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?

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


Jobvite recently published a free ebook entitled 33 Essential Social Recruiting Stats, and this eye opening collection of information reveals that employers are already stepping up their efforts to recruit through social media sites because this method is, well, effective.

One interesting statistic that Jobvite published is that 73% of surveyed people between the ages of 18 and 34 found their most recent job through social media.  Jobvite also published that 55% of surveyed companies indicated that they would invest more in social media hiring this year. This means that social media hiring is likely to increase in the future.

Most recruiters already pore over social media sites and the internet to find candidates with relevant skills, and, while many large companies are laggards in adopting social media as part of their employment strategy, they are beginning to see the benefits.

One challenge that employers face is that they do not have the in-house knowledge to effectively use social media for employment purposes. Using a third party can help organizations make the most of internet recruiting, as many of these third parties already use social media for recruiting purposes.

SimplicityVMS is one third party VMS system that integrates with social media sites, making it easier for employers to directly hire their contract and temporary workers through social media.

For more information about SimplictyVMS, or to learn about how your business can benefit from a third party, click here, or contact:

Christina Fabugais
Marketing Manager
Contingent Workforce Solutions Inc.
Direct Phone:  416-642-9077
Toll Free:  1-866-837-8630 x9077

Next week Contingent Workforce Solutions (CWS) is sponsoring Impact99, a one day conference that focuses on better leveraging social media in the workplace. Jeff Nugent, founder and president of CWS, is an advocate for social media, saying “Social Media has changed everything – Marketing, and, most recently, HR”. Nugent believes that companies need to integrate a social media strategy into their traditional hiring practices in order to stay competitive in recruiting the best talent. Therefore, one of CWS’ services includes consulting with clients about how to better integrate social media into their current HR and recruiting strategies.

Impact99 will help HR leaders develop a Social HR strategy, and explain why it’s the most important thing HR can focus on in a digital age. Attendees will learn how to stand out as a top employer, how to find staff in a digital, and social media world. The conference will cover social media basics, and discuss lessons real organizations have learned on their social media journeys.

CWS truly believes that social media will become an integral part of recruiting and HR, which is why it has created platforms that make it easy for recruiters and HR professionals to use social media. SimplicityVMS, which was developed by CWS, is a payrolling and contractor administration software system. This system seamlessly integrates with social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, which allows HR professionals to use these sites along with their traditional recruiting methods. SimplicityVMS empowers HR professionals with the tools they need to keep up with the rapidly changing recruiting landscape.

Impact99 is a great opportunity for HR industry thought leaders to come together and share ideas and experiences, learn about innovative practices, and develop an effective social media strategy of their own.

Click Here for more information about Impact99.

For more information about how SimplicityVMS can integrate with your business, contact:

Jeff Nugent
Direct Phone:  416-642-9126
Fax: 1-866-738-5208

This 1 day conference runs on November 7th at Evergreen Brick Works and focuses on helping businesses and employees better understand and leverage social media in the workplace. You’ll be instructed by 20 of North America’s most respected social media coaches on what you need to know in each of the top social media platforms.

Visit for our all-star line-up.

Impact99 will help you understand why HR needs a social media strategy as much as the marketing department does. You’ll get coached by 20 of North America’s most respected social media experts, and learn how to develop a social HR strategy. Our speakers will explain why it’s the most important think HR can focus on in a digital age. Not familiar with social media? Impact99 will teach Social Media Basics for the HR leader: this includes Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, Recruiting platforms, SEO, Blogs.

You’ll learn how to stand out as a top employer and effectively use social media in the workplace, and discover how to find staff in a digital, social media world. Break free of traditional ways of finding and retaining talent. Find the best candidates (and have them find you) using social media. Discover new ways to retain staff and apply social media to every phase of your employee life cycle, and help your organizational culture come to life with new digital platforms.

Listen to wins and misses from real organizations on their social HR journeys: Why there is only one way forward.

Canada needs more HR trailblazers. This is more than just a conference. It is also a way for leaders just like you to come together, share their experiences, meet the experts and network – all in an inspired venue!

To register, visit

Building out on the success of last year’s event, the Recruiter Networking Group (RNG) will be holding the 5th annual Recruitment Innovation Summit in Toronto.

