TalentWave recently participated in and sponsored the 2018 CWS Summit, organized by Staffing Industry Analysts. This event is one of the largest, peer-to-peer industry networking events in North America, and attendees represent the usual demographics from contingent workforce leadership, technology platforms, program management organizations and of course, suppliers.  After many years of participating in this event, TalentWave observed that 2018 had one of the highest attendee rates in history!   So, what was all the buzz about?  Well, there are always the key ingredients TalentWave trusts to make a big impact:

  • Big booth, high-traffic corner location, bright, hot lights!
  • Swag, collateral and more swag (small enough to pack in a carry-on, yet big enough to be memorable!)
  • Engaging, seasoned business-solutions executives (with Dr. Scholl’s cushion inserts) and overbooked calendars
  • Valuable, face-to-face meetings with clients, prospects, partners and industry friends
  • Long days and short nights (coffee a must!)
  • A leadership team leading spotlight panel sessions, facilitating round-tables and hackathon speed networking conversations
  • A fantastic After-Dark party, a lovely Dallas evening on the patio, and a whole lot of guacamole
  • A crew of Wave Makers who were dozing on their departing plane before it left the runway

But here’s the primary, buzz-worthy topic that will have meaningful impact on our industry:

Ultimately, the common theme for this year’s event is a resounding affirmation that the gig economy is alive and well. As the labor market tightens, alternative and more direct sourcing strategies are essential for success. When qualified talent cannot be sourced through traditional channels, people go rogue and take the initiative to find talent through any means possible. Today’s programs demand a multi-channel strategy, with increased visibility and compliance.

While in theory this doesn’t sound like a bad idea, companies open themselves up to leakage, and the associated risks of non-compliance when sourcing outside traditional channels. We are seeing smaller, less-traditional MSP players who appeal to mid-market companies struggling to find talent.

The talent shortage is disrupting how work gets done, both from the buyer and seller perspective.  The evolution of the independent worker is at an all-time high and the workforce ecosystem must adapt to the new way of finding and engaging talent.

Across the ballroom presentations, meeting rooms, coffee stations, lunch tables, booths and after-hours entertainment venues, there were lively discussions and debates about how to utilize and welcome various forms of independent contractors.  It’s evident they are an essential strategy if companies are to thrive, given the talent shortage.  Embracing this evolution requires a comprehensive ecosystem of people, processes and technology. TalentWave is well positioned to help lead our clients into this exciting tsunami in talent!