Last week, we covered six trends our analysts noticed in 2019 that have taken programs to new heights. Here are five more trends, all of which will continue to affect CW programs as they go forward in 2020.

Statement of work. There is more spend in SOW than in staff augmentation, and the conversation moved this year from the “why” to the “how.”  “It’s certainly a top-three topic of our council calls,” said Peter Reagan, senior director of CW strategies and research, “and very important … for people to make decisions about what SOW is and, more importantly, what it isn’t.” While many organizations still find themselves in “grey areas” between what is SOW and what is staff augmentation, 2019 saw success stories where organizations secured large chunks of SOW spend under some form of competitive bidding and visibility.

Talent focus. “This has absolutely been a year when we have seen a change in the way programs, as well as staffing partners, are looking at the talent,” according to Dawn McCartney, VP of the CW Strategies Council.  Yes, there is a talent shortage but some of that scarcity stems from the fact that many of the workers are in locales that come with their own recruitment challenges. 2019 saw recruitment marketplace technologies that allow talent buyers to tap into much smaller recruitment companies, or “one-person bands” that can help them source talent, Regan said.

Remote work: Remote work gained acceptance in 2019, as well as packaging work as a deliverable so it can be completed offsite by remote workers. Advancements in technology enable workers to work anywhere and those in the millennial generation, in particular, expect organizations to offer that opportunity. However, there is more work to be done in engaging that remote talent.

Vendor contact, supplier rationalization. Organizations’ policies went from allowing vendors to communicate freely, without an MSP, in the past to adopting full no-contact policies. But in 2019, policies shifted toward a middle ground. “I think this is a result of the supplier rationalization that is starting to happen within our programs,” said Chris Paden, SIA’s director of CW strategies and research, Americas. It’s a reflection of the maturity of some of the programs and of some of those vendor relationships — of enterprises truly building partnership models with suppliers, Paden noted.

Staffing provider M&A. Staffing merger and acquisition activity accelerated over the past couple of years, returning to the pre-recession levels of 2007. Private equity firms are getting involved, and publicly traded companies are making deals to enhance capabilities. Targets were most frequently found in professional staffing segments, led by healthcare and IT staffing firms. This merger activity is also taking place in the MSP area. For buyers, is important to have a contract clause in place that lets them decide whether to remain with a supplier or not following a M&A transaction.

To learn more about these trends or to speak with one of our CWS Council analysts, click here.