The Recruitment Innovation Summit will focus on “what’s new” in recruitment, and will bring together leading Canadian Recruitment Experts and Innovators to share best practices and to network. Sessions will include: keynote addresses, expert panels and interactive learning streams. New this year will be the 2011 Recruitment Innovation Awards.

Register now for the most anticipated recruitment event of the year!

To become a sponsor of this unique event Click Here

Save the Date: October 26th-27th, 2011


“I attended with my full Talent Acquisition Management team. The topics were insightful and helped us measure
our success against others in the Corporate Recruiting space in Toronto. It was great to engage with other Recruiting Leaders to share and learn from one another.”
Marianne Crann, Director, Talent Strategy & Acquisition, Rogers Communications Inc.

“I have been to this Summit both as a speaker and as an attendee. Each year I find the topics relevant, insightful and impactful when it comes to effectively managing the recruitment function at Sun Life Financial.”
Paul Russ, Director, Talent Acquisition, Sun Life Financial

To read more testimonials Click Here

Use the Promotion code: RIS2011 to receive $200 off of the regular price.

Register here

Google+ went public yesterday,  opening up its three-month old social network to anyone who wants to join. At the same time, it also announced what it said were eight new improvements, principally to the live video section it calls Hangouts.

Following close behind, Facebook unveiled some sweeping changes of its own, rearranging its News Feed and adding a real-time update ticker to profile pages.

The nearly simultaneous announcements, probably just a coincidence, are nonetheless evidence of the escalating competition between the two powerhouse companies.

Ever since Google+ launched in June (growing quickly to 25 million users who had to be invited to join), Facebook has aggressively added, enhanced, or otherwise changed key features of the site. Hangouts, which lets Google+ users video chat, was Google’s one-up on Facebook. Not even two weeks later, Facebook called a press conference to announce a partnership with Skype and its own video chat service.

When it launched, one of the more compelling Google+ features was its “Circles,” allowing users to organize connections as they see fit. Different messages can be sent to different circles.

Facebook’s one-group approach didn’t allow for different levels of connectedness; lists were available, but so clunky to create and manage that few people used them.  Last week, Facebook addressed that shortcoming, improving Friend Lists. Now, not only can users easily create lists where photos and posts are in one place, but the Smart Lists features automatically assembles groups based on common interests. The latter feature is optional to use.

At the same time as the lists improvements, Facebook also introduced a Subscribe button, letting users choose what they want in their news feeds and to get updates from non-friends.

Now Facebook has gone a step further still, rolling out a reorganized news feed. Instead of presenting status updates in chronological order, Facebook will present what its algorithms decide is the hottest or top news from your friends and people to whom you’ve subscribed. The more frequently you check Facebook, the more recent the posts. But if you visit only every so often, your top news item might be days old. Top news items are marked with a blue corner.

Perhaps needless to say, since every Facebook change seems to be met with resistance, user comments are mostly negative. The Baltimore Sun offers a collection of some of the funniest of them. If you have any doubt about the growing number of Boomers among Facebook’s 750 million users, here’s one of the comments on the Sun’s page: “Zuckerberg apparently hired the genius behind New Coke to run Facebook.”

Meanwhile, Google, which used its heavily trafficked search page to promote Google+, began offering a mobile version of Hangouts. Now users with Android-powered phones with front-facing cameras can hold video chats. An iPhone version is coming, Google promised.

The other improvements to Hangouts (the 100th was the public launch of Google+) include screen sharing, Google Docs integration, and a broadcast feature it calls Hangouts On Air, which makes recording and broadcasting of a session. Not all of these are fully available, but they are on their way.

The interest in the competition between Google and Facebook is evidently high. New features and enhancements in services will usually get a mention in the tech blogs. But the Facebook changes and the Google+ public launch has garnered wide interest. Event the Christian Science Monitor has weighed in with a post it headlined “Facebook changes vs. Google+: Who made the best updates?

