
  • The dashboard of all contractors in the business (complete visibility)
  • Performance tracking and KPI reporting

Now, let’s get into the details of the key data points you need to access now. After all, you do want to get the most out of your contingent workers, right? Right!

Contingent Workforce Data: How Effective is your Sourcing Strategy?

As we’ve discussed before, strategic sourcing is the key to attract the right contractors to your business. Whether you’re direct sourcing, engaging third party workforce agencies, relying on referrals, or all of these solutions, there’s a lot of valuable data to be gleaned from sourcing. These contingent workforce data points include:

  • Suitability and long-term profitability of the contingent worker by the source of hire
  • Time to productivity by source
  • Time to hire by source
  • Cost per source
  • Long-term reliability of the source, to deliver quality contingent workers

Contingent Workforce Data: Onboarding with Success

Successfully onboarding contingent talent is a crucial foundation for their time in your business. It establishes a productivity roadmap and offers the workers confidence and business insight to get moving on the project quickly and efficiently.

There are a number of contingent workforce data measures that can be drawn from the onboarding process. These will determine if your organisation is onboarding successfully and with strategic intent. Or, if you’re lacking the robust onboarding framework that could give your business a competitive advantage.

Key data measures from onboarding include:

  • What was the time to full productivity?
  • Were there rectifications required after onboarding? What were they? Is this a number you can compare to past onboarding events?
  • Track how engaged and happy the contingent worker is. Surveys are one way to achieve this. But productivity, output, engagement and willingness to go beyond the requirements of the contract also offer valuable insights
  • Early disengagements: are contingent workers exiting their contracts in the early days? Are you ‘losing them’ within six months (otherwise known as the ‘quick quitters’)?

Contingent Workforce Data: Performance Enhancing Metrics

When you’re monitoring the performance of your contingent workers, your lens may be slightly more ‘macro’ than say, that of full-time employees. And the reason for this is often based on how a project is progressing (or not). This is a sometimes viewpoint taken instead of looking at how an individual worker is performing.

Rather, you may want to consider taking a view from both angles. Hear me out.

By applying the principles of performance management of your full-time workers to your contingent talent, you’ll be in a better position to gauge the progress of active projects. And you’ll be able to understand the contingent talent most involved in contributing to that project status.

These principles may include:

  • Periodical performance and KPI reviews
  • Knowledge and skills testing; if required, providing support via learning and training
  • Knowledge and skills testing; redeploying a contingent worker to a part of the business, in greater need of their skills
  • Pulse checking: a look at the worker’s satisfaction with the project, their involvement and progress

What is this data telling you? Are your contingent workers placed appropriately according to the business’ needs?

Are they engaged and happy working on your project? Are they a good fit for your team and culture?

Your answers to these questions will enable you to tweak and leverage the continent talent in your business.

Contingent workforce data enable HR and business leaders to establish project benchmarks, measure the success of individuals and projects, and optimise business processes so the company can focus on income and profitability. When used strategically and with clear goals, these analytics provide the insights to address project delays, a lack of skills and contractor attrition. The data points noted, take the guesswork out of HR and management decision making when it comes to contingent labour.


As one of the world’s leading providers of contingent worker management solutions, CXC is well positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy. With operations in more than 50 countries across five continents and decades of experience, we can assist with every aspect of your program.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help please contact us here.