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?

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?










Amidst a flurry of political and social controversy, the Olympic Games are underway, and for the international firms responsible for staffing the Sochi Games, they hope it’s all downhill from here.

Sochi’s three official staffing Suppliers: Adecco Group, Kelly Services, and Russian firm Exect Business have put three years of work into building the Contingent Workforce for the Olympic Games and the sheer numbers are staggering. The total number of temporary workers for the games may top 150,000 people, and that isn’t counting the roughly 25,000 volunteers that will be lending a hand to make sure the games run smoothly. Among those 150,000 workers 65,000 are skilled workers. These skilled workers were culled from a worldwide recruiting search, offering the opportunity for the organizing committee of the games the chance to hand pick expertise from the very best the world has to offer, as well as the chance for those skilled workers to show off their talents in front of an audience like no other. On paper it’s the perfect trade off, but somewhere along the way things went off the rails. Sochi-2014-Company-Olympics

Vancouver temporary worker Johnnie Balfour’s exposing blog posts and statements about the treatment of himself and his team at the games has been well documented. (Go here to catch up) Even an entire twitter feed, @SochiProblems emerged to document all the issues journalists and athletes alike had encountered upon first arriving in Sochi. Littering news feeds around the world with pictures of brown water and unfinished construction. While these images weren’t exactly the image that the staff and Olympic Committee wished to have us see, the big picture moment of truth for the staffing agencies of the games going forward may not be boiled down to pictures or politics. It may boil down to the larger issues of transparency and control.

For those in the business of the Contingent Workforce this is an issue of risk debated and managed daily, as the decision to either outsource or direct source (hire from within) is weighted against the factors of cost, availability of resources (skills), and time. As the world’s eyes turn to Sochi for the games, administrative/payroll miscues and a lack of communication is not the way to put our (those in the contingent workforce solutions business) best foot forward. In this case, while a pool of extremely talented and eager workers were recruited and gathered for the games, it seems as though when they got there, the communication regarding their income was (at least according to Balfour) left open to interpretation . There is nothing that will turn an IC (independent Contractor) off faster than the notion that they’re not getting paid, and in Balfour’s case, seemed to be the last straw.

As an Employer and a Business you only get one chance to make a first impression with your Contingent Workforce and Independent Contractors. Making sure your T’s are crossed and your I’s are dotted is an absolute must in an industry where word travels fast.  If your goal is to recruit and retain top talent, miscues are simply unacceptable. In the case of Balfour, the simple and affordable option of an IC Compliance and Payroll service could have been made available to figure out payment options and schedules before he even left for Sochi, and in the process, saved the staffing agencies responsible for 150,000 workers the potential firestorm of being made to look as a willing participant in the headache inducing and livelihood threatening payroll practices of the Sochi Games.

There is truly no replacement for transparency and efficiency in this business and the sheer size and publicity of this only goes to remind us that even a small administrative miscue or oversight can become a giant problem.    

If all goes according to plan when the games close on February 23rd, viewers will hopefully be inundated with images of the athletes’ fists in triumph, their tears in defeat, and memorable moments of sportsmanship and diplomacy. Not pictures of brown water, unfinished construction, and the supposed mismanagement of temporary workers. If the stumbles in the weeks leading up to the event are any indication, the staffing agencies may be the ones in the front row cheering the loudest for the athletes to steal back the spotlight.

Jeff Nugent, Managing Director of Contingent Workforce Solutions (CWS), answers: What is Direct Sourcing? How does Direct Sourcing benefit organizations?

After a rather flat bill rate for Contingent Workers in 2013, analysts are predicting a sharp rise in the latter half of 2014. According to Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group, here are the positions that will see the sharpest rise in salary in 2014

money 1. Mobile applications developer: Experienced mobile applications developers can expect to see the largest increase, 7.8 percent, in starting compensation of any tech position listed in this year’s Salary Guide, with salaries ranging from $100,000 to $144,000.
2. Business intelligence analyst: Skilled business intelligence analysts can anticipate a 7.4 percent boost in starting compensation in 2014, with salaries ranging from $101,250 to $142,250.
3. Information systems security manager: Information systems security managers who can assess and re-mediate vulnerabilities, threats and intrusions are in demand, and are projected to see a 6.8 percent bump in base compensation this year, with average starting salaries between $115,250 and $160,000.
4. User experience designer: User experience designers can expect to see average starting salaries between $78,000 and $120,000, up 7.5 percent from 2013.
5. Mobile designer: Skilled mobile designers can anticipate average starting salaries to increase 6.3 percent in 2014, to the range of $66,000 to $103,000.
6. User experience specialist: User experience specialists can expect to receive base compensation in the range of $79,000 to $118,000, a gain of 5.9 percent over last year.


