More and more, in conversations with our customers, we’re seeing a marked transition in their most pressing Extended Workforce needs: for much of 2020, the focus was almost exclusively on managing spend for cost savings to shore up the business; in early 2021, the focus shifted to one of managing spend in order to fund growth investments; and, now, we are seeing an emerging, urgent focus on filling critical labor gaps across the business—especially among IT roles. This is not to say that cost savings or growth funding have entirely fallen away as priorities; this is just a layering-on of yet another mission-critical priority in the three-dimensional chess that is modern Extended Workforce management.
The reasons for the pressure on IT talent sourcing are well known and universally felt at this point: during the pandemic, while companies were forced out of necessity to let go of certain strategic projects, generally speaking they held tight to their digital transformation priorities—with the result being a proportional swelling of their IT contract labor relative to most other roles. Now, as companies are climbing out of the pandemic recession, they are doing so by doubling-down on their transformation projects, pushing competition for IT talent, services, and contract labor into the red zone. According to Brightfield’s June Extended Workforce Intelligence Report, the average monthly demand for new IT contingent assignments is currently running 30% higher than pre-pandemic demand levels.
With talent increasingly difficult to source—and power presently in the hands of the labor market—the task of securing IT workers demands far greater levels of perseverance and data analytics. Enterprise labor buying organizations are faced with the challenging physics of examining all the key levers that determine sourcing speed, cost, and quality across dozens or even hundreds of new work requirements across multiple business units and geographies at any given point in time—simultaneously.
At Brightfield, we are committed to supporting those companies whose fortunes rise and fall according to their ability to save costs, fund innovation, and efficiently acquire contract labor and services; and, our TDX platform is the intelligence hub enabling their ability to execute this multiple-objective spend and sourcing optimization process at scale:
1. Role optimization: What’s the right experience level of worker for each assignment? What skills are must-have versus optional? What is the predicted impact on speed to fill (and cost and quality) if we change the skill requirements? Can we loosen our max tenure policy in order to keep the workers we have longer and make ourselves more attractive to others?
2. Rate optimization: Given the upheaval in IT labor markets, are our rates still competitive by location? By role? By level? What is the likelihood that we are now inadvertently over-paying in specific places?
3. Location optimization: Which cities are emerging hubs of IT talent? How are bill rates and markups changing for specific skills in specific locations? What is the predicted impact on speed of sourcing if we embrace a work-from-anywhere strategy?
4. Supplier optimization: Can we better pair our current contingent IT workers whose assignments are about to expire with assignments about to open? Which of our suppliers are best or worst at fielding the types of roles we’re most desperate for? What are they charging in the way of markups? Can they support our diversity efforts at the same time that they speed up sourcing? Can we broaden the set of suppliers that receive each requisition? Can we experiment with other approaches like direct sourcing or bringing retirees back on contract?
Brightfield’s TDX platform enables this multi-variate process with the world’s richest market intelligence dataset and the automation of key labor buying decisions and processes. Our TDX platform combines anonymized customer data on approximately $400 billion in actual extended workforce transactions in over 10,000 locations across 40 countries. Our objective is to ensure enterprise contract labor buyers are sourcing the right work in the right volume from the right source at the right price.
If your organization is wrestling with challenges like these, please contact us for a TDX demo and to discuss how we can help.