PRO Insights Blog

Achieve Peak Value with an Integrated Contingent Workforce Model

January 18, 2018
A recent article in Buyers Meeting Point, a renowned procurement news outlet, details the 5 benefits of a purely vendor-neutral and integrated contingent workforce management model. As the contingent workforce continues to expand with companies spending significant amounts of capital on talent, the need for proper management has become all the more important. Thus, a purely vendor-neutral and integrated Managed Services Provider (MSP) and Vendor Management System (VMS) is the optimum solution to implement in order to achieve a number of key benefits. Let’s explore these benefits further: Risk Management: Having an MSP team well-versed in the complexities of managing worker classification and co-employment risk management can make a huge difference in eliminating issues. Cost Savings: Consolidated invoicing through a VMS reduces instances of a billing error, while the aforementioned MSP risk mitigation helps ensure clients avoid costly litigation and misclassification penalties. Process Efficiency: With a dual offering, the on-site MSP team of recruitment and employment experts oversees the automation of contingent workforce management processes via the VMS. Users can then tap into the power of automation to reduce the average requisition process from weeks to days. Complete Workforce Visibility: With a cutting-edge integrated MSP/VMS solution, users with specific needs can work with their MSP to create an executive dashboard. These personalized dashboards can visually reflect the data points requested and enable the ability to interact with this data in a seemingly endless number of ways. Talent Quality: Clients can work with their MSP to develop a supplier-tiering system to deliver new job requisitions to first-level suppliers that have historically provided superior talent. To sum it up for you, an integrated solution has the ability to produce a plethora of enhancements and benefits for an organization that could not be achieved when an MSP and VMS are implemented separately. Read the complete article to learn more. If you or a member of your team would benefit from a further discussion on how PRO can help you with your contingent workforce management program, please contact a PRO representative at 800.291.1099 or email at Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of PRO Unlimited and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.

Wand® VMS Honored with 2017 Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology Award

January 17, 2018
We’re excited to announce that Wand VMS has won a coveted Brandon Hall Group Silver Award for excellence in the “Best Advance in Unique HR or Workforce Management Technology” category. The award is further validation of PRO Unlimited’s laser focus on creating cutting-edge technology that empowers businesses to better manage their contingent workforces. A panel of independent, senior industry experts, as well as Brandon Hall Group senior analysts and executives, evaluated the entries based upon the following criteria: Product: What was the product’s breakthrough innovation? Unique differentiators: What makes the product unique and how does it differ from any competing products? Value proposition: What problem does the product solve and/or what need does this product address? Measurable results: What are the benefits customers can expect to experience as a result of using this product? We’re thrilled to receive this award, and we’re especially excited about the positive impact that Wand’s technological breakthroughs and innovations are having on contingent workforce management. Here’s a sampling of five areas that fueled PRO’s recognition by the Brandon Hall Group, and how PRO’s commitment to innovation in these realms can help you and your business succeed: 1) Performing tasks more easily: Developed by PRO’s Silicon Valley-based design and dev team, Wand went through exhaustive end-user research and use case study to ensure it’s actionable and intuitive. Wand focuses on the concept of “recognition vs. recall” (i.e., the platform intuitively makes sense), presenting the user with an interface that’s instantly accessible for new users. (Read more: “Consumerizing the VMS.”) 2) Handling tasks from anywhere: Boasting true native apps on the iPhone and Android devices, Apple iPad and even the Apple Watch, Wand Mobile allows users to manage the full contingent workforce lifecycle from anywhere. This powers total freedom of mobility and a seamless omni-channel experience.  3) Reviewing and completing action items faster: Wand showcases the key items managers need to take care of directly on their home screen. By bubbling up the new action items required to manage their contingent workforce, Wand Mobile helps managers avoid overlooking critical tasks and get more done quickly. (Learn more: “5 Ways Mobile Improves the Contingent Workforce Management Experience.”  4) Sourcing your own talent: Wand’s Talent Network module allows clients to create their own private, self-sourced candidate pool. Furthermore, Wand uses industry-first resume-parsing and Candidate Matching technologies to automatically suggest candidates to managers based on a proprietary algorithm. This leads to faster decision-making and helps organizations gain a competitive advantage. 5) Gaining actionable insights of your organization’s total resources: Wand’s innovative Total Talent Solutions technology provides clients with visibility into both contingent AND full-time resources across the entire organization to drive cost savings, program effectiveness and worker quality. (Read more: “Unleashing the Power of Holistic Workforce Visibility.”) For additional info on the 2017 Brandon Hall Group Awards and PRO’s recognition, check out the related press release. If you or a member of your team would benefit from a further discussion on how PRO is helping companies implement winning contingent workforce management programs globally, please contact

