There's a new trend in town: the sophisticated contingent workforce program managed by an individual who spends all of his or her time on CW responsibilities. That is the finding of Staffing Industry Analysts -- the publisher of this newsletter -- based on responses to its 2009 Contingent Buyer Survey, conducted last year and reflect the opinions of respondents from 171 large companies (those with 1000 employees or more).
Though the 2009 survey indicated a clear pattern of more time spent by those with more sophisticated programs, simply spending more time managing a contingent workforce is no guarantee of success. The survey revealed that those who spent 100 percent of their time on CW responsibilities rated their program only a little better than those who spent 50 percent, and those at 50 percent rated their programs only a little better than those who spent only ten percent of their time.
In general, about half of those surveyed rated their programs very positively: above average or even cutting-edge/best-in-class. CW program managers in the pharma/biotech, tech/telecom industries as well as end users of healthcare and IT temporary workers rated their programs most favorably. The very large companies, those with 10,000 employees or more, did rate their programs as relatively more sophisticated, though SIA noted that there does not seem to be a consistently positive correlation between company size and CW program sophistication.
But what was interesting to note was that formalized CW programs are spreading rapidly across large U.S. companies. In 2009, 7 percent of companies said they were just getting started with respect to formalizing their programs, and a comparable number reported so in 2008, indicating growth in the 6 percent to 7 percent range.