Change can be a scary thing. In our modern world we have the ability to effect and control things that would have seemed like science fiction not that long ago, but two things we have yet to figure out how to control are time and change. They happen whether we want them to or not. Whether it be the seasons, our age, technology, or tradition. Look out the closest window from where you’re reading this; it’s happening right now. Most of us fail to notice daily change and even less find the time to think about the big picture. Tasked daily with the duty to fulfill the needs and requirements of our jobs and busy lives outside of work it’s easy to forget to stop and think about change in the context of the big picture. There’s mortgages, kids, education, retirement, and (hopefully) a little vacation and social activity to worry about as well. However, it’s long term and big picture thinking that keeps us motivated, helps us shape and sharpen the daily decisions of our lives, and give us the ability to remain focused even through short term pain or discomfort (See: that fitness plan). Change, both large and small is a healthy and natural part of our human existence. So, as we’ve continually heard that a business is only as good as the people it employs, and corporations are in fact people under the law, then perhaps it’s time to start applying the rules that work for people, to enterprise.

In an interesting piece on Strategic Sourcing, that is, a specific plan of action regarding the procurement and hiring of top talent, Argentus Talent Acquisition poses the question: Who is better to Effect the Toughest Changes in Strategic Sourcing? Your Permanent Team or Third Party Contractors? (Go here for the full article) They deduce that the contractor/consultation model allows for greater opportunity for change within your organization by allowing for a fresh perspective and minimizing the personal and political hurdles that can stop an organization from moving away from the status quo.

If we apply this same line of thinking to the larger context of Contingent Workforce Management, it may be time to ask: When is the last time your enterprise truly thought about the long term goals regarding your Contingent Workers? And are small steps being taken daily to effectively embrace that strategy? As we’ve already discussed, change is happening, the only variable is how we respond to it.


Ardent partners are set to release new research later this month that indicates that Contingent Labour is set to rise 30% over the next three years, a figure that they state “Accurately represents the growing reliance on the non-traditional workforce.” If you follow Contingent Labour, deal with mitigating risk on independent contractor compliance, or Talent Management and Procurement, you know the stats already.  It’s very easy to get lost in them. While effective, they can also over complicate the matter at hand. Enterprise at its core needs to innovate, it needs to be adaptable, and it needs skills present to make those first two things achievable. If the big picture is growth and competitiveness in the marketplace, then it’s a major priority to always make sure the base needs of innovation, adaptability, and skills are constantly being met.  Even if the path to get there requires some short term pain or discomfort.  (See: that fitness plan again) More and more, it is Contingent Labour that is being utilized to meet these needs—and while cost savings is usually the most immediate and alluring statistic in moving an Enterprise into this type of model, it can’t be the only thing. Sure, in the short term, it’s easy to be won over by the idea of utilizing IC’s (independent Contractors) to have flexibility in staffing, or save money on taxes and entitlement & benefit programs, but cost savings needs to be looked upon as daily actions of a larger goal, not the entire plan. Or, as we’ve looked at it previously, the small change that sets up the big change.

Long term change, requires long term strategy. If Contingent Labour, is at the core of your business than it’s time to start putting the plans in place to manage it. Whether it be through an Administration or Payrolling Service for your Contingent Workforce, Managed Services, or through Consulting. Not thinking long term about the inevitable change, management, and caliber of your Contingent Workforce may get you through today, but perhaps it’s time to turn that age old interview question on your own Contingent Workforce Management plan. Where do you see it in 5 years? How about 10?

Restaurants have always been a deliciously perfect mix of temptation and entrapment. Take a bunch of hungry people,  stack them by the dozens in a room surrounded by drool educing aromas, and then drop an entire menu full of options and choices in front of them. More often than not the hungry masses will leave satisfied, but they’ll probably have to put on their glasses to believe at how much the meal actually cost. The lesson: Hunger trumps budget, almost exclusively.

The same could be said for the proverbial buffet of Contingent Labour flooding the market. With businesses staffing their ranks from this talent pool at record highs, it’s truly a feast fit for a king for companies looking to tackle their project based labour needs. According to a recent report published by IQ Navigator-who provides technology that manages staffing vendors and temporary workers-even with the rapid growth in the use of Contingent Labour in 2013, costs stayed relatively flat. As with any great meal out however, cotemp-labor-bill-ratesmes the bill.