Artificial Intelligence and Contingent Workforce Management

January 11, 2018
With the war for talent reaching new heights, businesses are looking for any edge they can get. For these companies, the idea of tapping into the power of the latest artificial intelligence advances is enticing. According to a recent study, 72 percent of business leaders consider AI a “business advantage” that will be fundamental to their operations in the future. In this landscape, concepts like machine learning, cognitive computing and predictive analytics offer intriguing possibilities when considering the future of contingent workforce management. What Is Artificial Intelligence? While artificial intelligence (AI) in its modern form dates back 50-plus years, the last decade has seen significant scientific strides toward the goal of creating “intelligent machines” that can perform intellectual tasks like a human. In short, artificial intelligence is generally defined as the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Offshoots and subsets of AI include: Machine learning: Using algorithms to parse data, learn from it, and then make a determination about something in the world. Cognitive computing: Self-learning systems that use data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works. Predictive analytics: The practice of extracting information from existing data sets to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends. Harnessed correctly, artificial intelligence will enable businesses to make sense of massive amounts of structured and unstructured workforce data and make faster, smarter decisions that drive cost savings and improve talent quality. Offering New Perspectives on Contingent Workforce Management  When applied strategically, advancements in artificial intelligence will help businesses improve workforce effectiveness by shedding new light on common workforce questions. Examples might include: Using unbiased, empirical candidate data and past company workforce data to understand the attributes that are most important to a hiring manager to determine which candidates are most likely to be successful hires. Helping to understand the best time to initiate a job requisition to drive the quickest time to fill, lowest cost and strongest talent. Evaluating both enterprise-wide labor data and external data to determine the appropriate method, time and location to source talent to optimize quality and cost by role. While the possibilities are intriguing, adoption of artificial intelligence remains in the early stages: Only 20 percent of respondents to a recent Harvard Business Review study reported using one or more AI technologies at scale or in a core part of their business. Here at PRO, we believe one of the keys to unleashing AI’s potential is by combining it with human expertise – “augmented intelligence.” Given our unique integrated MSP/VMS solution, PRO Unlimited is perfectly positioned to help businesses take advantage of the latest technological advances and optimize their contingent workforce programs. If you or a member of your team would benefit from a further discussion on how PRO is helping companies implement winning contingent workforce management programs globally, please contact a PRO representative at 800.291.1099 or email at

Top 10 PRO Unlimited Blog Posts of 2017

January 10, 2018
In 2017, PRO Unlimited published more than 60 blog posts aimed at sharing the latest strategies, tactics and technologies that business leaders can use to better manage their contingent workforces. Here’s a look at the Top 10 posts of the year (as measured by page views), complete with links to the original content. The goal? Helping your business reach even greater heights in 2018. 10) “Using Technology to Better Match Contingent Workers and Job Requisitions” As a hiring manager, finding the right candidate for a position can be a daunting task. Learn how data, algorithms and scoring are transforming the once-manual process of reviewing candidates into a more automated, efficient and effective one. 9) “Using Mobile VMS to Manage Contingent Workforce Engagements” A recent study revealed that respondents saw an average gain of almost an hour of productive work time because of their smartphone usage. Check out this post for some examples of how mobile can increase agility and enable faster execution of contingent workforce tasks. 8) “3 Steps to Ensure Total Workforce Visibility” As contingent workers represent a greater percentage of the overall company headcount, the ability to track the entire workforce has become extremely difficult. In this post, you’ll discover three steps your company can take to ensure total workforce visibility and reduce misclassification risk. 7) “Global Shoe and Apparel Manufacturer Adopts a Purely Vendor-Neutral and Integrated MSP/VMS Model” Gain a better understanding of the real-world impact of vendor-biased practices – including supplier resistance and a lack of program adoption by hiring managers – and learn how PRO’s integrated MSP/VMS platform helped a global shoe and apparel manufacturer overcome them. 6) “Defining a Purely Vendor-Neutral and Integrated Contingent Workforce Solution”  What is vendor neutrality, and why does it matter when it comes to contingent workforce management? Gain the answers to these questions and see how a vendor-neutral approach might be advantageous for your company. 5) “Infographic: How Millennials Are Changing the Workforce” Now that millennials occupy the largest generational share of the workplace, how should businesses adjust? To help companies understand how millennials are impacting the workforce, we created a new infographic that shares some of the most fascinating statistics regarding this demographic. 4) “Innovations in Vendor Management Systems, Part 5” The final post in our VMS innovations series covers rate and spend management, implementation and consulting, and services procurement. You’ll find tons of exciting info about advancements in business intelligence, SOW management, market rate data analysis and more. Check out the other parts of the series too – there are some good nuggets of information in those as well! 3) “Another Global Company Selects a Vendor-Neutral Model”  A leading company that provides a digital catalogue platform was looking to streamline contractor onboarding, improve multichannel sourcing capabilities and maximize cost savings. Find out why they partnered with PRO and how they achieved total visibility into contingent labor spend. 2) “The Benefits of a Private Contract Talent Network” Companies have begun to embrace organizing self-sourced contingent resources into talent

