Author Archives: Andrew Karpie

ADP Acquires WorkMarket, Steps into Contingent Workforce and Total Talent Management Space

Payroll and human capital management provider ADP announced Monday it is acquiring WorkMarket, a cloud-based workforce management solution, for an undisclosed amount, the company said in a press release. The acquisition reflects a number of important human capital trends, including the increasing use of skilled non-employee labor to perform tasks or projects and, more recently, the growing recognition that businesses need to more deeply integrate their internal employee and external contract workforce, an approach also known as total talent management.

Intuit’s QuickBooks Brings Small Businesses and Independent Contractors Closer at Tax Time — and More

Financial software giant Intuit announced Wednesday that it is adding two new tax-related features to its QuickBooks products. The release of two features might seem like small potatoes, but we’ll elaborate on why that’s not quite true. The new features benefit both small businesses and their contractors, which could be considered the core of the expanding gig/freelance/self-employed economy, where Intuit is nurturing a growing, cloud-based software and services ecosystem.

“Services Procurement” or “Procurement of Services” — What’s in a Name?

Many of us will recognize this quote from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet." But you may be wondering: Who is this fool, and what hath this to do with contingent workforce and services procurement? But then you may think about it a bit and ask: Are we talking about engaging several recommended, expert flower arrangers for a major event? Or are we contracting with florists in three major metro areas to continuously keep our offices in each location fragrant and cheerful? Ay, there’s the rub. Now we are closer to the core issue.

Is Total Talent Management Really the Next Big Thing? Or is There Something Else?


We hear the terms total talent management (TTM), holistic talent management and blended workforce bandied about with great frequency by analysts and writers these days. But when and how it will be achieved remain unclear. While some declare the time is right for such an approach and hazard conceptual roadmaps, others have wondered whether the idea is really feasible. This concept of a unified way of sourcing and engaging both permanent and contingent labor/talent is appealing and probably inevitable, but its realization is – even according to its promoters – admittedly still some ways off. Spend Matters believes there could be another, more near-term development, closer to home in the areas of contingent workforce and services that has already started to occur and is of more practical relevance to procurement. This is a trend toward a comprehensive independent workforce ecosystem and eventually workforce as a service, which will mean correlating capabilities and outcomes under an expanded services taxonomy. But what exactly is this other development? Read on...

The 4 Main Categories of Contingent Workforce/Services Procurement Solutions: The World According to Spend Matters

gig economy

In the recent Spend Matters Landscape Definition and Overview: Contingent Workforce and Services, we introduced four high-level categories encompassing a broad range and growing number of CW/S solutions. Going forward, these solutions — and others to appear in coming years — will be the subject of RFX processes, extensive evaluations and the eventual buy decisions of CW/S procurement executives across many large to medium-sized enterprises. We believe that comparing solutions within each of these categories will support better understanding and decision-making. Accordingly, in 2018, Spend Matters will be introducing the CW/S SolutionMap, featuring each of the four categories.

The Leap From Contingent Workforce to Extended Workforce and Services

This Plus brief proposes that an organizational shift is taking place from (a) enterprises that source and consume a limited set of labor/talent resources (contingent workforce) through certain processes and technology solutions to (b) enterprises that are advancing to another stage (extended workforce) in which a broader array of labor/talent-based services can be accessed by internal business consumers. Some of the pieces of the extended workforce ecosystem are already present, but major gaps in technology and processes must be filled, and procurement must become interested in moving beyond its limited contingent workforce view and take an interest in making extended workforce a reality for their businesses.

How Procurement Can Contribute to Platform Sourcing Initiatives: There Are More Ways Than One (Part 2)

As we observed in the Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO series, five years ago, “online work/services platforms were off the radar for large enterprises and most certainly off the radar for all but a few CW/S procurement organizations. But much has changed since then. Not only has awareness increased significantly but an increasing number of enterprises have piloted or have moved further up the adoption curve. Moreover, traditional staffing-related providers (e.g., MSPs, VMS) have begun to incorporate platform sourcing into their services and technology solution models, creating another way for enterprises to move along an adoption path.

We argued that, in this context, it was not only the time for procurement functions to take platform sourcing initiatives seriously but also to participate in positive ways. To do that, we argued that a different kind of mindset would be required: one where procurement could very well be a member of a team of equals that all had contributions to make to the initiative. In addition, by understanding that most procurement functions may not have the level of resources and maturity to assume a full-time leadership role, we showed how those procurement functions could participate in other ways, allowing them to both move up the learning curve and have an increasingly positive impact on the initiatives.

