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65% of execs say external workforce essential to operating at full capacity: SAP Fieldglass survey

May 17, 2018

A survey by VMS provider SAP Fieldglass found that 65% of executives say their external workforce is essential for operating at full capacity. 

And 46% said they would not be able to conduct business as usual without it.

The survey was done with Oxford Economics and included 800 executives in 14 countries at the director level and above in procurement, HR/talent management, IT and finance at companies with revenue of more than $500 million.

The survey asked, "How important is the external workforce in meeting the following business goals?" Those responding “Important” and “very important":

  • Developing or improving products and services, 68%
  • Increasing speed to market, 66%
  • Operating at full capacity/meeting market demands, 65%
  • Increasing organizational agility, 64%
  • Achieving sustainability goals/shrinking our carbon footprint, 62%
  • Managing costs, 60%
  • Reducing risk, 54%

In addition, 62% say their external workforce improves their companies’ 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.”

Executives reported roughly 445 of overall workforce spend is on external workers and only 19% 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.

The SAP Fieldglass study took place in late 2017 and early 2018.

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