The pace at which the needs of business and Contingent Workforce Management shift are sometimes staggering. By the time we catch up to one, another rears its head. It can sometimes feel as though it’s a constant game of reacting to problems that are occurring rather than being proactive and seeking and solving those problems before they become an issue. It’s the industry’s equivalent to the Whack a Mole game at a carnival. With that in mind it’s imperative enterprises’ of all sizes take the time to investigate the potential holes in their Contingent Workforce Management processes as often as they can. In the past, there has been heavy focus on issues such as Direct Sourcing, understanding the legal issues surrounding changing legislation such as the Affordable Care Act, or even the heightened focus of government agencies surrounding the issue of worker misclassification and compliance. As we accelerate through what is sure to be another banner year of growth for the Contingent Workforce there is an issue looming on the horizon that will be on the tip of everyone’s tongue by the time we roll into June of this year. That of the process of Identity Management, or IDM. Identity Management refers to “the management of individual principals, their authentication, authorization and privileges within or across system and enterprise boundaries with the goal of increasing security and productivity while decreasing cost, downtime and repetitive tasks.” In simpler terms, it means

  1. Who has access to the system?
  2. What do they have access to?
  3. Can those who access the system do so efficiently?
  4. Is sensitive data properly protected?
  5. Does the system allow the best balance of access, usability, and security in terms of cost savings?

Whether fully integrated already or slowly adopting it, businesses are becoming increasingly mobile. Work is completed in the cloud, collaboration is done over smart phones and tablets, and even “hangouts” have become the lexicon of an increasingly mobile and data based workforce.  So the challenge to be faced by those in the business of managing growing percentages of contractors and contingent workers is to balance the need for security regarding sensitive and intellectual data, with the need for efficiency for those who require increased sharing and flexibility in order to complete the tasks and projects businesses require of them. Refer to the graphic below for an illustrated view of the process and workflow of an IDM process.



*Courtesy Identity Automation

 The timing of the concern regarding Identity Management is not a complete shock to those who have been following the numbers around the growth in the Contingent Labour Market. According to SIA (Staffing Industry Analysts) 2014 is poised to be a big year for IT, with almost all of the top 10 salary increases for Contingent workers being in the IT field. So, coupled with the boom of demand surrounding expert- skilled workers in IT, and the well documented struggles to find this kind of top talent, there is sure to be more contractors working for multiple companies and having access to multiple systems. What remains to be seen is how prepared enterprises are for this.


A Recent study by Ardent Partners suggest some early warning signs of some potential  blind spots in regards to IDM within the current CWM processes of some enterprises.


  • While nearly 64% of organizations institute regular reviews of contract labour compliance against requirements only 43% include detailed written assumption of risk of work completion ownership in their SOW’s (Statements of Work)
  • Although 70% of enterprises have visibility into system access by contract talent, only 44% have implemented proper compliance measurements during the offboarding phase.


2014 is poised to be the year of the big data enterprise, and do you know who has access to yours?










Are you a Vente Soya Latte? How about just a little sugar? Or perhaps you’re a pumpkin flavored specialty coffee type of person? That notion in and of itself when ordering a coffee isn’t ground-breaking (or even news for that matter), but unless you’re lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a goodwill parade chances are you are the only one that really knows how to order your caffeinated beverage of choice. You probably don’t even think about it. BUT, if next time you walked into your favorite establishment they took down the menu, hid the flavor syrups, blanketed the baked goods trays, and just put a small number of choices in front of you chances are this may raise some concerns.  So, the question then is this. When ordering contract talent why would you limit yourself by putting the essential lifeline of an organization, i.e. the attracting and hiring of top talent, in the hands of external firms who you may have never met you and possibly never even set foot inside the doors of your organization?

It’s probably not something you’ve ever even stopped to think about, but in a way this question is quite perplexing. We all inherently know the needs of projects in the workplace. You may not have “recruiting” expertise yourself, but chances are you do understand the requirements of the problem at hand. You know the skills and background of those that are needed on the team and above all, you know the attitude and personality of team members you want to work with. Now, this is not to say that external staffing agencies don’t offer services that can be effective but its perplexing and very limiting to only use staffing firms as your sole option to find resources without checking to see if you or your company can find talent through its own network of referrals, quick posts to a career sites on the internet or social media networks like LinkedIn.  Arguments for using external firms to attract and recruit top talent often include time savings, lack of a recruitment expertise at your location, or the even the old adage that “we have always done it this way”.  Each of these reasons may prove to be legitimate, but with the contingent workforce continuing to grow as a percentage of the workforce and the large mark ups baked into the rates paid to staffing agencies showing signs of going up, it’s important to understand the alternatives and the respective cost of each resourcing alternative to your organization.