In Part 2 of this series, we turn our focus to how CW/S procurement can leverage its functional expertise and skills to make specific, concrete contributions to the advancement and success of direct sourcing initiatives. We also discuss how CW/S procurement may change over time to be much better aligned to supporting enterprise needs for new, increasingly digitally enabled sources and forms of work and services beyond the current focus on traditional contingent workforce and SOW management.

How Procurement Can Participate in Platform Sourcing Initiatives: There Are More Ways Than One (Part 1)

Today, most contingent workforce and services (CW/S) procurement practitioners have some awareness of — or even some level of interest in — online work/service platforms (e.g., online freelancer marketplaces, contest/challenge crowd platforms, digital direct sourcing solutions). While the integration of these platforms into enterprise systems and processes is still a work in progress, many expect that they will increasingly become an important set of sourcing options in the years to come.

CW/S procurement, though typically time and resource constrained, cannot ignore or rationalize away these developments. On the contrary, the enterprise requires procurement’s involvement and contributions to pursue these new options successfully. But the question of how, when, where and to what extent procurement can or should participate in these new developments can be vexing questions. No doubt, some long-standing assumptions, philosophies and approaches to CW/S procurement may not align with these new sourcing options and opportunities, and adjustments will thus be required. It will also be necessary for procurement to learn about a whole new area of platform-based sourcing and a new landscape of platform suppliers.

In this two-part PRO series, we provide a focus, framework and suggestions to assist CW/S procurement organizations in understanding various options and opportunities for participating in online work and services platform developments/initiatives in their respective enterprises. In Part 1, we focus on (a) how the procurement approach to platform sourcing is different from typical contingent workforce program management and (b) what participation options (roles/orientations) are available to procurement organizations depending upon their state of maturity and resource availability. In Part 2, we discuss a range of procurement functional disciplines that are, with appropriate modification, highly applicable in platform sourcing scenarios. In addition to indicating where procurement can concretely contribute expertise, we also discuss how procurement’s role may change overtime. And, finally, we provide a set of key takeaways from this series.

How Shiftgig CEO Wade Burgess Plans to Scale Gig Worker Adoption in Procurement from Niche Services to Enterprise Platform

on-demand workforce

If there’s anyone qualified to comment on the future of talent acquisition, it’s Wade Burgess. The former LinkedIn executive and current CEO of Shiftgig has had a front row seat to the disruption of the labor market over the past decade. From the shift to job seeking online to the rise of the gig economy, Burgess has seen and shaped this changing talent landscape, even made it his mission in life to empower professionals and create greater economic opportunity for a broader base of the workforce. To learn more about how he plans to lead Shiftgig in pursuit of that mission, we sat down with Burgess for a quick Q&A.

Self-Sourcing Contingent Workforce: What it is and Why it Matters Now

Many services procurement and contingent workforce managers in mid-to-large enterprises are already at various stages of implementing supplier and spend management programs to control and enable their businesses’ consumption of the contingent workforce. These programs typically allow business users to submit a request specifying the characteristics of the kind of worker(s) or business outcome(s) they desire. From that point, it is typically the program — and its rules, processes and systems, like a vendor management system (VMS) — that will source the specified worker(s) or project(s) from third-party supplier firms, which are almost always temp agencies or statement of work (SOW) suppliers, and hopefully deliver what the business user specified and desired.

In effect, it is the program, not the business user, that sources the worker(s) or project(s) for the business user. And the business user directly engages with the worker(s) or project resources at the end of the sourcing process, which can go on for weeks, often with many repeated cycles, until the business user is satisfied with the program’s deliverable.

By contrast, self-sourcing, which will be discussed in this Spend Matters Plus brief, allows the business users to identify, engage, select and procure labor resources (today typically independent workers) on their own, directly. Self-sourcing will increasingly become a contingent workforce buying channel, driven by user demand and enabling technology, and procurement and contingent workforce managers must now begin to understand it and prepare to management it.

Technology, Platforms, Disruption and the Transformation of the Consulting Industry


Few would disagree that the professional services industry is mature — business and delivery models and the actual industry structure have remained practically unchanged for decades now. This industry is not only mature but also massive and complex.

A long state of industry maturity is almost always a predictor of an approaching period of significant change — disruptive, transformative and most often both. As in other industries, technology and online platforms are already making their mark — and will do so increasingly.