Contingent Workforce BSPs Blend Recruitment with Procurement, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JUNE 11, 2001 – A trend is developing whereby companies are moving toward project-based work, and they are looking for help to find and procure independent professionals to work on a project-by-project basis. According to IDC, a new type of service provider, the contingent workforce business service provider (BSP), is emerging to help companies fill these staffing needs.


"Contingent workforce BSPs are a cross between recruiting and procurement vendors," said Christopher Boone, an analyst for IDC’s eRecruiting research program. "They leverage their expertise to help customers redesign the process of procuring contingent labor services, then implement their services via a network to allow customers to execute this process."

According to IDC, companies are moving toward using a contingent labor force because it is less costly than employing a full-time staff. "Full-time employees cost significantly more than contingent labor when benefits, training, and development costs are piled on top of salaries. Furthermore, top talent that is in high demand is difficult to retain," Boone said. "Conversely, contingent labor typically costs less and is easy to release when downsizing is in order."

IDC believes vendors that succeed in the contingent workforce BSP market will demonstrate their expertise in procuring independent professionals through a keen understanding of the dynamics among the participants in the process and have the ability to make recommendations on how to improve this process for all parties.

It will also be important for contingent workforce BSPs to provide their customers with a dynamic list of potential candidates and their availability to work on upcoming projects.

Lastly, IDC cautions vendors to avoid using "procurement of people" terminology. "Contingent workforce BSPs that treat people as commodities misunderstand the intersection of the recruiting continuum with the procurement cycle necessary to differentiate their offering from pure eprocurement providers and will not survive in this market," Boone warned.

IDC’s bulletin Emerging Contingent Workforce BSPs Push the Procurement Envelope (IDC #B24571) analyzes the BSP market opportunity and discusses how companies can take advantage of it. The bulletin defines this market segment, forecasts U.S. revenues through 2005, discusses market drivers and inhibitors, and makes recommendations for vendors competing in this space. Additionally, IDC recently published Corporate America Goes Hollywood with Contingent Workforce Services (IDC #B24649). This document explains why companies are shifting to project-based work.

To purchase either bulletin, contact Jim Nagle at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4549, or at

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world’s leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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