As the need for contract workers rises, the sole reliance on a staffing agency and the lack of control of the process could lead to issues (See the following). 

Facing obstacles to hiring top talent and the need to reduce labor costs, many companies are adapting to a Direct Sourcing model (hiring contract workers through their own efforts without the assistance of a staffing firm). In the past this may have seemed counter-intuitive, but with access to sizable pools of contract talent being provided through referrals, by the internet and social networking sites such as LinkedIn it is now extremely easy to connect with and hire contract resources directly.  To complement the direct sourcing model there is a rise in low mark-up contractor compliance and payroll providers that help reduce the administrative effort in processing contracts, timesheets and invoices while also helping to navigate through the complexity of HR and Tax laws issues that may exist.  With examples of direct sourcing being cited to have increased quality of hire, reduced hiring times (averaging less than 5 days), and saved millions of dollars annually in reduced bill rates, companies may find that taking more control over their hiring options is an effective way to access the right people, at the right time, at the right price.  If nothing else, taking control of the process is certainly something to ponder next time you’re handed that decaf tea by mistake.




Volatility in the economy drives companies to hire more contract workers, and this is a trend that has become apparent in the last few years. Recent news of the world economy slowing further will only cause this trend to increase. Companies need to consider their contingent workforce as part of their total talent strategy, because they can no longer afford to treat permanent and contract workers separately.

While the downturn in the economy has driven the increase in contingent labour, many workers are also choosing contract labour as an alternative to permanent work. Contract Labour gives individuals the freedom to determine their own work schedules, be their own boss, and pursue work that they find challenging and rewarding. For many, this is enticing.

While the increase in contract labour allows companies to be more agile and better cope with specific needs, it also presents management challenges. Companies need insight into their contract workforce so that they can manage costs, ensure compliance with employment and tax laws, and be sure they continue to hire quality performers.

Human Resources Executive Online recently published an article detailing how companies need to better manage their contract labour. The article also described how “In organizations where contract labor isn’t managed by HR, there likely will be some resistance to change”. However, the benefits of properly managing contract labour need to be emphasized. The article gave some advice about influencing key people to consider a different management approach, including:

  • Illustrate why it is important for HR to have control of all talent, whether that is due to demographic shifts or volume-hiring needs and to ensure workforce planning efforts align with business requirements.
  • Communicate the risk and rewards of not centralizing the contract workforce and how worker misclassification and improper budget alignment can be costly.
  • To ease the transition and get buy-in from stakeholders, help participants visualize the end result and how processes can come together to make using contract labor successful.
  • Make the connection between how optimizing all human potential — employees and contractors — can impact customer experience, sales and other business outcomes.
  • Take the time to update roles and responsibilities to gain visibility into how many contract workers are filling job descriptions that are actually full time jobs[1].

Today, contract labour is unavoidable. Workers are increasingly finding that contract work suits their lifestyle and turbulent economic times require companies to look for alternative staffing strategies. It is important that key people recognize the need to revamp their company’s HR department to meet today’s needs.

For more information about how we can help you better manage your Contract Labour, click here

[1] Orler, Elain. Human Resources Exectutive Online.

This week is the 17th annual National Payroll week, which is designed to build greater awareness of the size and scope of payroll and its impact on business, government and employees across Canada[1]. The workforce is constantly evolving, requiring today’s payroll professionals to keep up with ever changing employment and tax legislation.   Contract labour has emerged as a major workforce trend and this has impacted traditional methods of payrolling, which are typically designed for full and part time employees.

Contract labour has increased in Canada; a trend that was driven by the downturn in the economy as more companies began to hire contract and temporary labour in order to adapt to organizational needs and changes in the economy.  Since 1997, the contract labour market in Canada has grown by 300%, and it currently accounts for 25 to 35% of the North American workforce, bringing in 250 billion dollars annually.

The shift in the workforce toward contract labour has had an impact on the efficacy of traditional payrolling methods. It is now important that organizations execute the necessary due diligence when administering and payrolling contract and temporary workers. In the last 18 months Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has increased the frequency of Worker Classification Audits to determine whether organizations are properly classifying their workers as employees or self employed contract workers. Without proper documentation and administration, organizations face the risk of having their contract worker deemed an employee. They are then subject to pay up to millions of dollars in owed payroll remittance premiums, back-taxes and wages.

