Contingent Workforce – Adapting for a Global Business

Contingent_Workforce, Executive_Solutions

Why use a Contingent Workforce?


On February 18th, Cerius Interim Executives Solutions CEO Pam Wasely, took part in a discussion on the benefits of the contingent workforce. Listen to what Pam has to say and if you have any questions feel free to visit us at 


“Welcome to the Cerius Executive podcast. Today we join our CEO Pam as she leads a discussion on the benefits of the contingent workforce.”

“First lets talk a little bit about the factors impacting businesses today in driving them towards contingent work-forces. By the way, just so you know, contingent workers are in positions that are not permanent. SO could be seasonal employees, could be contractors, or could be independent contractors,  consultants, part-time employees. Those are your contingent workforce today. Let’s start with technology since we all know how quickly that technology is changing today. I mean, lets take a look at whats happening with technology that we have here as compared to where it was before. Do you know that the telephone took 75 years to reach 50 million people? 50 million people in 75 years. An iPad; everybody thinks that the iPad has been around for a long time. It s only been around for a little over 4 years. They reached 50 billion people in less than 2 years. And then, there’s Angry Birds. Angry Birds reached 50 million people in less than 30 days. I mean look at this. Technology is just changing so quickly. Another thing: the rising labour cost. You got taxes going up, you got health care going up, you got workers comp going up. You can’t afford to be hiring on permanent employees all the time in your company today. you have to look for other alternatives. Demographics. The demographics is changing. You know it used to be that you could find all the talent that you need here in the United States and in England because that’s where great talent used to be. But guess what, that’s not true today. You can’t find it in your own backyard. IN fact the population here in the United States and in England is decreasing and now 95% of the population growth in the future is going to be in emerging countries such as Russia, Brazil, India, China, Hong Kong, Singapore. That’s where your population growth. I got to tell you there’s some great talent in those countries today that you can go to for contingent work-forces. And also the way that people look at work today, right now 36% of your workers are contingent. IN the year 2020, its predicted that now that’s going to be 50%. So you’re going to have lots of talent out there that you can access.

Why use contingent workers? Because you need the flexibility, you need to be able to get workers in when and where you need them today. You cant wait to get talent in your companies today. Its too important. The pace of business is speeding up so you need that on-demand talent. It used to be that you could wait for 30,60 and 180 days to get a new employee on board. Well, sure you can still continue to do that but what happens to your company while you’re trying to find that right person? Well, there;s talent out there on a contingent basis which you could bring in and supplement until you can find that great talent. So again, these are some of the reasons why they’re using contingent workers today.

According to a study 62% of businesses last year put contingent workers in their talent strategy to achieve their goals, to achieve their objectives for 2014. And today that numbers even larger. And here’s an interesting thing, how many people in here thought that your contingent workforce was really made up of baby boomers? How many? Can I have a show of hands? Nobody? OK thank you because I have to tell you most people I ask though, oh yeah that’s all retired folks. Well its not. In fact if you could see here 56% is made up of baby boomers, of millennials and your X-gen. In fact, millennials love the ability to be contingent workers. They get to do what they’re passionate about. They get to do it on their own time. They love that. SO again, your baby boomers and your traditionalists which are your 50’s, 60’s and 70’s are the minority here. And where are those global markets? Your top 3 Hong Kong, United States, China. Its interesting because in my company I actually stole the idea of part-time temporary in-contract executives from the United Kingdom. They’ve been doing this for about 50 years or more. And they’re number 10 on this list and they use a lot of contingent work-forces. Number 3 China, they moved up from number 15 last year. SO now they’re moving up into the contingent workers. The United States has always used a lot of contingent workers. They’ve used them in seasonal employees, they’ve used them in manufacturing where they need to increase their productivity so they’re usually in the top three. In the top industries I’ve already talked about one which is retail. Lot of seasonal workers. But health care. Health care. Its unbelievable whats going on there. I mean not only are they hiring temporary or part-time nurses and home care workers. But they’re actually using temporary and part-time doctors to work in clinics and in hospitals. So its all the way up the chain in the health-care area. And where can you find cost-effective or cost-efficient talent today in the contingent workforce marketplace. India, Thailand, Chile, Philippines. And how do you find these contingent workers? Well there’s the old cup of, kind of, tried and true ways of personal networks. You know where you go to somebody that you can ask and they refer some people. Its usually local . It takes a little bit of time to get somebody on board. And then there’s staffing firms that actually specialize in temporary employees. But you know again they usually pull from the local market and can they always find the best talent locally? No not really. Now you have another choice. You have the online global marketplace. This is using technology to enable you to be able to reach talent around the globe. The largest company out there today is oDesk-Elance. They were two different companies until recently where they merged. They started around 2007 and they have anywhere from web designers, they have head marketing specialists, they have translators, financial people. They’ve got all sorts of people that you can pick from to use as contingent workers and I have to tell you that I’ve had some CEO’s who’ve used these kind of workers in their company. The results are awesome. I mean the product that they produce and the work that they do is really quite good. So there’s talent across the world here. You also have spare hire. They specialize in financial people. And then you have executives. Where do you find an interim executive. Like an interim president? Or a part-time CFO? Or an Operations Executive that you need to come in and help you with processes to be more efficient in your company and bring more profit to the bottom-line. Where do you find those people? Well now you cna find it and we’re disrupting this marketplace here. Its my company which is called Cerius. As of next week, we launch this marketplace. And this is a marketplace of pre-verified executives. And as you all know its really hard to find really good people. But here you come to a site where its been these people been pre-verified and now what does that mean? They are reference-checked, background-checked, they are profiled for the best cultural fits, they are,  we check all their resumes and make sure that everything they say on those resumes is absolutely true. So they’re really slotted for exactly what they’re best at. And the nice thing about this, and I kid all the time, I feel like we’re the e-Harmony of staffing because on e-Harmony you go out there and you answer some questions and they come back to you with a match. Well, here you answer questions, the CEO’s or the HR departments, they answer questions that literally pair down to the exact issue that you’re having at your company. I mean just answer a couple of questions that really let you narrow down what it is that you really need then automatically goes out to our database executives and they pull back the right match. I mean, executives and CEO’s are loving the ability to do this. Again they can do this whenever they need to at their own leisure and they’re not being sold. But then they get all these great people and then obviously they decide whether they want to go forward. SO for some rise..

Contingent work-forces should be a part of your talent strategy going forward because if its not, your costs are going to be rising, your not going to be able to keep up with your competition and you know the technology is going to race right by you. So please consider using contingent workers.”

Alex Guidrevitch


  1. […] recent rise in independent contracting has been accompanied by a rising demand for interim talent. More and more employers are integrating […]

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