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HR or Procurement? Who should manage procurement of temporary labour?

10 August 2022

Contingent and temporary labour enables businesses to scale amid seasonal and cyclical demands, as well as provide additional capabilities. Many industries such as construction, house building, healthcare, education, financial and professional services, retail, and public services, are utilising the operational and strategic benefits of a contingent/flexible workforce.

The use of flexible labour is not abating, and research suggests it will continue to increase in the next few years. According to Procurious’ and Beeline analysis, it now accounts for more than 40% of the worldwide workforce. By 2023, that figure will have risen to more than 50%.

The effective management of contingent and temporary labour is a full-time job, and this means that it cannot be handled by a single department. If your organisation is to develop an effective contingent workforce management plan, both the HR and procurement departments must collaborate. Often, hiring temporary workers is frequently done haphazardly, with no uniform or consistent strategy which is why most businesses have no visibility or control over how much they spend on the contingent and temporary workforce.

Procurement vs HR

 Procurement is the process of acquiring high-quality goods and services that allow your company to operate profitably and ethically. Procurement can obtain commodities and services for your company by issuing contracts, putting out invitations to bid, and requesting offers.

Procurement can increase earnings for your company by purchasing products or services from the best provider at the greatest available price.

HR oversees hiring and managing employees. To manage the task of recruiting personnel, this department use tools created for people management.

Not only that, but HR is also well-versed in tracking employee activity. This ensures that they are delivering a finished product that will propel your company forward and stimulate growth.

Who should manage temporary HR or Procurement?

While strategic workforce planning and talent management may be HR’s responsibility, procurement can also add value to this category for a few reasons such as:

  • Securing significant cost savings - By finding ways/techniques/technology to help them achieve such savings.
  • Risk management-procurement professionals are great at managing risk and therefore they are better placed to understand organisational risks associated with contingent labour

A good compromise would be for procurement to oversee the process from start to finish, while HR determines what success looks like in the future. Human resources and procurement should collaborate to ensure they have the finest personnel at the best price while controlling risk, which will benefit the organisation as a whole in the long run.


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