Insights about the Extended Workforce

The world of work is constantly changing and we try our best to keep you informed about those changes. 

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Most in-demand tech skills to upskill right now

Jan 02, 2019


The digital landscape is evolving at such a rapid pace that hiring managers and recruiters need to fill positions that hardly existed in the not-too-distant past.  

The acceleration of change in areas like Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, cloud adoption, machine learning and analytics is creating an environment where IT professionals need to be constantly learning—out of necessity for employment if not passion.

And for 21st century workers seeking technology-based careers, change means keeping an eye on predictions, trends and being aware of what skills they need to know to be qualified for the types of jobs they’ll want.

Below is a list of 2019 technology trends experts are getting excited about and emerging areas where organizations are requiring skilled workers.

Artificial Intelligence 

As robots become smarter, so too, must IT professionals. To remain competitive ( and relevant) organizations are trying to understand and harness the power of cutting edge AI-- or risk obsolescence like former tech giants Nokia and Blackberry. And a recent report from Gartner finds the field is estimated to create 2.3 million jobs by 2020. Job seekers can expect to see more positions being created in areas like Natural Language Processing (Chatbots), voice technology and predictive analytics to name a few. 


Machine Learning

While AI is the concept of machines carrying out "smart" tasks, Machine learning is an application of AI that provides the data needed to execute the task. And it's expected that there will be a 60% increase in demand for AI and machine learning specialists in 2019. 


Data science

Although the demand for data scientists has been around for a few years, the rise of big data and Machine learning brings an increased need for organizations to be able to obtain insights and meaning from the huge piles of data generated every second. The skill is especially useful across industries like finance, banking and healthcare where organizations can make better, data-driven decisions.  



As more and more customer information is being collected by organizations, the demand for cybersecurity experts to protect this data from hackers and other threats is on the rise. However, a recent study finds there's currently a large gap in this market, and 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs will remain unfulfilled by 2021. 


(Web, mobile, software) Development 

Developers are needed to design, install, test and maintain the appropriate systems and frameworks organizations require for their web, mobile and software functions. And with over 5 billion smartphone users currently in the world, mobile application development is in especially high demand. Organizations are in need of iOS developers proficient in Objective-C/ Swift and use Xcode development environment and Cocoa Touch Framework; while Android developers must be skilled in Java.  



Devops engineers shorten an organization's development life cycle, enabling a business to deliver client or customer facing applications or services faster. The rise of AI-driven software has made DevOps key to efficiently and rapidly producing in-demand solutions with minimal delays or issues. A recent news report finds DevOps positions have increased over 106% in the last few years. 



Blockchain is the technology behind crypto-currency. It's a digital ledger that saves any transaction between two parties in cryptographically secured blocks of time stamped data. And early adopting organizations are looking for developers who understand the technology, smart contracts and who can build necessary applications. The market for Blockchain developers is still young, yet Gartner predicts the field will create $3.1 trillion is business value by 2030.  


Big data Hadoop 

Hadoop originally emerged as a pioneering technology that helped organizations cope with big data efficiently, and it's still a relevant platform for data storage today with predictions that the Hadoop market will grow to $40 billion by 2021. 


Cloud Engineering

Cloud computing service providers like Microsoft, Amazon and Google have made it possible to remotely store, manage and process data. And with the increase of cloud computing brings the demand for skilled engineers who can develop solutions that make use of both in-house technology and outside systems to design, plan, manage, maintain and support the service. 


The savvy IT professional knows the functions and requirements of his or her job won't remain the same forever. And as technology advances, so must their skills. 

Are you working with an IT agency to find your next great opportunity? 

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Related Insights

What is contractor payrolling?

Amid the rise of the gig economy, more and more organizations are turning to non-traditional workers to quickly and efficiently reach their corporate goals -- so much so that 40 per cent of the U.S. workforce alone is currently made up of contingent workers, with the number expected to rise to 50 per cent by 2050.  

Yet while gig workers are trending toward becoming the norm in most companies, a flexible workforce can open organizations up to a myriad of tax, financial, legal and branding risks not associated with traditional worker programs.

Fortunately, however, there are methods to help mitigate these risks, and organizations don’t have to face the threats that come with a contingent workforce alone.  

One of these methods is outsourcing employer responsibilities like contractor payrolling to a trusted vendor who will manage workers’ wages, bonuses, and deductions as well as provide support during the length of a worker’s assignment(s). The client partner will also identify and implement internal measures to protect organizations from serious risks like unforgiving fines, penalties and negative employer branding.

Contingent Workforce Management

Candidates are ghosting: Are you doing enough to keep them engaged during talent acquisition? Contingent workforce insights.

Ghosting is a thing. And employers are experiencing what it’s like being broken up with via radio silence.

