Contingent workforce users are becoming more sophisticated, Staffing Industry Analysts President Barry Asin said during his keynote speech Tuesday on the state of the global contingent workforce at the CWS Summit Asia Pacific conference in Singapore.

CW users are moving from tactics such as vendor management systems and managed service providers on a local basis to more strategic, more global strategies, Asin said.

One example: 52% of large staffing buyers surveyed said they planned to integrate contingent work with their workforce planning process within the next two years, Asin said, citing Staffing Industry Analysts’ research.

Strategic workforce planning is a process where an organization develops a long-term, proactive approach to strategically assess and access multiple forms of talent engagement.

Asin also said more large buyers especially in the region are investigating “total talent management” into the future. Total talent management is a model of workforce management that includes both an organization’s permanently hired workers and contingent workers.

But even as buyers become more sophisticated, globalization and advancing technology also bring change.

  • Globalization: Asia Pacific spend on staffing was $86 billion in 2015. The lion’s share was in Japan at $49.8 billion, followed by Australia at $14.9 billion. In Singapore, site of the conference, Staffing Industry Analysts recorded nearly $1 billion in annual spend.
  • Technology: The human cloud is changing the contingent workforce landscape. The human cloud includes “online work services” firms such as Uber and online staffing platforms such as Upwork and “freelancer management system” platforms. The last category, FMS, refers to a cloud-based platform that helps businesses engage and track independent workers. In addition, technology is also making an impact in terms of automation. Two-thirds of all jobs in the developing world are susceptible to automation, Asin said.

The CWS Summit Asia Pacific ended today.