What is Contingent Workforce Management?

By MBO Partners | September 24, 2021

people talking at desk in office

What is Contingent Workforce Management?

Contingent workforce management involves finding, engaging, and managing contingent talent—people who work as independent contractors, consultants, freelancers, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, gig workers etc. In order to build a blended workforce that is a strategic mix of contingent and full-time talent, it is important to: (1) engage talent quickly, cost-effectively, and compliantly, (2) design and scale a contingent workforce program, and (3) take steps to optimize that workforce.

Benefits of contingent workforce management

When engaging any type of contingent talent, companies should take steps to comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations. If a company does not properly classify and manage their workers, they may be violating wage, tax, and employment eligibility laws. That’s why a contingent workforce management solution is the best way to minimize exposure to misclassification liability.

When considering what your program should entail, it is important to keep in mind that generally speaking, compliance should grow as dollar value and length of independent contractor engagement increases. For example, professional service contracts that average six months and thousands of dollars require a greater level of compliance than a commodity, app-based service.

Skilled independent talent come from all different backgrounds, and bring individual levels of self-employability. With the right program in place, companies can provide these professionals with the flexibility they are looking for in a client relationship while ensuring their own airtight compliance.

How contingent workforce management helps leverage your workforce

Taking the time to build a program to manage your contingent workforce comes with many benefits, including:

  • Increased control over compliance risk: a comprehensive program helps organizations manage insurance requirements and tax payments, minimize rogue enterprise managers, control worker classification, and stay on top of the changing regulatory climate.
  • Significant cost savings: a well-rounded program helps to eliminate the financial burden of worker misclassification while providing companies with the insight and data they need to efficiently manage independent contractor spend. It also gives companies the ability to bypass the expense of recruiting, hiring, and training full-time employees for similar initiatives.
  • Increased productivity and efficiency: a streamlined program boosts the satisfaction of contingent workers, and many organizations have realized increased output, and higher happiness and productivity levels among talent.
  • Staffing flexibility: independent talent give companies the ability to bring skilled experts on board when and where they are needed most, allowing them to grow and shrink their workforce throughout the year.
  • Competitiveness and innovation: bringing in talent with in-demand skills lets companies to be more agile and competitive among their peers, giving them ability to innovate in new areas outside the expertise of their core workforce.
  • Empowered enterprise managers: a program with simplified onboarding and engagement reduces the amount of time managers have to spend reviewing candidates, creating an easy-to-follow process.
  • Future re-engagement: previously engaged independent talent can quickly and easily be re-engaged for future projects, reducing onboarding time, saving costs, and getting projects started faster.

How contingent workforce management leads to workforce optimization

Of course, a contingent workforce management solution doesn’t just solve the immediate tactical issues of engaging independent talent—it can lead to total workforce optimization. Businesses today know they need to think differently and a flexible workforce allows companies to quickly respond to project demands, more easily meet budget constraints, and remain open to innovation. In our ever-changing economy, properly managing independent talent resources can create true competitive advantage.

Looking for more information on building your own contingent workforce management program? Contact our team of experts today.

The information provided in the MBO Blog does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice. It does not take into account your particular circumstances, objectives, legal and financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in the MBO Blog you should consider the appropriateness of the information for your situation in consultation with a professional advisor of your choosing.  

Related Posts


What is Workforce Optimization and Why Does It Matter?

October 14, 2021

In response to this widespread challenge of COVID-19, today’s organizations are struggling to do more with less. Forward-thinking companies are leveraging new technologies and experimenting with modes of working, such as virtual meetings and remote work. This new paradigm has highlighted the vast chasm between the traditional business model and the emerging modern one.  One…

man standing working on tablet

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Managing Remote Workers

October 13, 2021

Remote work is more common than ever before and many enterprise managers are finding the need to shift their mindset and policies to align with a virtual work environment. There are many benefits to remote work including increased work/life flexibility, lower costs, and often greater productivity. Of course, there are many challenges as well. In…

people talking at desk in office

How to Create an Independent Workforce Management Strategy: 6 Steps

October 7, 2021

When you engage independent workers, it is critical to have an independent workforce management strategy so that your program can be effective and successful. Whether you work with independent contractors, freelancers or consultants, contingent workers must be engaged and managed differently than traditional employees. There is a distinct level of compliance risk associated with this…

Learn more about the MBO Platform

For Independent Professionals

Start, run, and grow your independent business with MBO

For Enterprises

Find, manage and retain top-tier independent talent