Contract workforce administration specialists like Contingent Workforce Solutions (CWS) assist organizations with identifying worker classifications and ensuring proper government remittances; this mitigates the risk of worker misclassification and can save organizations millions of dollars. Jeff Nugent, Managing Director of Contingent Workforce Solutions believes, “Companies can no longer afford to do without the tools that allow them to account for and manage contract labour.  This is not a luxury item – it’s a need.”

About CWS: Contingent Workforce Solutions is a business process management and advisory firm that help its clients gain control of their contract workforce. With close to 25 Years of Experience in Contractor, Temp staffing and Vendor Management Solutions, CWS is a partner that you can trust. Contingent Workforce Solutions’ was recently recognized in Profit Magazine’s 12th Annual PROFIT HOT 50 Ranking as Canada’s top new growth company, and was also awarded LoyaltyOne’s 50 Most Engaged Workplaces.

[1] National Payroll Week. The Canadian Payroll Association.

For more information about how you can update your payrolling system to match the needs of today’s workforce, visit our website, or contact:

Christina Fabugais
Sales & Marketing Manager
Phone: 1-866-837-8630 Ex. 9077

Jeff Nugent, the Founder & Managing Director of Contingent Workforce Solutions, will be speaking at the Canadian Talent Management Summit in Toronto on June 27th, 2011.  Jeff’s session will focus on the topic of Strategic Independent Contractor Talent Acquisition and Engagement Best Practices

This session takes a holistic view in guiding Human Resource Leaders to strategically integrate independent contractors into their overall talent mix.  From performing a current state diagnostic, to developing an effective centralized talent acquisition and engagement model Jeff Nugent will demonstrate how Human Resource professional can gain control of their contractor workforce in order to help their organization mitigate employment and tax law risk while saving millions of dollars.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • Insight into current state of the Canadian contingent workforce marketplace
  • The ability to develop an integrated contract workforce talent acquisition and management model that will save their organization millions of dollars
  • The ability to create an engagement model that will mitigate all employment and tax law risks associated with engaging with a contract talent

About Contingent Workforce Solutions: Contingent Workforce Solutions provides comprehensive advisory, program management, and professional independent contractor administration and payrolling services.  Our services enable clients to strategically recruit, engage and administer their contract and temporary workforce in order to ensure compliance with employment and tax law while saving a significant amount of money.

For more information contact directly:

Christina Fabugais
Sales & Marketing Manager
Phone: 1-866-837-8630 Ex. 9077

Posted by Jay Lash

As we settle in for an uncertain and perhaps lumpy economic recovery, everyone is looking for savings. And the word on the street is that using contingent labor — defined most broadly to include categories like staff augmentation, independent contractors, SOW consultants, and temporary workers — saves businesses money.

But conventional wisdom isn’t always right. As Edward Deming once said, “In God We Trust, all others bring data.”

Happily, Staffing Industry Analysts just published their Spring 2010 issue of Contingent Workforce Strategies, a great information source for buyers of contract talent, and their data benchmarks section reports the following statistics for annual savings attributed to the contingent workforce:

“Using contingent labor saves money, according to 92 percent of recently surveyed companies that use temporary workers. They reported a median savings of 9 percent attributed toward using contingent labor.”

Even more promising, 27% reported annual labor savings of 11-20%, and an impressive 8% of survey takers recognized workforce savings of better than 20%.

Of course, a skeptic like me is always more comfortable when multiple, reliable data points are available before changing business strategy.

Last winter, the Human Capital Institute (HCI) published a breakthrough study, The ROI of Enterprise Contract Talent Management.

That research project took an in-depth look at methods for defining costs and savings to calculate ROI on the implementation of a centralized Contingent Workforce Management (CWM) program. CWM programs may include the use of third party vendors and tools like an MSP (Managed Service Provider), VMS (Vendor Management System), or ICES (Independent Contractor Engagement Specialists) to help increase visibility, ensure 1099 compliance, reduce misclassification risk, and rationalize pay rates.

Although this study from HCI was approaching the question of savings from a radically different perspective than SIA’s research, and the survey sample was a different audience (predominantly HR executives), the study concluded:

“Critical to any business case is the expectation of hard-dollar savings. In this case, an organization with a decentralized CWM process can expect to save between 7 percent and 12 percent on its current costs following a move to enterprise, centrally managed CWM — savings that are especially critical in today’s economy.”

I think we can read these two studies together and confidently suggest to a large enterprise that generally speaking, using contingent labor, and then centralizing the management of that contract talent workforce, is what they call in technical language a “no brainer.”