Contingent Labour hit record highs in 2013 with a total of 17 million workers in the market. Which works out to be almost an 8% jump from the previous year with no signs of slowing down. That number is expected to grow to 23 million by 2017 (MBO Partners). With analysts predicting what Gary Pollard (VP of Information Products at IQ Navigator) calls “upward pressure” in 2014, companies that got into the market to save on labour costs could be looking at a giant bill, not a giant profit. The reasons for this steady rise in the cost of using temporary workers will be associated with “A continued increase in demand, coupled with an expected tightening supply of workers-thanks in part to a declining workforce participation rate, and an increase in college enrollment for people over 25 years old.” Pollard also goes on to say that the aging Baby Boomer population will also contribute. 

Considering staffing agency markups are generally 20-25%, the math does look daunting. A worker in IT currently making 30 dollars an hour (a position poised for a steep raise, but more on that later) may go to 45-50 dollars an hour. That’s an increased profit to the staffing agency of 5 dollars per hour. Over the course of the year that translates to approximately 19,200$ extra paid to the staffing agency-and that’s just for one employee. In Restaurant terms, that’s one heck of a corking fee. 

Employers are still looking to cut labour costs wherever they can, but the need for labour isn’t going to dry up. Projects will still need to be completed and expert skills will be in demand. So, if you can’t save on the labour, perhaps you can save on the mark-up. By tweaking their current model, employers could find themselves embracing direct source hiring, coupled with IC (Independent Contractor) Compliance and Payroll providers that can offer drastically smaller mark-ups and allow the company to still attract and afford top talent. This would be especially attractive to companies that already have established relationships with Contingent Workers at their locations.

 Nobody likes to be told to think long-term and look at the big picture (especially when they find themselves starving and staring at a bevy of choices and opportunity) but making the right choice in regards to how enterprises source their contingent workforce and who (through Admin and Payrolling or MSP) offers the best opportunity to cut costs, and stay compliant and competitive may allow them to have their cake, and pay the bill too.

Last Tuesday, President Obama delivered his administrations’ most recent message to the people of the United States– and for those who’ve grown accustomed to these things, it was the usual banter and pageantry of goals and aspirations to improve the nation. However, among the policy discussions and rounds of applause was one nugget in particular that is relevant to those of us who follow such things. The impending rise of the minimum wage (at least for federal contracts) and its impact to the issues surrounding worker classification(s) and employee/employer relations. President Obama didn’t directly address the situation, but in an online piece for Forbes, columnist Robert Wood, put the issue on the table. “Did President Obama just make independent contractor v employee issues even bigger? Arguably, yes.”  obama_sotu_dann.photoblog600

Wood does play down the notion that every employer in the country is suddenly looking for loopholes or to reduce labor costs in the face of new legislation such as the minimum wage debate or healthcare, but he cautions both employers and employees to take a hard look at their relationship with one another.

In 2010, Department of Labor Secretary Seth Harris quoted a study that suggested up to 30% of employers misclassify workers, whether by simple oversight, or willful negligence, and the Government Accountability office is also quoted in Harris’ address as stating the IRS is losing billions of dollars in revenue.  Harris goes on to suggest that this type of negligence and oversight is hazardous to the economy, and causes the long term effects of a loss in tax revenue, and public funded programs such as Social Security. Even as recently as two weeks ago, online publication Benefitspro suggested that 2014 would be the year lawmakers and regulators firmly crackdown on misclassification. However, what may be the most glaring statements from both the DOL study, Seth Harris, Benefitspro, and Mr. Wood, is that there will be no compromise in terms of how misclassification is treated by organizations like the IRS or the CRA. In other words, it doesn’t matter how it happened. All that matters is that it happened at all.

So, left with this potential crackdown the natural follow up is what’s next? Since every study and report indicates that contingent workforces are not going anywhere anytime soon,  and in fact, will only continue to grow, 6a00d8345675df69e20167686b88a0970b-400wiIndependent Contractors, Employees, and Employers need to have crucial conversations regarding the nature of their relationship. Contracts alone won’t cut it anymore.  For employers looking to navigate the complex worker compliance labyrinth, there are plenty or resources at their disposal, but what is proving to be true as more and more non-compliance issues are raised on both sides is the need for specialists in this field.  With the intricacies of legalese and the monotony of ever changing legislation, oversights can become easier and more common–but beyond all that it really goes back to a simple concept of clear communication and discussion of needs. What does the employer specifically require? What does the potential employee/contractor require? How will this relationship be supervised? Where can we educate ourselves to make sure our relationship will be compliant with the law? In most cases, the proper classification can be quickly deciphered with just a few simple conversations, and for employers looking to navigate the  complex worker compliance labyrinth, there are plenty or resources at their disposal.