Holistic Workforce Visibility: 3 Ways It Can Help Your Business

January 8, 2018
While the explosion of new technologies over the last decade has provided businesses with a wealth of exciting tools, these platforms have also exacerbated an existing challenge: data siloes. When it comes to a company’s workforce, these data siloes have made it difficult to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities for savings that exist when a business can capture, visualize and glean insights from its contingent and full-time employee data. Today, leading-edge solutions are helping businesses break down data siloes, creating new and exciting business opportunities. PRO Unlimited’s Total Talent Solutions, for example, provides businesses with total visibility into both contingent AND full-time resources across the entire organization. By importing specific types of “sanitized” full-time data and viewing it right next to contingent data, managers can determine the best way to engage resources across all categories. Here are three ways in which holistic workplace visibility can help a business: 1) Controlling Costs Multiple sourcing channels can make it complex to manage talent. And when it comes to contingent workers, a lack of reliable market rate and job category data can prove damaging. In short, overpaying for workers can significantly drive up costs. Reporting tools that enable you to easily compare rates for job titles across labor categories and locations can help reduce costs. Viewing this data in an easy-to-read format helps users make more informed decisions about: Where to source talent: Are there certain geographic areas with cost-saving potential? How to source: Are full-time employees or contingent workers the best value? When to source: Is demand higher at certain times of year? Overtime and expenses: Are these impacting profitability? If so, what adjustments could be made? 2) Understanding Your Talent Hiring the wrong workers can also prove costly. Differences in market rates from one location and skill set to another create an additional layer of challenges. In addition, underpaying means companies are likely losing candidates to competitors. Every day that a requisition remains open (full time or contingent), it costs the organization thousands of dollars. Getting better visibility into your workforce and understanding how different worker engagements drive quality patterns across different skill categories is critical for accurate workforce planning. By marrying together full-time and contingent worker quality data (based on manager feedback), you can see what types of engagements (by job title and function) have historically yielded the highest quality work – and at the lowest rates. You might also look at enterprise-wide data to identify where the organization’s biggest talent deficits exist, and whether relocating full-time workers to these areas, self-sourcing existing local talent, or supplier-sourcing contingent workers makes the most sense. 3) Enhancing Workforce Planning How is your workforce distributed? Having access to a global view of workers by region and location can help with workforce planning. Ideally, you want the ability to easily zone in on regions and specific locations with a few clicks to see more granular details on how your workforce is distributed. This kind of access allows for visibility to all workers (including

Is Total Non-Employee Visibility & Increased Cost Savings Important to You?

January 3, 2018
This pharmaceutical giant required a comprehensive assessment of their US based contingent workforce management program. The company’s objectives included reducing their number of suppliers and gaining more control and visibility of its non-employee headcount. The pharma company was also looking to increase their diversity spend of program usage. So how did they address this? They determined that implementing a purely vendor-neutral and integrated Managed Service Provider (MSP) and Vendor Management System (VMS) with proven pharmaceutical experience was the optimal way to realize their goals. After reviewing a number of contingent labor solutions in the market, they chose PRO Unlimited’s purely vendor-neutral and integrated MSP and VMS. I am sure you are thinking what is unique about a purely vendor-neutral offering compared to traditional MSPs? Pure vendor-neutrality only exists when the MSP has no staffing capabilities whatsoever and zero competition with staffing suppliers to source workers. This makes all the difference – companies get the best talent at the most competitive rates. Additionally, the program is comprised of professional on-site dedicated office staff, underpinned by PRO’s proprietary and award winning Wand VMS platform. The one-stop enterprise solution provides stakeholders with white-glove professional client services, world-class VMS technology, ongoing strategic analysis and expert contingent workforce consultative support. This model is proven to improve operational efficiencies and mitigate risks while engaging the most highly qualified and cost effective contract talent. And to back up this claim, let’s check out some of the program’s key wins: Reduced number of suppliers by 54% Achieved 98.7% manager satisfaction rate Collaboration with 100 active suppliers and 2,000 contingent workers Doubled diversity spend to 18.7% of program usage Realized 100% visibility to all non-employee (PRO non-employee portal) Achieved scope expansion over 8+ years of service Managed in-person meetings with >150 users every quarter Optimized operations and efficiencies using an advanced, omni-channel VMS solution (desktop, mobile, tablet) Total control and visibility into enterprise wide contingent workforce True competitive bid for all contingent orders If you or a member of your team would benefit from a further discussion on how PRO is helping companies implement winning contingent workforce management programs globally, please contact a PRO representative at 800.291.1099 or email at Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of PRO Unlimited and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.

