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Using and managing contingent labor is a growing trend in the workforce. In order to manage these contingent workers as part of your workforce in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP introduced the Contingent Workforce Management (CWM) feature. Additionally SAP offer SAP Fieldglass Vendor Management System (VMS), a fully-fledged system for managing all aspects of contingent labor, including, sourcing, procurement, vendor management, invoicing, and more. In this blog, I aim to answer some of the common questions around the CWM feature, as well as where SAP Fieldglass VMS fits into the bigger picture.

What is contingent labor?

Before we get started, I thought it pertinent to clarify the definition of contingent labor. Contingent labor is a group of workers who provided services to an organization on a non-permanent basis. These workers are often known as independent professionals, temporary contract workers, labor hires, freelancers, contractors, or consultants. These type of workers are commonly known as contingent workers.

Why manage contingent workers in your SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central system?

Managing contingent workers in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central system enables a complete view of the workforce and the ability to include contingent workers in select HR processes. This enables executives, HR professionals, and managers to identify how many contingent workers are used in their organization and how they are distributed across the organization. It also enables them to track information such as where they are located, whom the vendor is from where they were procured, and what type of training they may have received, etc.

What can I do to manage contingent workers?

CWM gives users the ability to manage contingent workers in a number of ways. The key features are:

  • Add a contingent worker
  • Create and maintain list of vendors
  • View contingent workers in the Org Chart (and toggle them on or off)
  • Convert a contingent worker to an employee*
  • Convert an employee to a contingent worker*
  • View reports with or without contingent workers included

*these processes require some extra steps and further capabilities are due in a future release.

Contingents that are not mastered in SAP Fieldglass are added in Employee Central using a wizard, although they can also be added through data imports. The Add Contingent Worker wizard is similar to the New Hire wizard, although it has been tailored to include only fields and portlets relevant to contingent workers. Note that the Add Contingent Worker wizard is only available in the People Profile (PP3) UI. Figure 1 below shows a contingent worker being added.

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Figure 1: Adding a contingent worker

The Add Contingent Worker wizard is only available if you are using the People Profile UI (PP3).

Once created, you can view contingent workers just like employees. However, the portlets and fields available will be limited compared to a normal employee, as one would expect for a contingent worker. A business rule can be created to hide fields that are not relevant to contingent workers, so only those that are relevant are displayed. In PP3, to help you identify that the profile you are viewing is a contingent worker you will see “Contingent Worker” above the employee’s name. You can see this in Figure 2 below.

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Figure 2: Viewing a contingent worker’s profile

Figure 3 below shows a regular employee’s profile so that you can see the difference between the two profiles.

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Figure 3: Viewing a regular employee’s profile

Additionally, in Figure 4 below you can see how a contingent worker looks when searched for in the Action Search.

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Figure 4: A contingent worker in the Action Search results

In the Org Chart, contingent workers can be viewed as seen in Figure 5:

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Figure 5: A contingent worker in the Org Chart

Employee Central uses a specific Event Reason to identify added and terminated contingent workers.

When a contingent worker is added, details of the Work Order associated with the procurement of the contingent worker is added. This includes details of the vendor, the work order number, the start date of the work order, and when it will end. Once the end date of a Work Order is reached, the contingent worker will be terminated by the system.

Unlike with a regular employee, for contingent workers the Employment Details portlet is managed in the background by the Work Order and is not exposed to the UI. The start date and termination information of a contingent worker is managed entirely by the Work Order and the Employment Details of a contingent worker should not be modified. Additionally, the Is Contingent Worker field in the Employment Details portlet should never be modified manually for contingent workers or regular employees and it should never set to “Yes” for a regular employee.

At present contingent workers cannot be managed in talent processes, but this may change in a future release.

Can I use workflow with CWM?

Yes. Standard system workflows trigger, but you can also setup specific workflows by using the Is Contingent Worker field within your workflow trigger rule.

Do I need SAP Fieldglass VMS?

No. CWM enables you to manage contingent workers without the need for SAP Fieldglass VMS. However, CWM is not a replacement for SAP Fieldglass VMS and it is also important to note that CWM only enables management of contingent workers as part of your workforce for a total view of the workforce and doesn’t enable management of procurement processes, vendors, or work orders.

Is CWM integrated with SAP Fieldglass VMS?