It’s no secret that Social Media altered the business landscape, but how has it impacted the way staffing agencies and recruiters do their jobs? Many staffing executives agree that while social media is new, it is becoming a more important tool in the search for candidates. Social media sites attract a large number of people. Over 700 million people are on Facebook, 200 million on Twitter and at least 100 million on LinkedIn[1].  These people tend to be tech-savvy, curious, and they enjoy learning, which means that many of them could be excellent recruits[2].

Social media sites give you insight into a candidate’s job history and interests, and LinkedIn can even provide you with detailed information about the candidate’s professional experience and education. It’s not easy to find such detailed information through the traditional recruiting channels. This makes LinkedIn a great source for reaching passives. Users can post a profile without announcing that they are looking for a job, and recruiters can then seek out these candidates as well as actively searching candidates.

A recent Jobvite survey found that 64% of organizations have hired through social networks in 2011, compared to the 58% that hired through social networks in 2010. In addition, 55% will increase their budget for social recruiting, and only 16% will spend more on job boards[3].

In addition to simply posting jobs, companies can engage job-seekers and passive candidates on social media sites through information. Companies can start discussions, provide job-hunting hints, or provide information about a particular industry.

Other components of recruiting will continue to play a role; however a social media program needs to fit with a firm’s overall marketing strategy. Companies need to communicate their goals and message to their specific target audience, and social media provides a perfect platform to do this. For more information and tips about social media recruiting, feel free to contact CWS.


[2] Johnson, Craig. Connect with Candidates. Staffing Industry Review. XVI.8

[3], Jobvite,

We’re about halfway through our contest looking for the best blog posts from the ERE community in the month of July (still plenty of time to try your hand at that if you haven’t yet). At stake is an Apple iPad as well as two Amazon gift cards for the runners-up. I wanted to highlight some of my favorite posts so far and encourage you to check out all of the blog posts our community has to offer.

Making the case for job boards

Vanessa Bostwick writes: “As someone who is deeply embedded within the recruiting industry, I hear these words every day: job boards are done. Finished. Finito. Social media, which some say is quicker, cheaper, and easier to track and implement, is edging out job boards to become the top job channel for both job seekers and employers. But statements like these don’t reflect the true state of job boards and their continued adoption by users. Here are some strong arguments for why job boards aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.”

Strong employment brands will rule social recruiting

Omowale Casselle writes: “Social media is redefining the way prospective candidates and employers interact. Not only do candidates now have the ability to directly communicate with employers, but they are also able to communicate with each other regarding the pros/cons of an employer. Employers have gained lots of expertise in one way communication with prospective candidates, and there is no doubt they will quickly master two-way communication as well. However, the key to success will be how well they can influence the conversations they are not directly involved with.”

Trust and privacy on LinkedIn

Irina Shamaeva writes: “There are questions about LinkedIn many members have. How many friends should you have on LinkedIn? Should you set your profile as public or private? Should you sign up for a business account — and for which option — or stay with a basic one? If you keep the number of connections small, what are your chances to reach others for business? Here are some facts and guesses that may help you make decisions on those options.

It may be slow, it may be bumpy, but it’s gonna hurt. Unless…

Paul Klip writes: “Stretched to the hilt, companies who were forced to decimate their talent acquisition teams have started feeling the effects of a recovery with a barrage of new requests from hiring managers as their businesses continue recovering from the worst economic downturn since the great depression. Still unsure as to the long-term viability of their hiring needs, companies are reluctant to add full-time talent acquisition professionals and are saddling their office managers, HR generalists and existing TA teams with more and more hiring requests which are beyond their scope of recruiting expertise.”

10 steps to making your relationship with Twitter work

Kendra Pearson writes: “Twitter and I have been involved for almost a year now. In honor of our upcoming one-year anniversary, I think it is appropriate to reflect upon my relationship with what I consider to be the most misunderstood social media technology. I will start by saying that it was not love at first sight. As stories of recruiters and job seekers connecting through Twitter flourished, I knew I needed to try this technology in order to understand it. But still I resisted. I felt like I needed a handbook just to join the conversation. Followers? Tweets? Hashtags?”

What no job board wants to talk about…

Jeff Dickey-Chasins writes: “As you might guess, I’m a great believer in the fundamentals of job boards. I’ve seen the emails from happy job seekers and employers extolling the many ways job boards can save users time and money. In essence, for many people, job boards work. But …there are things that job boards often shy away from — topics they don’t want to touch. Why? Because sometimes job boards don’t work. Perhaps there were unrealistic expectations. Perhaps there was just a mess.”

“Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations.”

Maureen Sharib writes: “There’s an old saying you don’t hear much anymore: “Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations.” What it means is that someone starts out in work sleeves and succeeds enough to allow their children to wear silk sleeves.  Those wearing the silk sleeves usually abandon the opportunity to do anything with the means that provided those silk sleeves and, ultimately waste it, leaving nothing but shirt sleeves for the third generation to wear.”

#SHRM10: Final Thoughts

Gerry Crispin writes: “Mark Stelzner’s blog summarizing his observations was so good as a conversation starter that most of what I could say about the conference I said in my comments there. My only additions are these:”

When redesigning a Global  recruitment and staffing process there is a rule of thumb: Policy defines process! When you impact the policies you impact the process and how it should be executed.  Whether it is full time or contingent workforce policies, they are written to create consistent practices and protect the organization Country by Country.  Below is a list of articles that are helpful when considering different types of employment scenarios inside the organization. Additionally it begs the question how best to manage these changes. I always appreciate the reality check and hope you do as well.

North America

PEO trend in small to mid-size employers
Dykema Gossett PLLC USA – August 31 2009
However, for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the courts have determined coemployment status by applying an economic realities test, which considers (1 

DOL and IRS to scrutinize misclassification of independent contractors
Barnes & Thornburg LLP USA – April 26 2010
… In addition to the DOL, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be scrutinizing independent contractor arrangements. As part of …

New $25 million blockbuster – coming soon to an employer near you!!
Strasburger & Price LLP USA – April 19 2010
in confirming the proper classification of its workers as contractorversus employee  the factors in classifying a worker as an employee orindependent contract. 

The Department of Labor (DOL) has been given funds and a clear directive from the President to step up employee misclassification enforcement efforts. U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Soliz, has announced a new program to advise workers of their labor and employment rights. The program, called “We Can Help,” was launched last week. The We Can Help website provides a toll-free hotline for an employee or contractor to raise questions or concerns about how she is being paid. The worker is promised confidentiality and undocumented workers are protected from immigration enforcement for complaints about wage violations. To aid its efforts in getting the word about the We Can Help program out to workers, the DOL has teamed with various employee advocacy groups, including the AFL-CIO and others to educate workers. Plans include distribution of litera…

United Kingdom

Equal pay for temps
DWF LLP United Kingdom – March 25 2010
Ahead of the implementation of the Agency Workers Regulations in October 2011, Asda and Unite have struck a deal that will give temporary agency workers in 


MOM issues “Tripartite Guidelines for Re-employment of Older Employees”
Allen & Gledhill LLP Singapore – March 30 2010
On 11 March 2010, the Minister for Manpower Mr Gan Kim Yong announced the finalised set of Tripartite Guidelines for Re-employment of Older Employees (the “Guidelines”) at the Committee of Supply Debate.


Sweden – Lower rate of increase in the number of unemployed

According to original data, published today by Statistics Sweden (SCB), 448,000 persons aged 15 to 74 were unemployed in March 2010…

What does this all mean to me? ( I know you are wondering)

There is no such thing as ONE global process.  There is such a thing as a global framework, however the HOW will change by country. I call this A Global Framework with localized practices. Think of your technology as the vertebrate and the function that must perform according to country requirements. (Even the technology must meet country standards!)

Full-time recruitment

1.  Education

2.  Expat Management – Educating managers who go abroad what they can and cannot do, based upon country legislation and

3. Recruitment process and benefits discussions based upon geography

4. Recruitment on-boarding processes

5. New program’s to support retiree’s

Contingent Workforce

1.  Managed services as we know in the United States is not the same when you go across the pond

2. Supplier management as a common framework will have a different RASIC chart (roles and responsibilities chart) by country due to legislation.

3. Unemployment rates impact to supplier resume submittals.

4. New programs to support retiree’s.

Yes there is more that can be added to this list, but it goes to the saying policies drive process.  Therefore making recruitment and staffing one of the most misunderstood function both internally and outsourced today.