I recommend you continue reading the data available from both of these information sources, and consider carefully the options to capture workforce savings and manage risk in your organization. Every business has unique needs for talent management and engagement, but perhaps there are opportunities to either expand the use of, and/or centralize the administration of, a more flexible and just-in-time workforce in your organization.

By Lynn Taylor

Published: Bloomberg Businessweek

In the recent past, a part-time job was primarily a stepping-stone to full-time work with all the associated benefits.

In the last decade, however, many employees began viewing project stints as a refreshing departure from the capriciousness of Corporate America. They witnessed employers’ revolving-door approach to staffing—and consequently ratcheted down their own loyalties, changing jobs more frequently.

Now with the recession easing, 2010 may officially mark the start of the decade of a much less committed relationship between employer and employee. Owing to the disappearance of job security, the desire for greater independence, and the emphasis many baby boomers place on smelling the roses, more senior professionals are becoming what I call “tempreneurs.”

Tempreneurs are managers who seek a temporary schedule that makes it unnecessary to put all of their eggs in one corporate basket. They are independent contractors with an entrepreneurial spirit. When employment reaches respectable levels once again, these project consultants may have to be cajoled into working full time.

So what does this mean for establishing and maintaining a corporate culture of continuity, cohesiveness, and productivity? From a leadership standpoint, it seems imperative that businesses maintain a core of employees, but react to external and global influences with some agility to remain profitable.


Technology has made it feasible and economical to work with virtual teams. LinkedIn has enabled the lightning-speed assembly of teams and supply chains. Employers, if they’re wise, don’t want the peaks and valleys of hiring and firing. It’s bad for business, not to mention customer loyalty.

All these factors contribute to greater reliance on contingent workers—and in many cases, the tempreneur. Firms are now adopting a variety of strategies to organize and manage contingent workers. They have to become adept at leveraging the talents of tempreneurs, yet treat them as valued team members.

Ultimately, perhaps both sides are getting what they asked for. And as is the case with any two entities that negotiate terms of a working relationship, both sides will have to compromise.

A tempreneur is not driven by a necessity to make ends meet between full-time jobs; it’s a personal career choice. Temporary workers go from project to project, usually on-site. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, have made a career decision to work for themselves, most often off-site. Tempreneurs constitute a new and improved hybrid of the temp worker and entrepreneur. This is a stronger, wiser, more resilient employee.

While they are different from most workers of prior decades, tempreneurs do cross over in certain instances. For example, tempreneurs must collaborate and work on a mutually agreeable schedule with the client, much as consultants do. The differences?

• Tempreneurs are more senior than the average temporary worker.

• Most temps require much more supervision than do tempreneurs.

• Consultants are slightly more senior than tempreneurs (many work directly with CEOs), and they leave much of the execution to the client.

• Since tempreneurs are not as senior as consultants, they can more affordably fill the voids in staffing.

• Tempreneurs make it easier for their clients to contend with business ebbs and flows.

The trend toward “tempreneurship” began in earnest in 2001, during the dot-com bust. As the last decade unfolded, project consulting became “the great escape.”

Today’s contingent-worker labor pool is made up of many categories: temporary workers, independent contractors or freelancers, outsourced employees, part-timers, and consultants. When companies are in the full hiring mode again, there will likely be budgeting for long-term use of these contingent workers like never before. It’s easy to forget that employers, too, were traumatized by the recession. They suffered the decimation of their bottom line and payrolls, leading to a desire for a paradigm shift to more flexibility.


With the focus on greater competitiveness and cost-containment, including real estate, travel expenses, and changes in project peaks and valleys, not to mention fixed payroll expenses, the tempreneur has long-term appeal. Further supporting this trend is the rise of entrepreneurship. Many startups are underfunded, making the tempreneur option more desirable, the proverbial best of both worlds.

Now factor in more sophisticated technology, providing a “facsimile digital community” for those working off-site. Video conferencing is bridging the gap and facilitating a greater person-to-person connection. Social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn create a sense of community formerly found only in a physical office. And the proliferation of cellular networks, smartphones, and air cards makes mobile offices more mainstream. Plus, employees can socialize without in-person watercooler chats and happy hours.

Clearly, regular full-time employees will never vanish. And there are regulations that your HR department will help you comply with when hiring and classifying workers as contract employees. But 2010 marks a unique time when the U.S. workforce and management face each other with a challenging shift in the relationship they once had.

It can be for the better. Start by understanding that each side must first set a foundation of goals and expectations, with an eye toward mutual gain and trust that’s more than “temporary.”