Yes. SAP provide a packaged integration to integrate SAP Fieldglass VMS and Employee Central using SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI). HCI extracts active workers (those with worker type of “Contingent Worker”) and confirmed work orders from SAP Fieldglass VMS using a web services call and then uses this data to create contingent workers in Employee Central via an OData API web services call. The architecture of this integration can be seen below:

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Figure 6: Integration architecture (Source: Using SAP Fieldglass VMS with Employee Central integration guide)

HCI pulls the following fields from SAP Fieldglass VMS, along with personal information of a worker:

  • Security_ID
  • Company Code
  • Business Unit
  • Location Code
  • Cost Center
  • Supervisor ID
  • Work Order Status
  • Worker Status
  • Worker Start Date

The integration uses the following fields in Employee Central:

  • User:
    • Username
  • Person Information (Biographical Information):
    • Person Id External *
    • User Id
  • Personal Information:
    • First Name *
    • Last Name *
    • Preferred Name *
    • Formal Name
  • Email Information:
    • Email Type [set to “Business”]
    • Email Address *
    • Is Primary [set to “Yes”]
  • Job Information:
    • Start Date
    • Event Reason
    • Company *
    • Business Unit *
    • Division *
    • Department *
    • Location *
    • Cost Center *
    • Manager *
    • Country *
  • Employment Details (maintained in background):
    • Hire Date
    • Original Start Date
    • Service Date
    • Is Contingent Worker [set to true]
  • Work Order (Generic Object):
    • Vendor ID *
    • Work Order ID *
    • Work Order Name *
    • Work Order Owner ID *
    • Work Order Start Date *
    • Work Order End Date *

* fields are required in Employee Central by the integration. Note that the Employment Details is updated based on the Work Order.

Some configuration is required in SAP Fieldglass VMS to enable the integration and necessary fields. The SAP Fieldglass VMS field Security_ID is mapped to Username, User Id, and Person Id External in Employee Central.

Detailed information on integrating and using SAP Fieldglass VMS with Employee Central can be found in the Using SAP Fieldglass VMS with Employee Central integration guide at http://help.sap.com/hr_ecintegration.

What about reporting?

All standard reports in Employee Central Advanced Reporting include a filter to generate reports with or without contingent workers.

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Figure 7: The contingent worker filter on a report in EC Advanced Reporting

There are no specific reports for CWM today and nothing is planned. However, product management are open to including CWM reports based on customer demand.

A metric pack for SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics is available that supports analytics for contingent workers. The Fieldglass Contingent Workforce Metrics Pack enables users to measure:

  • End of Period (EOP) Headcount – Total Workforce
  • End of Period (EOP) Headcount – Contingent Workers
  • Staffing Rate – Contingent Workers
  • Average Workforce Tenure – Contingent Workers
  • Average Pay Rate – Contingent Workers

The figure below shows the EOP Headcount – Contingent Workers report.

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Figure 8: EOP Headcount – Contingent Workers analytics in SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics (Source: SuccessFactors Q1 2015 (1502) Release: Reporting and Analytics)

What’s on the CWM roadmap?

At present, the following features and functionality is planned:

  • Initiation of request for contingent worker in SAP Fieldglass VMS from Position Management
  • Enhanced job history timeline
  • Process integration with SAP Fieldglass
  • Enhanced contractor conversion
  • Handling of multiple Work Orders (including gaps between Work Order records)
  • Point-to-point integration between EC and SAP Fieldglass VMS

Where can I find more information on CWM and SAP Fieldglass VMS?

More information on the CWM feature can be found in the Contingent Workforce Management implementation guide located at http://help.sap.com/hr_ec.

For information on SAP Fieldglass VMS can be found at:

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23 Comments

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  1. Bram Goolaerts

    I have a customer that’s interested in this functionality but I heard somewhere that it won’t be possible for contingent workers to log into SF, is that correct? Because I can imagine that they might have some management function in which they’d have to be able to do workflow approvals, etc … How would/could that work with CWM?

    Thanks.

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Bram,

      Although contingent workers can physically log into SuccessFactors, they do not receive welcome emails and are not intended to log into SuccessFactors at present. Product Management are working on it.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  2. Laurie Arnold

    Good article. I am especially interested in steps required to:

    • Convert a contingent worker to an employee*
    • Convert an employee to a contingent worker*

    These processes require some extra steps and further capabilities are due in a future release.

    Currently does the individual being converted require a new Person ID? We have instances where an employee converts to contigent but still requires payroll activity. Hence they require a termination and conversion to contigent with new person ID.

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Laurie,

      The data model has been designed to ensure a contingent worker can be hired using the Rehire Employee transaction. They retain their Person ID after termination as a contingent worker. It is possible to terminate and hire as a new employee; they key blocker is usually the National Id, but a contingent worker doesn’t have a National Id defined in EC.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
    2. Pramod Sharma

      As we can see the system will not allow us to do changes again to is contingent worker field once you selected “is contingent worker” field (mentioned by Luke Above)

      A contingent worker can be converted to regular employee by mean of import employee data option available in admin center.