While the reasons and needs of a contingent workforce may differ by the industry, there’s seemingly one thing that everyone with stake in the state of the workforce can all agree on.  The no-nonsense and zero tolerance approach of both lawmakers and regulators looms large on all parties involved in 2014, and taking the proper precautions is paramount in the face of liability enforcement policies, changing legislation, and the increased ability of government agencies to share information.


*Contingent Share of Workforce courtesy of the SIA


Join Jeff Nugent, Founder and Managing Director of Contingent Workforce Solutions, as he presents a free webinar on the topic of Contingent Workforce 2.0: The Rise of Gen Y.  The webinar will take place on January 30th, 2014 at 11:00 AM-12:00 PM EST and is part of’s Contract Workforce and Talent Exchange Virtual Conference.

Session Details

Date: January 30, 2014

Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST

Price: Free

Session Description

Contract and temporary workers are the fastest growing segment of the workforce. Although economic uncertainty has played a part in the growth of this segment, the trend towards the next generation of worker’s demanding a more flexible lifestyle driven employment relationship has accelerated this fundamental shift in the workforce toward contract and temporary work.

By 2025 Gen Y’s also known as Millenials (20-34) will make up 75% of the workforce, leapfrogging the smaller Gen X (35-49). This dominance of the workforce will be similar to the Baby Boom generation; however, that is where the similarities end. Gen Y is perhaps the most unique generation to hit the workforce requiring organizations to change the way they manage this group of talent.

Although traditional opinions have often viewed contract and temporary work as an unstable and last-resort type of work, today’s next generation of workers are increasingly more interested in flexible work arrangements. As a very self-assured and adaptable generation more and more Gen Y’s are turning to self-employment and consulting assignments vs. traditional full time employment. The freedom to work on their own terms, and the ability to gain a variety of experiences while having the opportunity to earn more and pay less tax has become very attractive to this generation that cherishes their fast-paced, technology driven lifestyle.

Join Jeff Nugent, Managing Director of Contingent Workforce Solutions (CWS), as he highlights the fundamental demographic shifts that are transforming the workforce and how the changes in today’s workforce is fuelling the next generation of contingent workers. During his session Jeff will also provide practical advice to employers on how the next generation of talent will be managed, including how to attract and engage Gen Yers in an efficient and compliant manner.

Who Should Participate

  • HR Managers/Directors
  • Talent Acquisition & Procurement professionals
  • Talent Acquisition & Talent Management strategists

What You Will Learn

  • The impact of Generation Y on the growth of the contingent workforce
  • Detailed examples of how Gen Y embraces freelance and project based assignments
  • How employers can attract and retain the next generation of Talent.
  • How to engage with contingent workers to drive cost savings and ensure compliance






11 Dec 2013

Contingent Workforce Solutions Inc. is looking for a self-motivated and detail-oriented individual to join our team. Working with the Marketing team the Communications Specialist/Copywriter is responsible for the development and editing of CWS’ marketing content including: website, whitepapers, brochures, reports, email blasts and blog posts, articles, etc.

The successful candidate will also be responsible for executing PR, Social Media, and traditional media communications strategies.

The Communications Specialist/Copywriter will have excellent written communication skills and a strong working understanding of the English language. The ideal candidate will have a solid understanding of various communication platforms and delivering targeted content to an audience. He or she will also be responsible for supporting other Marketing projects as necessary.

The Communications Specialist/Copywriter will be a member of the Marketing Department and will report to the Marketing Manager.


 Key Responsibilities

Developing and editing of marketing/sales material including: business cases, white papers, articles, press releases etc.

  • Act as the main point of contact for media inquiries
  • Edit and maintain the company website as necessaryMostEngaged
  • Weekly blog posts and research of industry articles
  • Developing and editing of print materials such as: pamphlets, brochures and postcards
  • Developing and editing of digital content such as: email blasts and social media content
  • Execute daily Social Media posts

RequirementsPROFIT H50_2012_blk_LORES

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Experience in writing and editing print
  • Experience using Microsoft Office: Word and PowerPoint
  • PR/Media Relations experience an asset
  • Social/Digital media experience considered an asset
  • Flexibility and ability to work in a dynamic and fast-paced environment
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work in a team and independently
  • Ability to work under pressurelogo-best-managed
  • Ability to prioritize and manage time

How to Apply

We are looking for a team player that is comfortable working within a growing, entrepreneurial organization that likes to work hard and play hard.  If you think you fit the bill, email your resume with a cover letter to
Contingent Workforce Solutions is committed to employment equity.

We encourage all people, including women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities and persons of aboriginal descent to apply.

We want to thank all applicants for their interest, however only qualified candidates will be contacted.