Guest Blog – The Gig Economy’s Impact on Both Procurement and HR | DCR Workforce Blog

Guest Blog – The Gig Economy’s Impact on Both Procurement and HR

There’s no doubt about the growth of the contingent workforce. New Ardent Partners research has discovered that 38% of the world’s total workforce falls into this non-employee category, representing another sharp shift in the greater world of talent.

The “gig economy” has become a hot phrase in the business world, thrown around by major market media and large-scale business publications across the world. Some executives may perceive the gig economy as yet another fad sweeping the nation, however, it’s become quite clear that it’s more than a fad…it’s a transformative force that will forever alter how “work” is addressed.

Thus, the real impact of the gig economy is felt by more than just the “gig workers” themselves, especially as more and more organizations buy into and embrace the on-demand talent engagement that the gig economy is built on. Procurement and HR have long been the two functional units holding the main responsibilities for managing contingent labor, and, the gig economy’s wide-sweeping transformation certainly impacts both of these groups:

  • From the procurement perspective…too many enterprises are still mired in archaic processes to truly understand the gig economy’s impact. Closing the doors of on-demand, real-time talent forces the greater organization to continue to rely on legacy sources of expertise, particularly staffing suppliers. However, for those who embrace the gig economy’s benefits, some pressure will fall to procurement to become a “conduit of control” and ensuring that the same rigorous supplier management principles this function has leveraged for years are applied to new sources of talent for maximizing budgets, compliance, and costs.
  • From the HR perspective…the gig economy truly impacts one major area: talent acquisition. It now becomes critical for human capital stakeholders to not only embrace the “transformation of talent” that the gig economy brings to the business world, but also regulate and standardize the integration of online staffing outlets and online talent platforms into existing engagement strategies.

While some executives still believe the gig economy is yet another business fad, others are preparing for the global shifts in the talent landscape and will be the ones well-positioned when critical talent-based needs arise. Both procurement and HR play pivotal roles in the gig economy, as each can bring valuable capabilities to the table as more and more organizations feel this transformation’s game-changing impact.

Since 2006, Christopher J. Dwyer has been one of the world’s foremost spend management experts and leading authority on contingent workforce management. He is a premier thought leader in the contingent workforce industry, authoring hundreds of research studies and evangelizing the evolution of the non-employee workforce. He is the voice behind Contingent Workforce Weekly, the industry’s first (and only) weekly podcast dedicated to this space, and has contributed hundreds of thought leadership pieces and research studies to the non-employee and talent management markets. Email him at, or follow him on Twitter (@CJD_Ardent).

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Christopher J. Dwyer is a Research Director at Ardent Partners, a Boston-based supply management research and advisory firm. He is considered a thought leader in the contingent workforce management industry with recognition from HRO Today as an “Analyst and Advisor Superstar” in 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as from Supply and Demand Chain Executive Magazine (named as a “Pro to Know” in 2013). He is a premier thought leader in this industry, authoring hundreds of research studies and evangelizing the evolution of the non-employee workforce, its technology platforms, and the concept of the “future of work.” He welcomes your comments at, on LinkedIn or Twitter (@CJD_Ardent). Visit to read more of his research.