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)

Over five years ago, during my first CPO Summit, I witnessed the convergence of the world’s preeminent procurement and sourcing professionals work together and share viable strategies for improving their businesses. It’s comforting to know, half a decade later, that CPOs are still striving for excellence and seeking procurement transformation as a means of surviving […]

I'm a Forrester analyst, but lately I've been feeling more like a marriage counselor. Not that I mind that role; you get to hear all sorts of juicy gossip and sordid tales of woe. But I didn't anticipate it in my job at Forrester. I've spent many 30-minute counseling sessions (inquiries) listening to Vendor Management dudes (professionals) complaining about their Procurement spouses (colleagues) and vice versa. It appears that both parties are approaching married life (work) from two different sides of the bed. It feels like this arranged marriage is doomed to fail. But enough with the marriage analogy; this is a serious issue that seems to be pretty prevalent in the corporate world today.

So what are the major areas of disconnect?

Read more

The most expensive and most complex resource of any business is its people. Many factors affect human performance, and, as a result, the human dimension is generally considered difficult to measure in terms of efficiency and improvement. With visibility into their workers’ performance, however, companies can better manage their entire workflow process.

Companies often have very little insight into their contract employees; a segment of the human dimension that poses high risk with employment and tax law and usually accounts for organizations’ largest single line expense. Contingent workers currently account for approximately 25% of the workforce, and this number is expected to increase. Companies need to effectively manage this aspect of their human resources in order to succeed in today’s changing employment market. Workforce analytics give companies visibility into their contract workforce, allowing them to better manage workflow, productivity, and compliance.

A Vendor Management System (VMS) can provide companies with the workforce analytics that provide companies with insight into their contract workforce across the entire organization. With greater insight, companies can determine who is doing what, and how well they are doing it. This allows organizations to allocate resources, motivate workers, and better understand human-resource related costs.

There are four key components to an effective Workforce analytics program. These components are:

  • Interactive – Workforce Analytics must be used as a living tool with dynamic data that integrates with historical data, including exceptions and outliers.
  • Intelligent – Analytics programs should be predictive and provide enough context to not only answer questions, but also raise them.
  • Actionable – The data must generate realistic recommendations that guide management decisions toward cost savings and risk mitigation.
  • Motivational – Workforce Analysis should go beyond mere mandates and inspire employees to have a stake in best practices.[1]

Successful businesses always look forward and adjust their strategies to match the changing market. Implementing a VMS and a workforce analytics program is one way that companies can adapt and better manage their most complex and most important resource: their people.

[1] Leeby, Doug. Workforce Analytics: How to Define, Measure and Drive Productivity in Today’s Organization.

For more information about how you can benefit from a Vendor Management System, contact Christina Fabugais about SimplicityVMS

Christina Fabugais
Marketing Manager
Direct Phone:  416-642-9077
Toll Free:  1-866-837-8630 x9077

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.

Cloud-based technology did not take long to invade the comforts of procurement, sourcing and complex category management. My research over the past year has reinforced the powerful notion of the cloud as a viable option for procurement, purchasing and financial professionals in overall spend management. Cloud e-procurement and expense management solution provider, Coupa, invited me […]

Aberdeen Group announces the 2011 Chief Procurement Officer Summit: The CPO as Innovator, Collaborator, and Strategist, November 15 – 16 at the Seaport Hotel in Boston. Over the past six years Aberdeen Group’s annual Chief Procurement Officer Summit has established itself as the preeminent symposium for global procurement executives to learn, network, evaluate and develop […]

Modern business times often require fresh ideas and strategies to effectively build corporate growth. This also applies to the procurement arena, where supply management, sourcing and the drive for cost savings has forced Chief Procurement Officers to leverage innovative solutions in the midst of a new decade.

Best-in-Class companies in our State of Strategic Sourcing report (publishing at month’s end) are known for their top-tier sourcing performance, including:

  • 80% of their spend under management
  • 78% rate of procurement contract compliance
  • 12% realized and implemented cost savings

These top companies are also ahead of the pack in terms of strategic sourcing program attributes. The majority of companies that participated in our research survey have in place core competencies in regards to their sourcing programs, including cost analysis, needs assessment, and a formal sourcing strategy. However, there are several “weak links” in the modern strategic sourcing program that must be addressed for the average organization to ascend to Best-in-Class status.

