The New “State” of the Non-Employee Workforce: The Future of Work is Here

8.18.2015, Written by Annie Wang

State of the Contingent WorkforceWritten by Christopher J. Dwyer, Research Director at Ardent Partners

Less than a year ago, Ardent Partners discovered that nearly a third of today’s overall workforce was comprised of non-employee labor, a designation which includes freelancers, independent contractors, professional services, SOW-based projects and anything deemed to be part of the “extended” or “external” workforce. In only two years, the firm expects that number to grow to anything between 45% and 50%.

Today’s non-employee workforce does not hold the label that it did in years past. In fact, the extended / contingent workforce of 2015 is actively driving work that is crucial to the day-to-day and strategic goals of the average business. High-quality talent and deep skillsets are now easily found, engaged and sourced via a variety of contemporary means, helping to drive a better alignment between the projects that require top-tier abilities and the independent talent that can support them.

Ardent is set to publish the third annual edition of its landmark State of Contingent Workforce Management research series in October, and, just as in years past, we are asking for participation from professionals and executives around the world that are currently utilizing non-employee labor in all of its forms.

The upcoming market research study will:

  • Identify the hot-button trends in the contingent workforce industry.
  • Highlight the criticality of freelance and independent talent as major components of today’s non-employee workforce.
  • Discuss the necessary capabilities, competencies and strategies for finding, engaging and sourcing talent in a controlled and compliant manner.
  • Categorize the wealth of technology solutions in the market today, and highlight the platforms (such as FMS) that are actively driving innovation and enhancing contingent workforce management programs across the globe.

Click here to participate in Ardent’s new State of Contingent Workforce Management research survey. All respondents will receive a complimentary edition of the report upon publication in October.




Christopher J. Dwyer is a Research Director at Ardent Partners, a Boston-based supply management research and advisory firm. He is considered a thought leader in the contingent workforce management industry, with recognition from HRO Today as an “Analyst Superstar” in 2013 and 2014, as well as Supply and Demand Chain Executive Magazine (named as a “Pro to Know” in 2013). He has written hundreds of research studies and reports on the evolution of the non-employee workforce, and can be reached at or on Twitter (@CJD_Ardent). Visit to read more of his research.