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Contingent workers, consultants, contractors, freelancers, and "gig" workers are terms used to describe individuals external to the organization who are paid to perform a wide range of work or tasking that assists the organization in meeting its production requirements. Adding these "purchased labor" resources into the planning process brings a fuller view of available talent to fill talent gaps that would otherwise go unseen.
Once an initial analysis of regular employee supply and demand has been conducted, gaps can be identified. By using the same (or similar tools) to both count and assess internal labor resources, a clearer picture of the supply of external talent currently deployed can be achieved. The initial step is to reach out to the procurement, supply chain, or administration function to understand what centralized source of purchased labor exists - such as a Vendor or Contractor Management System that houses information on all external resources being utilized. A request for the past year(s) of external talent use by organization or function should be made.