Subadhra Sriram's Blog

All Hail the Contingent Workforce

Last week, Bryan Peña declared 2012 as the year of the customer.. I respectfully disagree. I declare 2012 as the year of the contingent workers themselves.. This also goes against the Chinese Five Element Astrology Calendar, according to which 2012 is the year of the dragon. But with apologies to Bryan Peña and the Chinese Zodiac, this CW species deserves a shout out. Here’s why.

  • More than $2 trillion has been spent globally on this workforce. This includes independent contractors, statement of work consultants and agency workers.
  • 16 percent of an average large company’s workforce is contingent, up from 11 percent in 2005.
  • Nearly 50 percent of CW managers devote majority of their time to this role, up from 26 percent in 2005.
  • 76 percent of large companies have a vendor management system in place, while 58 percent have a managed service provider to manage this segment of the workforce.

What this points to is the professionalization and evolution of the contingent workforce and its management. There was a time (not too long ago) when Staffing Industry Analysts's Barry Asin speculated about organizations having senior executives with global responsibility for all things contingent. He claimed at the time it was a starry eyed proclamation. Not any longer.

There has been a sea change in how we view this segment of the workforce. The recession helped. It showed how the flexibility, experience and skill that contingent workers bring can be integral to a business. And now this outlook is being adopted by midsize and small companies. As contingent workforce managers, you are at the vanguard of this movement. We understand that your job is about delivering results. But to truly do your job well, you need to demonstrate the value of your contingent talent. And that takes us right back to why these folks are this year’s heroes.


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SP3M Group LLC

Mike Hammer 12/14/2012 05:18 pm

I think both views are in error. Next year will be the acceleration of IT moving to cloud computing and secure virtualization outsourcing, which will in turn flatten the management structure even more melding HR, Finance and IT. This is driven not only by cost advantages and workers bring their own computing devices (BYOD), but by increasing key skilled talent shortages worldwide and recognition that higher margin future growth will come in emerging markets -- not in the USA. That in turn will escalate the acceptance of a more blended workforce approach with better automation, analytics and management tools for this mixed generation, always connected, and global culture work community.

To see my reasoning and predictions join my webinar on, January 30, 2013 @ 3 pm EST For more details here's a link

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