CWS 3.0: December 18, 2013


Serving the Contingent Ecosystem

As director of global services, I have met or spoken with professionals from every aspect of the contingent workforce ecosystem. I've spoken with staffing firm representatives at association events, met with suppliers to staffing firms, chatted with buyers, presented at conferences and have gotten very familiar with each aspect of the contingent workforce ecosystem in general. The contingent workforce ecosystem served by Staffing Industry Analysts looks something like this:

Click image to enlarge.

And we provide thought leadership and research to almost all parties in the ecosystem. Some reports are just for the contingent workforce buyers who are members of the CWS Council. These reports, such as the annual VMS and MSP Competitive Landscape report or those that provide sample contract language, help the contingent workforce manager continue to improve their programs. In addition, we have offerings that benefit others in the ecosystem in different ways. Here are a few:

Buyer Survey. Corporate buyers use the reports generated from the Buyer Survey as tools to find out what other companies including the competition are doing and thinking as they plan their contingent workforce programs. Staffing providers, meanwhile, use the same report to learn what their customers are doing and thinking in order to plan their strategic initiatives. Suppliers to staffing firms (Intermediaries) use this as a tool to find out what buyers are doing and thinking to plan solutions and strategy for their staffing firm clients. Associations, analysts and consultants (Related Services) find out what buyers are doing and thinking in terms of investing and new opportunities.

U.S. Staffing Industry Forecast and 2013 Growth Assessment. This is a great tool for the entire ecosystem. It helps all parties in the CW space plan and strategize for the future. The associated April and September Staffing Industry Forecast webinars help the industry keep abreast of what the future holds for contingent work.
Book of Lists. Corporate buyers go to this list when they are looking for new vendors; staffing providers want to be on this list for that very reason and to find partnering opportunities. Intermediaries and Related Services look at these lists to see who the largest and fastest growing players in the industry are.
Staffing Company Surveys. Buyers stand to gain a greater understanding of what is important to their staffing providers from the reports that stem from this annual survey. Staffing firms can use the reports to benchmark their firms against their peers. Intermediaries and Related Services use these surveys to see what staffing providers are thinking and more important, where they are focusing their efforts.

Of course, there is a lot more, such as “The Anatomy of a Markup,” our latest IT report and the research and handy topic links you can find on our research topics pages. So far, I have just talked about the paid research that SIA offers.

Publications. Another great tool is the content provided by our complimentary print and online publications. They offer a good understanding of the CW world and its challenges. Many of the articles provide useful tips to resolving thorny issues, relying on experienced professionals in the field. In addition to Contingent Workforce Strategies 3.0, our Staffing Industry Review magazine and IT Staffing and Healthcare Staffing newsletters and all address various part of the contingent workforce ecosystem. Take a look at each one on our home page to see if there is one you had not seen and might be able to get valuable (free) information from.

The CW ecosystem is growing. We understand it’s a complex one. We hope that the information that we provide helps you understand the ecology of this system. Please take some time to walk through the content we provide at and see what information you can apply to your business to gain a competitive edge and an even better understanding of this complex environment.

As always, we are here to help you.


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