Aspects such as proactive data analytics (in use in only 26% of companies as compared to 40% of Best-in-Class companies), supplier optimization (utilized by 15% more Best-in-Class organizations than all others), and supply risk assessments (34% vs. 44% of Best-in-Class companies) are lacking in the modern strategic sourcing program. In the case of proactive data analytics, is there another internal process or tool more appropriate for forecasting and planning seven or eight months down the road? Similarly, supply risk is still a threat regardless of how comfortable procurement executives feel with their current mix of suppliers. Proper assessments are crucial in mitigating supply chain risks and avoiding disruptions.

Stay tuned for more findings from the new State of Strategic Sourcing research study.



When companies think of internal functions that have a direct link to bottom-line growth, the strategic sourcing group is often the first to come to mind. Over the past five years, Aberdeen has covered the strategic sourcing space in varied fashion, unveiling “advanced sourcing” strategies, peering overseas for sourcing nuances, and unearthing a modern guide for sourcing savings.

It with this prologue in mind that we approach The State of Strategic Sourcing. Aberdeen’s new sourcing study will capture the true perception of the strategic sourcing group, its benefits, and the many means of linking this function to corporate development and growth. The new research study will also dive into indirect materials sourcing and how advanced sourcing strategies can be leveraged for contingent labor, printed material and services, travel, facilities and other complex spend categories.

Participate in the new survey. All participants will receive a complimentary copy of the final report in early April.



A number of economists I’ve read lately suggest that the past twelve months have been, to some degree, a jobless recovery. But perhaps labeling the period a “full-time” jobless recovery would be more accurate. Contingent labor hiring is thriving, in fact. And this, of course, is contributing to the rising interest in procurement’s involvement in services spending in general, especially in the contingent arena. Consider this WSJ article from Friday that suggests “temporary-help payrolls have risen for 11 of the past 12 months, with the sector adding 16,900 jobs in September, according to Labor Department data released Friday.”

Moreover, the article also cites a recent Duke University/CFO study suggesting “Chief financial officers say about 23% of recent hiring has been directed at contract and part-time employees, up from 17% prior to the recession.” Moreover, “Companies expect temp hiring to continue growing faster than overall hiring in the next year,” the same survey suggests.

The WSJ provides concrete evidence of the trend towards a contingent and part-time workforce, even in the case of unionized companies. Consider the case of Harley-Davison, that “signed a new union contract last month that creates a tier of ‘casual workers’ with no benefits and no minimum number of hours, allowing the company to call up workers when they’re needed.” Of course underlying this move to non-full-time hires is the state of the economy — not to mention the uncertain economic environment (we’re not uncertain at Spend Matters. We believe we’re currently in recession, but don’t let us say “we told you so” in 2011).

In our view, procurement organizations that aren’t aggressively ramping up their global contingent workforce management efforts are going to be left behind as their company’s actions get ahead of their ability to deliver on effective services procurement programs. But don’t think for a minute of “leaving it to HR.” Granted, procurement must work hand-in-hand with HR and key business leaders (e.g., IT), a department increasingly dependent on contingent workers. And they should also get to know the managed services provider (MSP) and vendor management system (VMS) landscape as well. HR should definitely be a partner and not the driver of contingent procurement efforts.

If you’re curious to learn more about the services procurement landscape and the differences best-in-class providers and partners can make, I encourage you to check out our latest (free) Compass research on the subject:

Selecting Services Procurement Technology – Options, Approaches, and Philosophy

Services Spend — Beyond Contingent Labor: Achieving And Implementing Savings Across Previously Unmanaged Categories

Making Procurement a Services Spend Ally: Tips and Tactics for Winning over Business Stakeholders and Spend Owners

The Managed Services Connection — The Evolving Role of MSPs in Services Procurement

– Jason Busch