The millennial coined phrase, the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication, has transcended the dating world. So much so that economists at the Federal Reserve have also noticed, recently adding the term to its Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions, and officially making “ghosting at work” a U.S. workforce trend. Whether it's the tight labour market or a shift in social skills, a recent study by research firm Clutch finds 41 per cent of candidates think it's reasonable to not show up for interviews,  ignore offers or just not show up to work. Although employers can’t control the actions of potential hires, they can, however, use tactics that position themselves as the most attractive opportunity. 

Here’s how your organization can improve the candidate experience and make your offer the one skilled workers won't go ghost on.

1. Be honest about the job role 
If your organization isn't a household name, clicking on your job opening is most likely a candidate's first interaction with your company. It's critical that job descriptions accurately reflect the job duties, expectations and company culture, as it's common for candidates who ghost to do so because the interview didn't live up to the job as advertised (the same study found 20 per cent of respondents ghosted an opportunity because the job "wasn't a match.") 

 2. Mirror your own expectations
Communicate! Recruiters and hiring managers agree that the best candidates are experienced, responsive, flexible and transparent in where they are in their job search. To engage talent, hiring teams need to mirror their own expectations. This means being knowledgeable about the role and organization, returning emails and phone calls in a timely manner, being sometimes available outside of work hours and being up front about when another candidate has been offered the position they interviewed for. 

3. Build relationships from the beginning 
Among those who believe ghosting is acceptable, over half (48 per cent) say it’s best to disappear during the early stages of the interview process. Yet, recruiters and managers can mitigate this risk by building  personal relationships from the very beginning. A humanized approach that's specific to a candidate's unique needs can create the type of environment that makes him/her feel comfortable about extending professional courtesies--regardless of how awkward the conversation may be.

4. Keep adding personal touches along the way 
A successful hiring team will court its candidates. In the current environment, where workers are applying to fewer jobs and passive candidates account for 70 per cent of job seekers, organizations need to work harder to attract their attention, and that means getting personal in their approach-with thoughtful touches.

For active job seekers who are applying to multiple opportunities, these candidates want to ensure the organizations they're applying to want them just as much as they want to work there. And there are simple ways to demonstrate your eagerness to hire.

When filling senior level positions, for example, and the candidate will need to relocate, you can offer an introduction to a local real estate agency or arrange a personal tour around the best parts of town. For more junior level roles, a simple phone call or email with a personalized introduction from a member of the management team or a team leader could make all the difference over a competing offer with a less personalized approach. 

5. Have a short (but thorough) hiring process 
According to Clutch, the number one reason why candidates go ghost is because they found another job (30 per cent). Organizations that required too many interviews are losing potential hires to other opportunities before their interview stages are completed.

To keep candidates interested, hiring teams need to streamline their recruitment processes by limiting the number of interviews and adopting a more agile approach favoured by startups ( that, typically, will have an offer extended within two weeks). Competitive organizations will condense their interview stage to three to four interviews. 

5. Monitor your employer branding
Negative employer branding makes it all the more difficult for organizations to hire top talent, with 55 per cent of job seekers abandoning an application after reading a negative company review online. Yet, less than half (45 per cent) of employers are even monitoring these reviews. Websites like Glassdoor allow current and previous employees to anonymously leave reviews about an organization on things like interview process, culture and values, work/life balance, senior management, compensation and benefits, and career opportunities. It's important that organizations have a dedicated monitor who will review these sites and address any negative input. The appointed monitor should also provide insights into how the organization will address the concern(s). If you've successfully taken the steps to resolve issues, data about trends in your improved reviews will be visible. 

If your organization is often experiencing negative reviews or problems with social media, it may be useful to engage a 3rd party online reputation management firm to help improve your online presence.

6. Be aware of what's considered a competitive offer- and beat the competition
It isn't all about the money, but when it is, is your rate card updated to reflect the current market? Use your hiring data to establish benchmarks on what you pay for specific roles-- because top talent will know their worth.  

When it comes to making an offer, it's critical to get an understanding of what’s important to your candidate by asking yourself, “What do they hope to gain out of the role, and where is the balance between what they’re looking for and the expected rate?” 

What makes your offer more attractive than competing opportunities? Compensation packages also need to consider non-monetary motivators. Unique benefits and incentives could include things like remote work options, a flexible work schedule, exciting project work, career growth or the use of new technologies.

4. Set the start date as soon as possible 
Although job seekers believe ghosting is less acceptable as the hiring stage progresses, 9 per cent of respondents to Clutch's poll would still disappear after they've accepted a job offer. Be aware of your hiring timelines and try to have your new worker start as soon as possible. If your start date is set for two weeks out, for example, your new hire may be contacted with another timelier opportunity in the interim.

