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Motorola Inc.’s Contingent Workforce Planning Case Study

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Updated: Aug 10th, 2020


The case study describes the contingent staffing model that the Office for Contingent Workforce Management (OCWM) group has developed to help Motorola to improve the flexibility of its recruiting format and comply with the standards set by the modern market. The major problem resides in the fact that the group needs to assure the key stakeholders of the model cost-effectiveness. On the one hand, the model has a well-designed format and offers various scenarios for contingent recruiting. On the other hand, the group has no statistics that would prove the feasibility of this implementation. This paper provides a detailed analysis of the model structure and offers some recommendations on how its value can be communicated to the key stakeholders.


The analyzed study elucidates the problem of contingent workforce staffing in Motorola. Thus, the OCWM group has designed a new model that is mainly aimed at raising the efficacy of the recruiting procedure and adapting the existing format to the changes in the modern market. The proposed model has a consistent design and innovative implications. The former is evidenced by the fact that it offers two detailed scenarios for hiring professional and non-professional contingent employees. The latter is evidenced by the fact that the group has created a unique business-webbing format of the model functioning. To date, the key challenge resides in communicating the need for adopting this model to the key stakeholders. The model has a series of weaknesses and, most importantly, the group has no empirical evidence of it cost-effectiveness. Otherwise stated, its implementation implies significant risks for the company, which means that it will be problematic to convince the stakeholders to adopt the model. As such, the paper at hand aims to provide a detailed overview of the key facts associated with this case study and discuss some recommendations that might help the group to resolve their problem.

Key Facts

The key problem resides in communicating the need for change in the recruitment pattern to Motorola managements. As such, the OCWM group needs to define concisely how the new staffing model might help the company to benefit. The case study reveals some facts that might be helpful to convince the management in the model’s efficiency.

First and foremost, the proposed model is closely aligned with the company’s newly-implemented planning strategy. As such, OCWM group has designed a new contingent staffing model that ensures flexible and quick recruiting that is highly valuable in the modern market environment. This model complies with the recently adopted strategy or “asset light» approach. The approach is designed to ensure that the company responds to the market changes in a prompt and flexible manner. It was initially developed as a new planning strategy that put a particular emphasis on maneuverability. Therefore, this fact can be used as an argument supporting the model implementation.

Second, the case study has revealed that the company is impacted by external factors and, thus, it needs to respond to them adequately. As such, the target sector for the model implementation is the semiconductor products sector (SPS) which is one of the six business units that compose Motorola. To date, the performance outcomes of this sector are challenged by the sea changes in the relevant market. The reshaping of the recruitment model might be a part of the company’s response to the market fluctuations.

Third, the case study shows that the group has skillfully identified the problems existing in the current recruitment model. First, the staffing management is decentralized. Second, the company needed stronger guarantees of the employees’ competency. In addition to that, they have determined a series of challenges associated with contingent staffing. First, the inequality in the pay rate between contingent and full-time workers serves to be a powerful demotivation trigger for the former. Second, managers do not have enough motivation to hire contingent workers since this decision does not imply any financial incentives. Third, there is no consistent contracting system that would allow managers to perform effective and legally sound recruitment of contingent workers. Forth, skilled employees often tend to prefer the contingent format of employment. As a result, they demoralize full-time employees by expressing their disdain towards the prospects of professional development. Thus, the group can use these arguments while communicating the change to the key stakeholders.

Another important fact that needs to be elucidated is the model’s structure. As such OCWM suggests a recruitment model based on the principles Motorola supply chains’ functioning. The latter has already proved its efficacy so the simulation of the supply chain structure can feature a powerful argument in favor of implementing the new recruitment model.

Finally, the group offers a well-designed plan that covers both objectives and the ways of their accomplishment. As such, the main objectives that the new staffing strategy targets are involving best professionals, ensuring consistency in the recruitment flows, and cost-effectiveness. It is proposed to achieve the set goals with the help of a specially developed business-webbing design. The group likewise initiated a creation Managed Service Provider (MSP) that is expected to ensure an effective management of the business-webbing networks. It is essential to note that the group decided it would be more efficient to have two MSPs so that one is responsible for non-professional staff and the other is in charge of professional personnel. As such, two staffing models are currently proposed.

