How to better control staffing costs.
How to better control
Staffing costs can represent a significant chunk of your organization’s expenses,
particularly when it comes to hiring skilled IT and engineering talent. However,
to many organizations, figuring out total staffing spend is like trying to hit a moving
target. Often, new information surfaces about additional contingent staff being
tapped somewhere in the company and, many times, procurement and human
resources teams are unaware.
To keep these costs under control, and to prevent them from popping up again
unexpectedly, establishing a relationship with a preferred staffing partner
The risks of
Even in organizations with well-established and well-intentioned
guidelines in place, rogue spending can still persist.
Rogue spending includes staffing expenditures that
occur outside the established procedural, contractual
and pricing guidelines, if these guidelines exist at all.
In these instances, “maverick managers” openly defy
established processes for securing and managing
temporary help. These managers will offer a variety
of reasons for doing so — they require highly specialized niche talent that cannot be readily secured
through larger staffing agencies; their outside vendors
are uniquely qualified and experienced and understand the corporate culture; and it’s just the way it’s
always been done.
are both inefficient and costly. It’s also nearly impossible
for procurement, finance or HR departments to accurately
track and measure staffing spend.
“Often we find there is no standardization in place,”
says a top regional accounts director for Adecco
Engineering & Technology Division. ”It can seem like
every manager has a different hiring team, and they then
have two or three vendors they’re using. There’s no process for handling resumes and no standardized rates
for specific roles — really not enough discipline around
the entire process.”
Whatever the root cause of rogue spending, it simply
has no place in a successful business. Lack of enterprise
oversight and uniformity in process and guidelines
Lack of established guidelines
or protocol in place
How does spending go rogue?
Managers who establish
their own relationships,
rates and processes
Disparate and decentralized processes
and contracts that make it impossible
to keep everything under control
Rein in rogue spending.
Many of the reasons given for “going rogue” do not hold
up under scrutiny. Here’s why:
•Many major enterprise-wide staffing programs can
readily supply highly skilled and highly specialized
expertise, including in the IT and engineering space
•Establishing a preferred staffing relationship gives
you a partner with a deep understanding of your
organization’s culture, processes and strategic objectives, allowing them to effectively deliver top talent
and meet established cost-control goals
•A preferred-partner environment does not necessarily mean that existing vendors or contractors will no
longer be working with the firm
“We are not trying to control the relationships of the
processes that are working for an organization,” says
a regional accounts director for Adecco Engineering
& Technology. “If a manager has two or three vendors
that he or she is happy with, then we can bring those
vendors into our program and make sure they agree
with standardized pricing that’s in line with current
market rates, and that they are not contracting a
persona at $80 an hour when they could reasonably
be paying $50 an hour.”
“When a client comes to us and says they want cost savings,
then we try to make sure that is achieved; and we work closely
with managers and existing vendors to make that happen.”
Although some vendors are resistant to the changes
in pricing and process, many others see the potential
benefits of working with a preferred staffing partner.
These benefits include lowering their own administrative
costs, gaining deeper penetration into other parts
of the organization and generating other partnership
opportunities elsewhere. Of course, your company
benefits in the form of a more streamlined and convenient staffing process.
“Just one example from a convenience standpoint
is that our client gets consistency with invoicing,” says
an Adecco Engineering & Technology regional accounts
director. “After you put a program in place, vendors
will bill us, not your organization. We manage invoicing
to all the vendors working with us. One bill, one report,
for the entire organization.”
Coordinating all staffing under one comprehensive
and standardized approach, especially when it come
to niche recruiting, can deliver swift and substantial
cost savings. It can also generate detailed staffing and
financial reporting that not only provides a real-time
snapshot of contingency force size, scope and cost,
but also key data to help better inform decision-making
and strategic planning.
leads to better results.
Automated reporting provides clear visibility into the entire staffing life
cycle and can generate a wide range of timely and real-time reports
that help measure results and deliver essential data and information.
Key reports include:
•Overall spend broken down in quarterly, monthly
and even weekly increments
•Hours logged for the entire enterprise as well
as within specific departments and projects
•Up-to-date invoicing and accounts payable
data broken down in a range of ways, including
by department, vendor or project
•Comparative costs for similar skill sets or roles
among different vendors to ensure the most costefficient spend
•Analysis of which type of staffing resources will
most effectively and efficiently handle a specific
project or assignment
These reports add significant value and insight,
enabling better strategic long-range business planning
and staffing forecasting.
“Forecasting is a huge part of the value we bring
to the table,” says an area vice president for Adecco Engineering & Technology. “Through the insights provided
by our reports, we can help assess what the needs
are over several different time horizons. We can help
assess if a project will need five or six people or something like 30 or 40. Working with HR and procurement,
we can really help an organization get a clear idea
of what their spend is moving forward and whether
they might get a preferred rate depending on those
•Ongoing status reports of available talent, as well
as visibility into where specific candidates are in
the vetting or on-boarding process
•A detailed breakdown by classification of the overall
enterprise staffing picture
Of course, achieving the full potential of your preferred
vendor program requires buy-in throughout the organization. But there are three key departments you need
to focus on in particular — finance, HR and procurement.
Each of these departments has a vested interest in the
success of a preferred vendor program. It’s essential
to involve key stakeholders from all three early in the
process, let them know the benefits of the program
and engage them in all decisions.
When you have procurement, finance and HR working
in concert on this, you significantly increase your chances
of getting great results.
After you secure key stakeholder buy-in, make sure that
impending changes are communicated through the
organization as early as possible to encourage greater
understanding. Pay particular attention to hiring managers and key IT and engineering employees who work
closely with contractors and temporary staff, and let
them know how they will benefit from the change.
The benefits of buy-in.
Among the key benefits to emphasize:
Once established in an organization, a preferred staffing partner takes over
many of the roles associated with recruiting, vetting, hiring, on-boarding,
training, managing and paying talent. They are also at the ready if issues
arise, freeing up time for managers and their teams to focus on high-value
work and improving productivity and efficiency while raising the group’s
profile within the organization.
The cost savings generated through the efficiencies delivered by a preferred
staffing partner can ripple through an organization, meaning department
budgets may benefit by having additional financial resources for staff,
training or technology investments.
Compliance is a major issue facing corporations today, and partnering with
a reputable staffing firm significantly reduces risks by assuring that contingent
staff members are properly screened, vetted and approved to perform
specific duties. In addition, major staffing firms have independent contractor
vetting programs, preventing potential violations of federal labor laws.
Assure managers that moving to a preferred staffing partner does not mean
a downgrade in the talent provided. While rogue spenders may initially balk
at a new staffing procedure, their concerns are generally allayed after they
see that the talent assigned to their group is highly capable. Over time, the
consistency and capabilities of the talent should turn managers into believers
in the benefits of a preferred partner relationship.
With considerable resources at their disposal, established preferred staffing
partners can quickly identify and deploy the right talent, for the right role,
at the right time. Instead of spending hours seeking those with specific skill
sets, managers can focus on managing the work that needs to get done.
the bottom line.
Leveraging the expertise of a preferred staffing partner
with specialized recruiting divisions is an important step toward
controlling staffing costs, raising the strategic profile of your
team and adding significant value to the entire organization.
A preferred staffing partner can also help your enterprise make
sound, data-driven decisions and projections regarding staffing
and other related issues. With an engaged partner, you can
enhance productivity and efficiency, secure top-tier, highly
scalable talent and significantly reduce your compliance and
For more information on how to control your staffing costs, or to take the first step in establishing
a relationship with Adecco as your preferred staffing partner, please contact us today.