The oft maligned millennials can't be solely responsible for ghosting in the workplace, as employers have, unfortunately, been doing the same for years-- falling out of touch with candidates as soon as a better one was found-- but burning bridges is dangerous for all parties concerned.

How is your organization keeping in touch with talent? Learn how a Direct Sourcing program with a trusted partner can help you stay connected to qualified candidates with our Free Guide: What is Direct Sourcing?

Talent Acquisition

Contractor payrolling models: Which is the best option to manage your organization’s contingent workforce?

In today’s competitive business climate, organizations need an agile workforce that can execute strategies and achieve corporate goals quickly and efficiently. Yet, employers must also be responsible for managing their workers’ wages, bonuses, and deductions as well as provide support during the length of a worker’s assignment(s).

It’s a complex, time consuming process, and staying on top of the frequent changes to legislation can be problematic. Any oversights will result in non-compliance, which could lead to serious fines and negative employer branding.

To stay compliant and competitive, growing organizations will typically shift from a ‘direct contractor payrolling model’ to a third-party payrolling model, either built around the selection of a dedicated supplier or through informal referrals to a variety of vendors.

But which model is the best option for bringing qualified talent quickly and cost effectively into your contingent workforce? Depending on your organization’s acquisition needs, below is a list of payrolling models to consider:

Direct/No Payroller
Risk level: High
Some organizations choose to run their contingent worker contracting and payroll functions internally, with responsibility spread out over a variety of departments-- from HR, to procurement to accounting/AP, but that isn’t always the most efficient approach.

This model involves the client company directly handling all aspects of their contractor's engagement, onboarding and payment duties, with coordination responsibilities often placed on the individual hiring manager that is engaging the contingent worker.

Who does the process work?
The client company is responsible for managing all aspects of the payroll process, including:

• The administration of tax and benefits forms
• Payroll deductions
• Submission to government agencies 

Why would organizations use a Direct/No Payroller model?
The organization may prefer to manage the payroll process internally due to perceived cost savings over hiring an outsourced provider.

There is a higher level of risk with this model since employee/contractor regulations and categorizations may change frequently. There is no structure in place to help manage contingent workforce costs or address compliance or risk management issues specific to these types of workers. It can be difficult for busy HR professionals to stay up-to-date with current laws, particularly for organizations with operations in multiple jurisdictions or those who employ exempt/non-exempt, seasonal, contract or part-time workers. Government non-compliance fines can be significant and unforgiving.

Informal/Semi-structured Payroll Referral Program
Risk Level: Moderate (Costly) 
This model is often not an ‘official’ company mandate – instead, it usually involves individual hiring managers referring the contingent worker to an existing approved staffing vendor. This process unburdens the hiring manager from having to manage the contracting and payroll onboarding tasks internally.

How does the process work?
Hiring managers typically select organizations they have an existing working relationship with, resulting in simplified onboarding that speeds up the hiring process.

Why would an organization use an Informal/Semi-structured Payroll Referral Program?
The trusted vendor has also likely been onboarded through the organization’s procurement process, and already has all necessary legal agreements in place and meets jurisdiction-specific compliance requirements, such as valid business licenses, tax remittance capabilities, pay schedules, employee categories or a particular aspect of payroll calculations (insurance, workers’ compensation, etc.).

Though this model is generally faster and easier for hiring managers, it’s difficult for the organization to track and manage its corporate spending of directly-sourced contingent labour. Likewise, the use of multiple staffing vendors results in legal and compliance inconsistency between contingent labour engagements as well as service levels and individual worker management.  

The organization typically doesn’t use structured pricing models or pay rates. Additionally, using multiple vendors results in difficulty negotiating high-volume flat and/or preferred fees for the hiring process, resulting in the potential for abusive vendor pricing.

Single, Dedicated Payroller
Risk Level: Low  
This model involves a single outsourced service provider responsible for managing n organization’s entire payroll record, keeping process across all jurisdictions where that company employs workers.

How does the process work?
It represents the company’s decision to treat contingent labour hiring and management as a corporate priority, and offers benefits around:

• Streamlining operations
• Enforcement of established spend approval processes
• Consistency in record keeping through a single vendor
• Securing the lowest possible price for the service 

Why would an organization use a Single, Dedicated Payroller? 
This model can be especially advantageous for employers who may operate in multiple domestic or international jurisdictions.

This model lowers an organization’s risk by incorporating a single point of accountability and audit for all of the compliance activities related to contingent worker onboarding and management and decreases the likelihood of overlooked short-term, contract or seasonal workforce records and worker misclassification.

There is no scenario that is completely risk free; whichever model your organization chooses to go with, it’s crucial to know the benefits and risks associated with each. Does your organization have a solid framework for identifying contingent worker risk? Download our free Checklist on CW risk factors:

Contingent Workforce Management

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