In the frame of the non-professional staffing model, OCWM group sends a request for a particular number of employees to the relevant network recruiters. The latter are supposed to provide appropriate candidates in a timely manner. The criteria for defining the appropriateness is the test Motorola has designed in order to ensure that the applying employee has a minimal set of the qualities required to perform particular tasks. The essential paperwork is performed by the responsible MSP. The advantage of this model resides in the fact that competing network recruiters are interested in prompt responses. Additionally, the consistent pattern of the recruiting process allows OCWM group to indicate the critical flaws and eliminate them timely. Finally, the relevant MSP bears a large extent of responsibility for managing the process. Therefore, it might be suggested that the group will have few challenges communicating the need to implement this model to the key stakeholders.

The second model has elements; as such, it might be assumed that it will be more problematic to convince the stakeholders in its feasibility. On the face of it, the professional staffing model operates by a similar part as the one previously described. In the meantime, it has a more complicated structure since there is a larger set of requirements that professional employees need to meet. As such, applicants are supposed to provide their resumes and take an interview with MSP manager. The latter is the key liaison between an employee and Motorola at the early stages. This manager is likewise responsible for carrying out the so-called comparative compensation analysis that the company can use to assess the value of contingent workers and compare it to that of its full-time employees.

The proposed model has some disadvantages that are apt to create barriers to its implementation. As such, the main weakness of the proposed staffing model is the need to regulate co-employment relationships between Motorola and its MSPs. Additionally, the challenge resides in selling the program to Motorola managers. The latter, in their turn, have already developed their own hiring strategies that they believe to be effective. As such, in order to convince them in adopting the proposed model, it is essential to prove its cost-effectiveness.


First and foremost, the OSWM group needs to communicate the need for changing the recruitment strategy in Motorola. In order to do it, the group can rely on both external and internal factors. The internal factors include the inefficacy of the existing system, i.e. its inconsistency, and the low managerial motivation to hire contingent employees (Beaulieu, 2002). External factors include the changing market environment. As such, the group can refer to the examples of other companies that have already performed a shift to new contingent workforce staffing models.

A brief research on the trends in the relevant market shows that many of the company’s competitors have already adopted their contingent workforce staffing models. For example, Samsung has created the so-called “just-in-time-hiring” that allows the organization to employ talents in a prompt and effective manner (Yusuf, Altaf, & Nabeshima, 2004). The scope of companies that have managed to adjust their recruitment policies to the new market conditions is fairly large. Thus, the list of recruitment innovators includes Wal-Mart, Apple, Amazon, and other leading market players (Bush, 2015). Therefore, Motorola needs to act promptly in case it wants to maintain its competitive advantage.

As soon as the key stakeholders are persuaded in the relevance of making a shift to a new recruitment model, it is recommended that the OSWM group puts an emphasis on the benefits that the model they have designed implies for the company. First and foremost, the model offers two different formats of managing professional and non-professional employee staffing. This aspect is highly important since, according to the recent research, these candidate groups require different recruitment approaches (Karim, 2014). Second, in case the company decides to implement the proposed model, it is likely to receive an additional source of high-quality employees for full-time positions. As such, it has been empirically evidenced that contingent workers make effective full-time employees since they acquire a clear understanding of the operation process while working on contingent terms (Dahling, Winik, Schoepfer, & Schau, 2013).

The major weakness of the groups’ proposal is the lack of the empirical data that would evidence the cost-effectiveness of the designed staffing model. Therefore, the group might offer a trial implementation for a short-term period in order to collect the relevant statistics and examine the general efficacy of the proposed model. With the help of this implementation, the group will be likewise able to identify the existing flaws and eliminate them. In order to reduce the cost of the trial implementation, group members can take the role of MSPs.


Beaulieu, N. D. (rev. 2002). Contingent Workforce Planning at Motorola, Inc. HUS No. 9-902-211. Boston MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Bush, J. (2015). The fundamental problem with contingent workforce management today. Spend Matters. Web.

Dahling, J. J, Winik, L., Schoefer, R., & Chau, S. (2013). Evaluating contingent workers as a recruitment source for full-time positions. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 21(2), 222-225.

Karim, A. (2014). The increasing usage of professional contingent workers: A review. Journal of Global Business Management, 10(1), 33-37.

Yusuf, S., Altaf, M. A, & Nabeshima, K. (2004). Global production networking and technological change in East Asia. Northwest, Wash.: World Bank Publications.

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