Two Out of Three of Executives Say They Need the External Workforce to Operate at Full Capacity and Meet Market Demands, Survey Finds

WALLDORF — Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of senior executives at large and midsize enterprises say their external workforce is essential for operating at full capacity and meeting demand, according to new global survey from SAP Fieldglass and Oxford Economics.

Nearly half (46 percent) of the executives say they would be unable to conduct business as usual without their external workforce.

The new report, “External Workforce Insights 2018: The Forces Reshaping How Work Gets Done,” is based on a survey of 800 senior executives in more than a dozen countries. It reveals that controlling costs is no longer the principal driver for hiring an external workforce. The respondents most frequently identified developing or improving products and services, and increasing speed to market as motivating factors.

Furthermore, 62 percent of executives say their external workforce improves their company’s overall financial performance.

“Despite the increasingly strategic nature of the external workforce and its importance at the core of business today, the visibility into this talent remains limited,” SAP Fieldglass President Rob Brimm said. “The C-suite could be doing more to maximize the return businesses realize from their external workforce.”

In fact, although the executives report that roughly 44 percent of the overall workforce spend is on external workers, only 19 percent of them strongly agree their organization has a talent strategy for employees and their external workforce.

“Our research points to a small group of companies, the pacesetters, who demonstrate markedly superior performance than their peers in their ability to manage and extract value from their external workforce,” Brimm said.

Pacesetters have greater visibility into this talent as they are more frequently “highly informed” in areas that are “very important” to their business, such as labor/pay rates, compliance, the nature of the work, duration, quality, number of resources and access to systems and confidential information. They also find it easier to manage their external talent. More than other respondents, they believe their multichannel workforce enables them to improve their company’s financial/business performance and/or helps them compete in a digital world.

Access the report here. Learn more about SAP Fieldglass solutions for external talent management and service procurement here.

How important is the external workforce in meeting business goals?
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About the Research
SAP Fieldglass collaborated with Oxford Economics to develop the survey of 800 senior executives, director level and above, in procurement, human resources/talent management, information technology and finance at enterprises with revenue greater than $500 million. The survey was conducted in late 2017 and early 2018. More than half of the businesses represented in the research have revenue greater than $5 billion. One-third of the respondents are C-suite executives. The sample includes 16 industries and 14 countries, plus the Nordic region of Europe.

SAP Fieldglass solutions, leaders in external talent management and services procurement, are used by organizations around the world to find, engage and manage all types of flexible resources. The SAP Fieldglass cloud-based open platform has been deployed in more than 180 countries and helps companies increase operational agility and accelerate business outcomes in the digital economy. Backed by the resources of SAP, our customers benefit from a road map driven by a continuous investment in innovation.

Media Contact:
Barbara Lyon, +1 (312) 763-4446, barbara.lyon@sap.com, ET

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