There’s an App for That: Consumer-Grade Technology Reaches the Contingent Workforce

One of the best parts of the smartphone and revolution is App Stores. Any individual consumer with a mobile device who is looking to make their lives easier can search the App Store and find something to make their lives easier and more enjoyable.  Banking, Maps, Ride-Hailing, Food Delivery, Shopping, Weather, Music – anything that provides an interface with an organization that manages that relationship and makes working with them, or working in general, easier is available to be downloaded and immediately start to add value.  The simplicity and agility that so many individual consumers enjoy through the App Store are also finally available to empower enterprise talent strategies.

 

If you research any problem you have with managing and sourcing talent, then I’m sure that a piece of technology exists to solve it. If there isn’t a solution, then no-code, low-code, and pro-code app development make it exceedingly easy for someone to create an app and meet different needs–even the complex ones. If they want, integrating this new technology into an organization’s core infrastructure (ERP) to further enable this technology and drive the user experience, can easily be done with that new piece of technology.  It’s just about time and money.  Money is a quick one,  if there is value in it, then people will buy it. Hence why global revenue from mobile apps will grow from $318 to $613 billion from 2020 to 2025 [1].  Time, however, is a problem. Fortunately, contingent workforce programs can now take advantage of this investment and growth for specific purposes.

 

In the world of app stores, people want something now. With legacy vendor management systems (VMS) and other extended workforce technology, it’s hard to get them to quickly integrate with new solutions.  They have their select partners, which makes them faster to deploy for their customers. However, those partners may not be exactly what’s needed. Creating these integrations with a new provider will require this item to get added to an enhancement request list.  These items, along with all other client requests, are assessed and the roadmap is determined for the next six to 12 months.  It’s limited in terms of choice and agility because the integrations are so costly and time-consuming for customer software as a service (SaaS) applications.

 

I’m not suggesting we overwhelm information technology (IT) leaders with the number of technology solutions a company leverages. And I respect all the control points that an organization deploys to ensure their technology partners meet minimum-security standards, but it should be a lot easier to adopt technologies so they can provide the right solutions and enable the business.  Business needs evolve quickly, and getting the right talent and solutions to meet those needs is critical to success.

 

Open Interface With Whatever Your Talent Program Needs

 

As the technology hub for your extended workforce solution, your VMS needs to have the ability to source any talent while having an app store mindset. The VMS needs to have an open architecture to be able to quickly adapt and bolt on new value-added solutions as your business needs evolve and change.  Your VMS needs to have a development toolkit that allows them to be agile and quickly develop new functionality to incorporate these systems into the workflow or to quickly change workflows as requirements change. There must be state-of-the-art integration tools to quickly customize application programming interfaces (APIs) and bolt-on these value-added systems. And ideally, there needs to be an app marketplace where solution providers can join to further streamline the adoption of the product while ensuring security standards. 

 

Here are just a few examples of this:

  • As talent needs change, your organization must be able to quickly bolt on new tools to support new sources of talent through direct sourcing, freelance management systems, or talent pool providers.
  • Additional screening tools into the core VMS workflow can better evaluate candidates with unique skills that a company has never hired for in the past.
  • Adding new technology to automate credentialing for new certifications is required for your workforce to drive better compliance.
  • New project tools are needed to drive better management of teams and reduce administration.
  • Adding new onboarding and provisioning should be done with an eye on the contractor experience rather than just the process.
  • Or even simply bolt-on compliance tools to validate workers’ background checks or other onboarding compliance items. And to be able to deploy this to improve compliance in days, not months.
  •  

One of the core reasons why Flextrack decided to re-architect 15-year-old VMS technology with Salesforce is because of the latter’s integration capabilities. Having tools like MuleSoft where enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like SAP, Workday, Oracle, and many others certify their APIs with the MuleSoft platform makes it easier for organizations to integrate Flextrack with their core internal systems. SalesForce also has its version of the App Store, which houses over 4,000 vetted third-party business applications all designed to easily bolt onto their development platform.  DocuSign, Workday, Conga, LinkedIn, and Vertex are just a few of the apps on the Salesforce AppExchange®.  By having all of these tools alongside the no-code, low-code, and pro-code app development toolkit, Flextrack can quickly react to business needs.  Together, these tools enable Flextrack to have an “integrate first” mentality, which enables our customers to adopt the technologies they need and get the talent to be successful.

 

Corporate leaders need the ease and simplicity of an app store to create a truly agile workforce strategy. Fortunately for them and the growing segment of contingent workforce talent and solutions, it’s here.

 

Want to learn more about Flextrack’s extended workforce platform? Contact us.

 

[1]  https://www.statista.com/forecasts/1262892/mobile-app-revenue-worldwide-by-segment, n.d. 

Mark has over 25 years of experience in the workforce solutions industry. Mark has been responsible for implementing, operating, and transforming contingent workforce solutions for hundreds of organizations worldwide. Mark has also led technology teams that built and managed VMS solutions and other technology solutions to digitize and transform extended workforce solutions

Mark Zolkos
mark.zolkos@flextrackservices.com

Managing Director, Flextrack