Recognition vs. Recall: Interface Design, Wand VMS and the User Experience

December 13, 2017
It’s a common scenario: You’re walking through the grocery store when you spot someone vaguely familiar. You know you’ve seen the person before, but what’s their name? Remembering this crucial detail can be a lot harder than just recognizing that the individual is familiar. When it comes to memory retrieval, scientists have made a distinction between two types: recognition (“I know that person!)” and recall (“His name is Dylan.”). In the case of enterprise software design, this translates to presenting a user with an interface that’s immediately recognizable and intuitive for beginners. Traditionally, VMS software has failed to do so, resulting in a sometimes-frustrating user experience. Let’s take a deeper look at the concept of recognition versus recall, how it applies to enterprise software interface design, and how PRO Unlimited incorporates the tenets into our award-winning Wand VMS solution. (Related reading: “Consumerizing the VMS.”) Recognition vs. Recall: A Quick Primer Think back to your time in school. Remember how much easier it was to complete a multiple-choice quiz compared to a test consisting of questions only? You may not have known it at the time, but you were witnessing the concept of recognition versus recall in action. In this context, “recognition” refers to the ability to recognize an event or piece of information as being familiar, while “recall” designates the retrieval of related details from memory. Recognition (e.g. the multiple-choice test) typically involves more cues to help with memory retrieval than recall (question only). Here’s another example of how two similar question involve the two forms of memory retrieval: Question 1: “Who wrote Harry Potter?”: Answering involves “recall” since you must retrieve the correct answer from your memory. Question 2: “Did J.K. Rowling write Harry Potter?”: To answer this query, you have more cues and merely need to recognize whether the information presented is correct. This is an example of “recognition.” Recognition is easier than recall because it involves more cues and richer context. These cues spread activation to related information in memory, raise the answer’s activation, and make you more likely to select it. Interface Design and Recognition So, how does the concept of recognition versus recall apply to enterprise software design? In general, the idea is to avoid forcing users to have to recall the information necessary to progress tasks. Instead, streamlined, user-friendly software design should intuitively guide users to actions by offering visual cues they can recognize. Interfaces that promote recognition give users extra help in remembering information, be it about tasks and items that they’ve seen before or interface functionality. Put simply, the interface shows you the available commands, and you recognize the one you want. Easy and seamless. The Wand VMS Approach Wand offers a “consumerized” approach to VMS software, featuring a clean, intuitive and actionable interface that’s unparalleled in our industry. As part of this design methodology, PRO’s Silicon Valley-based dev team focused on the concept of “recognition versus recall” when creating Wand. The goal is always to present an interface that’s instantly accessible

