August 14, 2021

Contingent Workforce DEI Programs and Opportunities

Tinisha Bookhart

Is the Contingent Workforce Your DEI Blindspot?

DEI initiatives have never had greater momentum or significance. As businesses strive to make important gains in diversifying their talent pools and increasing inclusion and equity across their organizations, many overlook their contingent resources. From independent contractors and consultants to freelancers and temp workers, contingent workers are an essential force of skills and productivity in most businesses today. Considering the trillion-dollar power of today’s 53 million-strong contingent workforce, overlooking its role is a serious DEI blind spot that threatens overall diversity efforts and neglects a valuable pool of workers. 

Exploring the Pressing Need for Contingent DEI Action 

On June 30, 2021, Primary Talent Partners sponsored an SIA Webinar dedicated to helping businesses recognize the DEI need and opportunity when it comes to the contingent workforce. https://bit.ly/TheIntersectionofChange was an opportunity to discuss the pressing need for DEI across the contingent talent sector and layout a five-step DEI program maturity model designed by the three Webinar panelists: 

● Tinisha Bookhart, Founding Partner & Director of IT Practice, Primary Talent Partners

● Chad Douglas, Founding Partner & Chief Revenue Officer, Primary Talent Partners

● Tamara Rashid, Vice President, Solutions Design & Implementation, AgileOne 

Primary Talent Partners invites you to watch the entire webinar and listen to Tinisha Bookhart’s powerful story of overcoming the odds as a black woman in technology. To get an early look at the webinar’s themes, check out the five DEI lessons showcased below and explore why it’s so important that DEI programs for the contingent workforce have the same priority as DEI programs for employees.

A DEI program Maturity Model for the contingent workforce.

5 Lessons in DEI Programs and Potential 

Lesson 1. 63% Are Making DEI a Priority: Now Is the Time 

The majority of businesses, 63% according to SIA research, are making DEI a priority in order to support the talent they have, attract great candidates, build inclusive environments, and align with the DEI goals of consumers, partners, and suppliers. The momentum behind this effort is powerful and reshaping how candidates assess employers, consumers assess brands and businesses assess suppliers. 

Lesson 2. DEI Raises Bars 

In addition to sharing her impressive story of success and growth in the tech sector through contingent work, Tinisha Bookhart reminded the audience that DEI’s goal is providing individuals who are talented, educated, and fully capable access to opportunities they would not have had. It’s not about lowering the bar. It’s about raising bars that have limited access and opportunities for diverse talent. 

Lesson 3. Full-time Programs & Contingent Should Align 

Tamara Rashid, Vice President of Solutions Design and Implementation for AgileOne, reminded the audience of a critical point. Many contingent workers eventually become full-time workers for the businesses they serve. Contingent workers and full-time workers very often share the same space and responsibilities. To the outside world, the line between the two is often invisible. All that shared space, time, and engagement is a reminder that contingent workers are a critical part of the entire employment ecosystem and DEI is important to it all.

Lesson 4. Tracking EEOC Data Is Easy with Contingent Talent Partners While some HR or talent acquisition teams run into issues with internal legal teams when it comes to tracking EEOC data for recruitment and hiring, those barriers are a non-issue with contingent talent providers and MSP. EEOC tracking can be a part of a contingent workforce solution, and it can be added to performance scorecards and KPIs to ensure talent partners are supporting DEI goals. 

Lesson 5: DEI Is a Journey 

The DEI Maturity Model shared by the panel and the five steps that comprise it are a reminder that DEI takes time. Businesses are on a transformative journey when it comes to increasing diversity, fostering inclusion, and creating equity. As urgent as the need is to make headway, ensuring that DEI is done with thought and for the entire workforce, from full-time to contingent talent, means taking the time and the steps to do it right. 

Be sure and view the entire Webinar when you get a chance and contact Primary Talent Partners here to learn more about the DEI Program Maturity Model.


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