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  • Austin, Texas

    Government hand-picks Elevate Direct for SXSW panel

    Elevate Direct is attending the iconic South by SouthWest (SXSW) event in Austin, Texas, at the invitation of the Department for International Trade (DfIT).

    Elevate CEO, Dan Collier, is joining a panel discussion hosted by the DfIT as part of its ‘Innovation is Great’ campaign, which showcases successful British tech companies. Elevate, the intelligent recruitment platform, is one of just five businesses selected by the DfIT and is the only representative from the staffing sector.

    The discussion is based around how digital innovation, disruptive technology and data is being used by public sector organisations. It will examine how traditionally bureaucratic institutions can shake off the red tape to compete with some of the most ambitious tech companies and attract the best talent. This aligns with Elevate’s extensive experience boosting government hiring efficiency – reducing one department’s staffing agency margin by 75% – and better utilising its existing workforce using technology.

    The talk will take place in the specially created Great Britain House and the Elevate team is offering to buy drinks afterwards for anyone who wants to chat.

    Running from 10-19 March, SXSW brings together creative people from all over the world, facilitating the development of professional relationships and the sharing of ideas. It comprises comedy, film, music and interactive festivals, parties and a prestigious conference which examines future innovation in the culture, technology and entertainment industries.

    SXSW is a global event which attracts massive international media interest – and not only for its celebrity attendees (last year’s keynote speakers included the Obamas).

    Speaking about the invitation, Dan says: “We’re honoured to have been selected by the DfIT to represent the UK. SXSW is a globally-renowned event and a fantastic chance to both get our brand in front of some international influencers and to help further enhance the UK’s reputation for building great tech businesses.”

    The panel discussion takes place at 3pm, March 12 at Great Britain House, Speakeasy, 412 Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas.

  • Contingent Workforce Technology Webinar

    How can your Contingent Worker Program benefit from VMS & FMS technology?

    Firstly, let’s run over a brief definition of what an FMS (Freelancer Management System) could be – quite simply in business terms it means sourcing your contingent workers directly rather than them being supplied through vendors. How does this then fit in with my VENDOR management system (VMS), if there’s no Vendor?! Well, there is a vendor and in simple terms, the FMS becomes the Vendor replacing the agency supply chain, or at least offering your organisation a way to “Direct Source” first, before using your vendors as a back-up.

    The benefits of using an integrated VMS/FMS approach are numerous, but for me, it seems the biggest win is building out that engaged talent pool; for every vacancy you place on the VMS, the FMS could direct source and store ALL the applicants that are interested in that vacancy, so when future vacancies come up, your talent pool may already contain people that match and can apply automatically. As time goes on, your talent pool becomes significant in size and is more able to deliver across multiple areas of your programme. It’s proven that direct applicants (especially referrals) tend to enjoy longer tenure, and are often of a higher quality than vendor sourced. With measurable data points on re-utilisation, how soon before the system can decide who you should hire, based on all your previous hiring patterns?

    It’s still early days for FMS’s and I like to think of Elevate as sitting squarely in the onsite contractor space. We’re used by organisations that are looking to bring in Contingent talent for longer periods of engagement, 3-12 months typically, often within IT or specialist skills areas. We don’t supply remote workers in other countries based on ‘star’ system validation. How do you know whether the validator has anything in common with your organisations values, and thus whether that 1-5 star validation is relevant to you? We also don’t expect customers to pay for their workers on a Credit Card or upfront either, the model is essentially the same as vendor sourced staff, monthly consolidated invoice, all time and hours either stored in the VMS or Elevate.

    And, we’ve yet to touch on cost reduction; typically anywhere from 35-80% reduction on vendor spend. You do the maths on how much that could save your programme, and what kind of bonus that might mean for your team!

    On September 23rd, I’ll be exploring these topics above on a webinar with Bryan Pena and Peter Reagan of ‘Staffing Industry Analysts’.  The webinar is entitled Contingent Workforce Technology – What defines state of the art and why does it matter? if you’re an SIA buyer, be sure to tune in by signing up below.


