Interested in hearing more predictions about the contingent workforce industry, or perhaps what lies ahead for procurement executives in 2017? You won’t want to miss next week’s “Big Trends and Predictions” webcast, which will feature insights from Ardent’s own Andrew Bartolini and Christopher Dwyer. Click here to register for the webinar. We hope to see you there!

In 2017, the world of work looks vastly different than it did only a few years ago. From the sharp uptick in the utilization of non-employee labor and the newfound reliance on online staffing, to the “gig economy” permeating every facet of talent engagement and the continued to evolution of core contingent workforce management (CWM) technology, businesses across the globe are now finding that in order to thrive in this new world of work, they must adapt a fresh culture of innovation and agility.

Within the past 12 months, we’ve seen:

The year ahead will be interesting, for sure, however, many businesses are wondering, “Where do we go? What’s the best path ahead?” CPO Rising is excited to discuss a series of predictions and insights that comprise our contingent workforce management outlook for 2017:

  • The concept of the “future of work” will be more defined in the year ahead as mobility, work optimization, talent engagement options, and new outlets of innovation continue to evolve. The real definition of the “future of work” varies depending on the source. Economists point to its ramifications within the speed of global business, while others take a hardline technology-grounded approach. Ardent’s take falls somewhere in the middle: the future of work concept is founded on the dynamics of talent, artificial intelligence, robotics, mobility, and the evolution of physical location modeling (i.e. co-working or “hot-desking”). This notion will be further defined in the year ahead, as not only the reliance on new sources of talent continues to grow, but also how innovation, AI, and mobility continue to transform global business.
  • The ideal of “total workforce management” continues to make an impact as a future-state program. The concept of a “blended” workforce traverses beyond the fact that traditional and non-employee workers are now moving forward side-by-side. No, this idea of a blended workforce is founded on the notion that, with the right integrated tools, technologies, and methodologies, companies effectively react to the dynamic pressures of modern business by aligning the proper challenges with the best-fit skillsets…regardless of the source of that talent.
  • Innovative solutions, such as blockchain, begin to impact the dynamics of work. The non-employee workforce industry transcends talent, spend, or suppliers. It’s part of a bigger movement that is actively altering the way work is perceived and ultimately addressed. Thus, it makes sense that non-traditional software or solutions impact this space in some meaningful manner. We could see an offering like blockchain (which we wrote about last year) impacting everything from talent hierarchies to the way companies address (or replace) once-traditional roles with freelancer or independent talent due to the power of this technology.
  • The core cogs of contingent workforce management programs will be altered with newer concepts, such as self-sourcing, deeper (and next-gen) analytics, and gamification. Businesses crave a direct relationship with its talent, necessitating self- or direct-sourcing of labor. Analytics, especially those that can offer predictive or cognitive functionality, will spark bigger insights into how to better manage the contingent workforce. And, gamification could revolutionize the traditional attributes of engagement and possibly open new doors to new sources of talent and expertise. All of this blended together? It means that the core components of CWM are about to be transformed.
  • 2017 is the year that pure human capital management principles will find their true place within the scope of contingent workforce management. As recently as a few years ago, Ardent’s research pointed to the contingent workforce industry becoming more “talent-led” than “commodity-led,” owing to the newfound focus on talent instead of mere costs when developing a talent engagement strategy. Doesn’t it make sense to implement more of a human capital management approach due to this shift in the market? Of course it does. In the year ahead, we’ll witness (more than ever before) an increased level of collaboration and coordination between the historical owner of CWM (procurement) and the principles required to bring non-employee workforce management into a new age.

Interested in learning more about contingent workforce management or Ardent’s outlook on this industry in 2017? Subscribe to Contingent Workforce Weekly, the CWM space’s only dedicated weekly podcast series.


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