      Download the employment details template, fill the required details of the template (required in template depends upon your instance settings) and setting 0 in place of 1 for field isContingentWorker and upload the template.

      (0) 
  3. Jane Corbett

    Hi Luke

    I have a client who has permanent employees but they also work as sessional workers on zero hours contracts.. Concurrent employment does not fit here so can an employee have a permanent role and be a contingent worker as well?

    Many thanks

    Jane

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Jane,

      In theory someone could be both an employee and a contingent worker. The key identifiers for matching employees are Date of Birth and National Id (e.g. Social Security Number). A contingent worker has neither of these in the system.

      I’m not 100% sure if this is the right solution for your requirement, but technically it is possible.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
      1. Jane Corbett

        Thanks Luke

        The challenge we have is – is we have employees with 3 contracts of employment. So they can have one main employment, one concurrent employment and as the last type of work they do is zero hours based sessional work this is the only solution I could think of.. What I am not sure of is how the integration will handle it

        Thanks

        Jane

        (0) 
        1. tony coyle

          Wouldn’t the zero-hour contracts still need to be paid via payroll (whenever the hours were non-zero)?  Without a national ID in EC that would be a bit difficult to achieve for a Contingent Worker (per Luke’s statements above)

          Isn’t the Zero-hour contract just another ‘concurrent employment’ – but with zero standard hours and with an hourly pay-rate (generally)?  I wasn’t aware that CE was limited to just two (else there will be problems across the board in a lot of countries where CE is normal)

          (0) 
  4. Mahesh karnik

    Very informative write up.

    we are interested to know in handling a scenario where a contingent worker changes his

    vendor but keeps working for us.

    Is the recommendation rehire?

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      It’s not really recommended to change the vendor of a contingent in the middle of their contract. You would end the work order and then issue a new work order. It’s not totally straightforward as of today, but there are plans to extend the end dating functionality of Work Orders.

      (0) 
  5. Mahesh karnik

    Thanks Luke. Yes the order is changed , but we bring him in as rehire currently.

    quick question – please advise the best way to exclude the contingents from

    headcount reporting.

    Also, is there a standard mechanism to export employee/ contingent info to say Concur

    to facilitate expense claims?

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Standard delivered reports include the Is Contingent Worker field, although if you have been live for a while you may need to modify the standard reports to add it. You can add this field to other reports too to filter contingent workers into or out of reports.

      You can use an ad-hoc report to export contingent worker data, again by using the Is Contingent Worker field. It’s part of Employment Info.

      (0) 
  6. Gaurang Rane

    Hi Luke,

    Small question on Contingent Workforce!!

    One of our client needs to have Contingent workers users same sequence which we have given for Regular employees.

    Regular employees have sequence number – 1000 and we want Contingent users to fall under the same sequence.

    Is this possible? if yes, do you have a document for our reference? Please advice

    Thanks
    Gaurang

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Gaurang,

      A contingent worker doesn’t have Biographical Information in EC, so it’s not possible to influence this as far as I know.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
      1. Manu Bhutani

        Hi Luke,

        We have to replicate the employee data from EC to SAP on prem, do you agree that we need to have the biographical info also for the contingent workers in that case.

        Regards

        (0) 
  7. Rita Cristina Antunes Amorim

    Dear Luke,

    Great article! Very interesting. I have one question regarding the worker types, so we can have different worker types (like contractor worker or SOW worker).

    Basically I would like to decide the information visible when hiring a contractor in the wizard based on the worker type. So if I select “Sow Worker” then I would not see position (for example), but position would be visible for other worker types.

    How can I achieve something like this?

    Thank you very much!

    Best Regards

    Rita

    (0) 
    1. Deidrea Kiesling

      Hi Rita,

      I have a similar question and wondering how you accomplished this. Can you provide any more details on different worker types and visiblity in the wizard.  I am curious about using position for some worker types and not for others.

      Thanks,

      Deidrea

       

      (0) 
      1. Peter Brand

        Hi Luke,

        I also have a similar question to these two. Is the “Add Contingent Worker” form configurable? I.e. can you hide certain fields? We are implementing SF now, and need a mechanism to add contingent workers that is VERY simple. We only need some core info for the person, and having all the fields on there will confuse the people who need to use it.

        I really would appreciate some advice – we’re in the middle of our implementation and struggling to find info on this topic.

        Thanks,

        Peter

        (0) 

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