Total Talent Management, AI, and Collaboration: Key Trends from CWS Summit & Gig E 2019

Earlier this month, Bunker had the pleasure of joining thousands of industry leaders at the Staffing Industry Analysts’ Contingent Workforce Strategies Summit (CWS Summit) and Collaboration in the Gig Economy (Gig E) events in San Diego. The conferences bring together key players in the staffing industry, groundbreaking new on-demand marketplaces, and enterprises embracing an agile hiring model. The four day event was packed with wisdom, innovation, and collaboration that will set the stage for the future of work. In case you couldn’t make it this year, we’ve compiled a highlight reel of the key themes and trends to have on your radar! 

Key Trends

Total Talent Management

For years, sourcing employees and contingent workers were completely separate processes. However, as businesses as a whole are beginning to projectize their goals, and build out their future talent as a mixture of 1099 and w-2 workers, this model is becoming less sustainable. The solution is for human resources and procurement to collaborate, in order to create a system that considers all styles of work that make up the talent landscape. To date, no one company seems to have mastered “total talent management,” but there is a clear trend in that direction. 

75% of companies plan to implement total talent acquisition and/or management programs within the next two years.


In-House vs. MSP Programs

In a similar vein, businesses are beginning to take stock of the chain of intermediaries between them and their contingent workforce. Whether it’s an MSP (Managed Services Provider), VMS (Vendor Management System), human cloud platform (i.e. gig marketplace), or external qualification system, there can be as many as 10 layers between an enterprise and their talent. While the risk for the enterprise chips away with each added layer, so does the profit margin any one candidate can provide. More enterprises are beginning to look at ways to bring that system (or at least a few links in the supply chain) in-house.


Worker misclassification and IC Compliance

You’ve undoubtedly heard about California’s ABC test, and similar legislation is bubbling up across the country. Like most things that spring up quickly, the gig economy enjoyed relatively little regulation in its early years. As the tide begins to turn, enterprises are thinking critically about how they can leverage flexible work arrangements without fear of lawsuits.  


The Great Convergence

For the past several years, we’ve seen a stark contrast between traditional staffing services and the new on-demand marketplaces popping up on the scene. Now, they’re starting to converge. More and more marketplaces are creating “pro” or “enterprise” marketplaces with a more substantial vetting process, and traditional staffing companies are building apps and tangential companies to source more quickly, in an attempt to match the pace of the gig economy. Examples of these hybrid models are Upwork Enterprise, Fiverr Pro, and YOSS.

New Technology

Keeper Tax

Every year at Gig E, one company wins the Shark Tank award for innovation. Bunker was honored to receive the award 2 years ago. This year, it went to Keeper Tax, a company focusing on maximizing tax returns for freelancers and independent businesses. 

Bunker Enterprise

Bunker also released our brand new Bunker Enterprise platform at the event. Bunker Enterprise is the first full-service compliance solution on the market, combining insurance verification, compliance monitoring, and non-compliance resolution into a single platform. We’re grateful to everyone who stopped by our booth to demo the platform!

Try Bunker Enterprise

AI & Robots

We couldn’t talk about technological innovation without mentioning AI, but we were surprised to learn that robots are making a more physical appearance in the staffing world than before. Temporary robots are now becoming available via staffing firms and on-demand marketplaces to do physical tasks, like stock shelves, file paperwork, and more.

The Contingent Workforce Landscape

As we all know, the terminology used to define the many players in the on-demand economy is confusing at best. As a helpful center-point, this is the terminology outlined by SIA president Barry Aspin:


Contingent Workforce
Source: Staffing Industry Analysts 2019 Gig Economy Report

The Contingent Workforce is Made of:

  • Independent Contractors (also known as 1099s)
  • Statement of Work (SOW) Contractors 
  • The Human Cloud (referring to those hired from online marketplaces, like Upwork)
  • Agency Temp Workers
  • Direct Temporaries


The Work They Do is Most Commonly Called:

  • Contingent Work
  • Gig Work
  • On-Demand Work
  • Flexible Work
  • Independent Work



The Future of Work

The general consensus seems to be that we’ve figured out how to get people to work – but we now have to focus on getting the right people to the right work.

“There isn’t a skill shortage, it’s just that an awful lot of people are in the wrong places.” – Peter Reagan, Sr. Director, CWS Research SIA


The Numbers:

  • In 2018, 34% of the workforce did gig work (53 million Americans). 
  • Only 20% of companies reported having a contingent workforce program in place. However, 64% plan to explore or implement an exterior talent pool within the next two years. 
  • According to SIA, “Human cloud growth is outpacing traditional models,” meaning it’s growing quickly. However, it still sits at about 1.8% of the size of traditional staffing.


The takeaway:

There will be more than enough “gigs” available in the coming years. However, as more and more of them are placed by AI and digital intermediaries, it will be more important than ever that the algorithms are matching the right people to the right opportunities


Want to learn more about the conference, Bunker Enterprise, or the future of work? Reach out anytime at, (877) 968-9108, or head to to explore the platform!