The external workforce (e.g., contractors, gig workers) has grown in size and importance, but it is still understudied, misunderstood, and mismanaged. Based on a research program by SHRM and SAP SuccessFactors, this interactive session uses the external worker lifecycle as the basis for describing research results and sharing practical tools for how to improve the external workforce experience.
At the end of this seminar, the learner will be able to:
- Describe what constitutes external work and the motives for organizations to employ external workers and external workers to pursue that type of work
- Understand how HR, managers, internal employees, and external workers perceive the practices used by businesses to manage external workers
- Define the dimensions and maturity indicators of an external workforce management strategy
- Identify recommendations for how to better manage and engage external workers across their lifecycle in an organization
Description of session:
Based on an extensive applied research program with over 3,000 total participants undertaken by SHRM and SAP SuccessFactors, this session will provide a comprehensive point of view on how to more effectively utilize and recognize external workers as an important part of the total workforce. The research considers the external workforce from employer, worker, and societal perspectives to ultimately provide evidence-based guidance, resources, and tools for companies
to better understand the external worker experience and more effectively manage and engage the external workforce through their lifecycle within an organization.
We will start by sharing the applied research methodology that was used to gather data from HR practitioners, external workers, internal employees who work alongside external workers, and managers of external workers.
Then, the structure of the seminar will follow that of an external workforce management toolkit, which was jointly developed by SHRM and SAP SuccessFactors based on the findings from the applied research program. As each topic is addressed, relevant applied research findings will be shared, practical recommendations will be offered, and participants will have an opportunity to contemplate how the specific topic, research results, and recommendations apply to their particular situation and interest (e.g., an internal practitioner will consider how their organization currently onboards their external workforce and how they might be able to do it more effectively). Given the many topics addressed in the toolkit, as outlined below, the seminar’s focus can be tailored to those topics of greatest interest to the participants, which can be gauged at the beginning of the seminar either via discussion or online polling based on the size of the audience.
Foundational topics that will be shared and discussed include an external workforce management maturity model, key considerations for building a business case so companies will invest in their external workforce, creating an external workforce philosophy, strategy, and governance model, important legal and compliance considerations when employing an external workforce, and how technology can be used to facilitate the management and engagement of external workers.
Then, the bulk of the time will be focused on considering each stage of the external worker lifecycle within an organization and considering how external workers, internal employees, managers, and HR experience the stage and how organizations can make that experience more effective. The stages include planning (e.g., External Worker or Internal Employee? A Hiring Decision Matrix), sourcing (e.g., Curating an external worker employment brand), onboarding (e.g., Best Practices for Onboarding Your External Workforce), working and engaging (e.g., Developing Leaders to Manage a Blended Workforce; Best Practices for Including and Engaging External Workers), paying (e.g., Considerations for External Worker Compensation), and exiting (e.g., Key Considerations and Recommendations for Exiting External Workers).
Attendees will be provided with the whitepaper summarizing the research findings and the full external workforce management toolkit. Additionally, based on the exercises throughout the seminar, they will leave with a plan of practical solutions tailored to their unique context to more effectively manage and engage the external workforce in ways that will be beneficial to both organizations and workers alike.
This session is intended for a general audience at a post-graduate level. While no specific content knowledge or expertise is required, prior exposure to the topic of the external workforce generally may be useful. While this seminar will be mainly tailored towards HR internal practitioners and external consultants, it will also be beneficial to academic scholars and applied
researchers who are interested in pursuing a research program on the external workforce.
Autumn Krauss is a Principal Scientist in SAP SuccessFactors’ Human Capital Management Research Team. Her role is focused on conducting and applying research on the psychology of work to inform the solutions that SAP SuccessFactors develops and delivers to its clients, as well as providing consultative guidance to companies so they can best leverage human capital management practices to foster a strong positive company culture and improve employee experience and well-being. Dr. Krauss has over 15 years of experience consulting to senior leaders around the globe, as well as speaking, writing, and conducting applied research on topics across the spectrum of human capital management, with her applied research programs funded by the SHRM Foundation, the CDC, and NIOSH. With her primary areas of expertise being assessment development, culture change, talent management, and employee well-being, she has overseen the creation and implementation of large-scale culture assessments, leadership development programs, and employee selection systems across organizations operating in industries such as power generation and distribution, mining, oil and gas, healthcare, and retail. She recently led SAP’s efforts in partnership with SHRM to conduct a comprehensive applied research program focused on the external workforce and how best to source, manage, and engage external workers as part of an effective total workforce management strategy. Autumn holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University.
Cassondra Batz-Barbarich is an Assistant Professor in Business at Lake Forest College. She earned her PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Purdue University, and her BS in psychology at Loyola University Chicago. She is actively engaged as an educator, researcher, and practitioner in her field. Her research on well-being and gender challenges in the workplace have been featured in top scientific journals including Psychological Science and she has worked for Fortune 500 companies in the areas of human resources and human capital management.
Xiaoyuan (Susan) Zhu is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Research and Insights at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She received her Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from University of Connecticut and B.A. in psychology and biology from Wake Forest University. Susan’s research focuses on recruitment, staffing and leader decision-making; her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Business and Psychology, International Journal of Selection and Assessments, and Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. Susan has previously worked at IBM-Kenexa and American Institutes for Research, where she consulted on recruitment, selection, employee engagement, and organizational change projects for a variety of Fortune 100 clients. She has also received scholarships and awards from SIOP, NIOSH, and University of Connecticut for her research, practice, and teaching efforts.
Liz Supinski is Director of Data Science and Research Products in the Department of Research & Insights at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Prior to joining SHRM in 2015. Prior to joining SHRM, she had a nearly 20-year consulting career in I/O psychology and
technology including personnel assessment, training, data analytics and visualization, user experience design, training and testing for software and project management. Her current focus spans research methods, data management and analytics. She received her M.S. in Data Science from Indiana University, Bloomington, her M.A. in I/O Psychology from George Mason University and her B.S. in Microbiology from the Pennsylvania State University.