Discover Unknown Cost Savings through Third-Party Payrolling

December 11, 2017
Spend Matters (one of the industry’s leading trades) recently published an article titled, “Unlocking Hidden Cost Savings Through Third-Party Payrolling: Does Your MSP Go All Out for You?”  This article explains how an effective MSP maximizes third-party payroll utilization to drive cost savings and value for an organization. Any reader, especially in those in Procurement, might be asking how do companies unlock these savings? Well, the author begins the piece by saying, “As companies rely more on non-employees to fill mission critical-roles, procurement leaders are realizing that their business objectives are not always aligned with those of their managed service provider (MSP). One scenario where this can be the case is the MSP’s rate of third-party payroll utilization — the percentage of spend for contingent workers who are W2 payrolled by a third party but sourced directly by the client.” Lastly, the author points out one of the most notable pieces of the article. The author asks the following: “Is your MSP transparent? Then, he goes on to state, “It is important to understand your MSP’s business model and ensure it views third-party payrolling as a useful tool in your contingent workforce program rather than a threat to its profit margins. This kind of strategy must be implemented with a vendor-neutral MSP, meaning the provider has no ownership interest or affilitation with a staffing company. While a non-neutral MSP relationship could work for filling administrative and clerical positions in a quick and efficient manner, securing cost savings and risk avoidance benefits from increased third-party payroll utilization requires the MSP to operate with a fully staffing-neutral business model” PRO’s model is vendor-neutral and it’s what distinguishes itself from other MSPs in the industry. In fact the author states the following, “Not all MSPs, however, are structured to support this approach. For example, when the sourcing of open orders is left to staffing firms or staffing-aligned MSPs, procurement organizations typically face markups that can range from 35%–50% for staffing agency-supplied workers.” Check out the full article to see the benefits of third-party payrolling and why a vendor-neutral MSP is critical to your third-party payrolling program. If you or a member of your team would benefit from a further discussion on how PRO is helping companies implement winning contingent workforce management programs globally, please contact a PRO representative at 800.291.1099 or email at Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of PRO Unlimited and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.

PRO Unlimited’s Wand VMS Recognized in Best in Biz Awards 2017

December 5, 2017
We’re thrilled to announce that Wand, PRO Unlimited’s cutting-edge vendor management system (VMS) solution, has been named a silver winner for “Enterprise Product of the Year – HR” in Best in Biz Awards 2017. Wand was recognized for its overall excellence and recent technological achievements. The groundbreaking technology platform enables managers and program owners to effectively manage all aspects of their contingent workforce supply chain. This includes the full lifecycle management of procuring contingent workers from staffing suppliers, time and billing management, and Statement of Work engagements. Recent Wand innovations include: Wand Mobile: Facilitates a seamless experience across all devices through award-winning apps for iPhone, Android, iPad and Apple Watch. Talent Network: Drives cost savings by enabling companies to easily build their own private talent networks and self-source talent. Candidate Match: Helps match resumes and job requisitions based on a powerful, proprietary algorithm. (Learn more.) Total Talent Solutions: Provides visibility into contingent AND full-time resources, helping users better engage resources from a cost and quality perspective. The Best in Biz Awards are the only independent business awards program judged each year by prominent editors and reporters from top-tier publications in North America. Each year, Best in Biz Awards’ entrants span the spectrum, from some of the most innovative local start-ups to the most recognizable global brands. The seventh annual program was particularly hotly contested, with more than 650 entries from an impressive array of public and private companies of all sizes and from a variety of industries and geographic regions in the United States and Canada. Best in Biz Awards 2017 honors were presented in 65 categories, including Company of the Year, Fastest-Growing Company, Most Innovative Company, Best Place to Work, Support Department, Executive of the Year, Most Innovative Product, Best New Product, App, Event and Website of the Year. For more on the Best in Biz Awards 2017, check out PRO’s related press release. Dig Deeper: 1) White Paper: “5 Ways Mobile Improves the Contingent Workforce Management Experience” 2) Data Sheet: “How Parsing Technology Improves Efficiency and Effectiveness” 3) Data Sheet: “Using Candidate Matching to Find the Best Contingent Worker for the Job” If you or a member of your team would benefit from a further discussion on how PRO is helping companies implement winning contingent workforce management programs globally, please contact a PRO representative at 800.291.1099 or email at Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of PRO Unlimited and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.

Self-Sourcing Strategy Achieves $1.6M in Cost-Savings

December 1, 2017
As organizations continue to expand the use of contract talent to supplement their full-time workforce, they are also seeking ways to optimize their contingent workforce programs (additional cost-savings and operational efficiencies). One strategy companies are using to realize a number of benefits is through self-sourcing. The largest global provider of integrated information technology and digital marketing solutions to the automotive retail industry recently embraced this model. It is self-sourcing contingent workers via a Vendor Management System (VMS) to identify and procure talent. The primary drivers that influenced this organization to adopt a self-sourcing strategy and partner with a VMS and Managed Services Provider (MSP) included: the ability to save significantly on the margins imposed when sourcing through staffing companies; increase the quality of the talent being hired and; dramatically reduce the time required to identify talent for new requisitions. After deploying a vendor-neutral and integrated contingent workforce solution, the company immediately reduced and contained contingent labor costs, mitigated risk of contractors, and improved its user experience. Most notably, this self-sourcing strategy resulted in $1.6M savings in a five month timeframe. Click here to download the case study for other key wins!  
Load more