*Source-SIA (Staffing Industry Analysts)

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.




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






By: Christina Fabugais, Marketing Manager, Contingent Workforce Solutions

On Tuesday we took a look at the rise of the baby boom generation as contingent workers. Today I thought I would flip the switch and discuss with you my thoughts on Generation Y as contingent workers.

Speaking as a Gen Yer (and obviously a completely unbiased perspective) here are just a few reasons why I think that today’s new generation of workers fits the mould of contingent workers perfectly:

Mobile – Armed with my smart phone, laptop and tablet I can essentially work from anywhere at any time.

Multi-Taskers – I can write a blog, text, schedule a meeting and eat a sandwich…all at the same time.

Quick Learners – Perhaps with the help of video games, the internet, Gen Y’s have been classically conditioned to process information faster than generations before us.

Commitment Phobes – Let’s face it, Gen Y’s can’t stay in one place for an extended period of time…we like to gain as much experience as possible then move on.

Tech Saavy – We’re a generation that live our lives on Facebook and Twitter, never take more than 2 steps without our smart phone in hand, and trust Google search more than our mothers…need I say more?

At both ends of the spectrum baby boomers and Gen Y’s are an excellent example of how and why contingent workers are on the rise. Both generations provide relevant skill sets and enjoy the type of lifestyle that aligns with today’s fast paced and agile work environment.



By: Christina Fabugais, Marketing Manager, Contingent Workforce Solutions

Contract and temporary labor is the fastest growing segment of the workforce. Although the economic downturn in 2009 played a large part, there are other factors that contribute to this shift. One of those is the ageing bulk of the workforce.

Over the next 20 years, we have about seventy-six million baby boomers heading to retirement.

Filling the gap that this massive amount of workers will inevitably create is a daunting task for many employers, and some may not be up to the task of replacing years upon years of experience and knowledge. Speaking as someone from a newer generation, I know for a fact that today’s workers entering the workforce are intelligent and more than capable of doing a good job. However, there is no replacement for 30-40+ years of experience and knowledge.

Now, before employers start to panic, there is a saving grace.

The Wiki on Contingent Workforce talks about how the retired workforce with valuable skills are re-entering the workforce as external consultants in their area of speciality. More and more talented people are seeking employment as self-employed consultants and on a project basis.

This contingent based work really benefits both employers and workers. For employers, you are able to tap into the skills and experience required, and on more a cost-effective basis. Moreover, retired workers can hit the ground rounding as there is much less training required (if any at all). For the workers the main benefit is quite simple: work on your own terms. Take a project contract for 8 months, then head down south to Florida for the other 4 months out of the year.

It’s really a win-win situation.

In order for organizations to prepare for the retiring workforce, they need to begin planning now. Having an alumni/retiree recruitment program in place and tying it into your overall contingent workforce management program will help streamline this process, and ensure that you are engaging with these workers in a fully compliant manner.

November 14, 2012 – Calgary, Alberta – Jeff Nugent, President & Managing Director of Contingent Workforce Solutions will be presenting at the Conference Board of Canada’s Western Compensation and HR 2012 event in Calgary, Alberta. The event will focus on competitive, yet affordable compensation, and will focus on two issues top-of-mind for HR executives—recruitment and immigration. These issues have become top priorities in the re-emerging hyper-competitive Western Canada talent market.

Jeff Nugent will be presenting along side Maggie Rigaux, Managing Director of Capabil-IT, on the topic of Managing and Mitigating Contingent Worker Risks.

Contingent workers – freelancers, contractors, consultants – offer businesses many benefits, including flexibility, reduced costs, and access to specific, hard-to-find skills. Most senior managers can cite these benefits, but few are fully aware of how to effectively manage the risks involved with their contingent workers. In fact, many contingent workers are used to mitigate the risks of increasing retirements, without any realization of the new risks they present.

Jeff Nugent and Maggie Rigaux will share their insights as leading practitioners in this rapidly growing contingent workforce industry, and will highlight best practice solutions that they have implemented within one of Alberta’s leading energy companies – The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). Using real case scenarios from the AESO, Jeff and Maggie will discuss how you can take a more strategic approach to contingent workforce risk and resource management, and maximize the return on this increasingly essential resource.

Session Details

Date: November 15, 2012

Time: 3:15 PM

Location: Hyatt Regency Calgary, Calgary, Alberta

For more information and to register, visit: