Linda Filipsson has over ten years’ experience from both recruitment and consultancy procurement, most recently at Workforce Logiq. Now Vakanta has recruited her as Sales Executive. Why did she accept the employment offer – and what has she seen during her first few weeks at Vakanta?
Her answers take us from a clear history to a very likely future.
The world of work is increasingly driven by relatively short projects. Start-ups and corporations alike are continuously developing new concepts, product models and features. The pace is high, and you often need different competencies at different stages of the process. No wonder the contingent workforce already accounts for over 40% of global labour costs.
At most organisations, consultant management is however lagging far behind technological development in other areas.
“The focus has traditionally been limited to finding the right competence at the right price”, says Linda. “But that doesn’t cut it anymore. You also have to act quickly, keep tabs on the current status, co-ordinate all communications and see the big picture – understand what roles consultants play throughout your organisation. Consultants are often key to the value creation and as such not only a major investment – they’re a crucial investment. Businesses need a separate strategy for their contingent workforce”.
Linda compares with stock traders, who in cut-throat competition have pushed the envelope in technology. Stock traders have direct access to an enormous range of potential investments, all conceivable background information and click-to-buy purchasing as well as both historical and real-time data on all their assets. Without such a digital workflow they wouldn’t stand a chance – a stock trader wouldn’t dream about going back to the times when you relied on the phone or stood waving little bits of paper on the floor of the exchange. Today, that’s something you’d only do for fun, if that.
“Yet, a surprising number of procurement officers and project managers haven’t come much further in their consultant management”, Linda observes. “It can be very ad-hoc. Personal contact lists in the mobile. Excel files that you update now and then. Various CVs floating around between email inboxes. And different departments are generally completely isolated from each other. Just ask top-level managers how much they know about their contingent workforce, and you’ll see”.
It was a combination of two factors that made Linda accept Vakanta’s offer. “When Johan [Hanson, co-founder -Ed.] got in touch, I was quite happy where I was, so I initially tried to shoot holes in his pitch, ha, ha. But I quickly realised that Vakanta had covered all the angles. It was clear that their team understood both the human and the technical aspects. And now that I’ve worked here for a few weeks, that conviction has only become stronger”.
Seeing to all needs
Linda is talking about the importance of being able to prioritise freely even within one and the same organisation. “For a procurement officer, it might be most important to steer business to preferred suppliers. Someone else needs to find the top talent within a particular discipline before their competitors do. A third person is working on next year’s budget and wants figures on e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. And then there are naturally things that everyone appreciates, like the fact that consultants know how the system works and that you don’t have to deal with loads of administration or invoicing hassles. Everything becomes simpler and you suddenly get a lot more time for your own work. A good system has to meet all these needs, and this is something Vakanta has succeeded in doing in a rather unique way. Not only have they developed an incredibly agile VMS – they also have the supplier contacts, and the whole package is scalable”.
“…access, speed, control and
strategy – this is a weapon”
The future is here
So, there are sharp contrasts between the old analogue and the new digital, and not the least in Sweden. Here, technological development has come very far, indeed. Performance quality – and thereby local competition – is high by international standards. “It’s a competition that, by and large, is driven by consultants”, comments Linda, “and in light of that, Vakanta’s concept is really in a class of its own… access, speed, control and strategy – this is a weapon!”
Linda finishes on a philosophical note.
“Of course, the stock traders still have a leg up”, she laughs, “they let algorithms take care of much of their business altogether. That might not happen within recruitment and consultant management next year, because we’re after all talking about people, but, on the other hand, Vakanta has already integrated AI into their VMS… Either way, I think it’s clear what kind of future we’re facing”.
On the part of Vakanta, we’d like to add that we’re very happy to be sharing our future with Linda Filipsson, who has already exceeded our (high) expectations!