Learn How Work Gets Done At Philips

The Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) annual Contingent Workforce Strategies (CWS) Summit Europe, held virtually April 20-21, hosted over 500 attendees across 300 companies. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Philips Head of Workforce Strategy, Maarten Hansson, in a session titled “Taking the Steps Towards True Total Talent Management.”

Philips has been focused over the past three years on alignment across typically siloed organizations like HR, Procurement, IT, and the business units to create an integrated approach to workforce management. This is the result of a business transformation throughout the organization as they sold off several businesses to concentrate on providing future health technology and services across the globe. 

Today, Philips has approximately 80,000 full-time employees in 100 countries and around 5,000 contractors in 24 countries, which are managed in Workday and via a VMS/MSP. They have another 15,000 outsourced workers with engagements across the globe, and this is a population they don’t currently have the visibility into from a classification, work product, contracts perspective. 

In thinking about this business transformation, Hansson, who moved from a role in Procurement to HR, said visibility across the entire workforce, along with being able to integrally access the best source of talent, became critical.

Rather than HR looking at time management and talent acquisition and Procurement looking at contingent and outsourced services, Philips is now taking an integrated approach to all talent -- contingent, employee, and outsourced workers starting in their HR system, Workday

The three R’s

They did this, Hansson said, by looking at the Three R’s: Right place, Right way,  and Right cost. To do this, the organization needed to stop looking at the role itself and who should do it and instead look at the work that needs to be done. The pandemic and rise of remote work, he said, allowed the organization to look less at a specific work location and look at where the work could be done most efficiently to focus on their core business. 

Hansson said his team spent a lot of time educating the organization on the concept of total talent management, the rise of the gig economy, SOW management, and emerging talent marketplaces as they transformed and prepared for the future of work. Then, they began small, applying the principles of a total workforce by embedding this “as a service” mentality into all of their business processes. They found use cases within a function, business, or department and began to see cost and efficiency improvements. There was quicker access to top talent and, with that, total talent management became a more scalable, effective way to solve business challenges. Reimaging what the workforce could be, said Hansson, enabled them to move from a complex talent strategy to a more integrated approach. 

Control the river

Hansson said in order to choose the right technology solution for a business, organizations must first review all of their policies, procedures, bottlenecks, and internal workflows. Then, begin asking questions around, “What does effective workforce planning look like for us?” There needs to be an understanding of what exists today in all parts of the business, including clarity on where workers are sitting today, the types of workers that exist, and where, to determine an appropriate technology solution. 

Hansson used a river analogy to apply integrated workforce management into an existing organization. If you look at a “lake” (for example, “How do we optimize contingent or SOW spend?”), it can be daunting. But if you can control the river flowing into that lake, you already know what will be in it. You can manage and guide it and set it up right the first time. Similarly, for your total workforce, if leadership within Procurement, HR, and other areas assess how work can best be done and make deliberate choices about it, they can strategically decide how to respond to challenges (i.e., peak seasons, maternity leaves, illness, projects, etc).

To do this, there must be one funnel, one “Front Door,” to determine the requirements and advise the business on the most strategic manner to get work done. This not only helps control cost and provides access to the right talent to do the work, it leans out what was a manual process and provides a great user experience to the business. 

The future of work means there should be options for how to best get work done. This can’t be accomplished without a more strategic approach to finding, sourcing, and accessing talent which requires less focus on the role and more focus on the work that needs to be done. 

If you want more information on how Utmost Front Door works in real-life scenarios, consider attending a live 30 min demo. 

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