  • Hiring Python Developers

    Tips on Hiring a Python Developer (from a python developer!)

    Python development has become a lucrative career, especially over the last 2 years. When such earning potential is on the table, the challenge to finding the right candidate for your company may be complicated further by many of the best candidates choosing to contract rather than seek a permanent position.   However, finding the right Python Contractor has just been made that bit simpler.

    Our resident Data Scientist & Python developer Ian Ozsvald, shares his insights into what he looks out for in a Python Developer:

    Things I’d look for around Python:              

    • An understanding of strong duck typing (this is how types [e.g. integers, strings etc] are used with variables, each language does them a bit differently)
    • Ask them to explain a bit of code
    • Ask them to solve some kind of task to demonstrate they can think through a problem and write good code (including knowing how to document it and write understandable code)
    • At a deeper level I’d like them to know specific data science tools like numpy, pandas and scikit-learn

    Things I’d look for in a developer in general:

    • Can they explain to me a complex problem they had to tackle, how they debugged it and how they knew it would work reliably (to check they can communicate, can explain debugging processes and can write unit tests)
    • Can they show me some open source projects they’ve worked on
    • I’ll offer bonus points if they’ve spoken at an open source conference on something technical!

    Find out more about hiring Python Developers by clicking HERE.

  • CCWP Certification - Certified Contingent Workforce Professional

    Become a Certified Contingent Workforce Professional

    Staffing Industry Analysts, the independent and objective global advisor on contingent work, has launched its successful ‘Certified Contingent Workforce Professional (CCWP)’ accreditation program in Europe. Delivered over a 2 day class (kicking off on the 8th & 9th of October) the certification aims to equip contingent workforce professionals with the required skills and knowledge to develop and implement an effective contingent workforce management programme.

    The continuing rise in freelance and contract professionals as a proportion of the UK workforce really validates the value of this certification. Demand for skills within these worker types is out ripping supply and that is certainly not the only area of risk for an organisation developing a useful and effective CW Programme. Complex strategies are needed to deliver value back to the business and to the workforce as a whole. As this workforce sectors develops more and more maturity, individuals can really differentiate themselves with such an accreditation.

    The program is aimed at all members of the contingent workforce supply chain, from HR to Recruitment & Procurement professionals. Participants can take a test to become certified on completion of the class.

    The course is broken down into 9 elements:

    1. Defining an Effective Contingent Workforce Program Strategy
    2. Defining and Measuring Quality and Contingent Workforce Programme Value
    3. Analyzing and Acting Upon Programme Management Data
    4. Managing Staffing Partner Performance
    5. Identifying and Managing Risks
    6. Understanding Cost & Quality
    7. Managing Change, Implementation and Programme Adoption
    8. Contingent Workforce Programme Maturity Model
    9. Elements and Components of Contingent Workforce Contracts

    To find out more about the Certified Contingent Workforce Professional program, visit the Staffing Industry Analysts website by clicking here.

  • Engineering Contingent Recruitment

    The Engineering ‘Skills Debt’ & Why Supply is the Key

    Over the last few weeks I’ve heard and read much about the global skills shortage and its impact on the economy. It’s a concern for many business sectors, but in particular for the engineering industry

    The above statement is an extract taken from a recent ERE article ‘Tackling the Skills Shortage in the Engineering Sector’ that provides four specific tips the engineering sector can take to help combat the skills shortage.

    Talent shortages and skills gaps appear to be as hot as ever in trade media right now. Recently we have noticed more polarising commentary as to why and how this situation is evolving, and how best to deal with it.

    ‘Employer Brand’ has been cited as the main reason an organisation will experience shortages with the fabled employers such as Google and Apple highlighted as the model to follow. For most of us, to be able to hire like the world’s tech behemoths is certainly an aspiration, but the reality is that we may be a few years off competing on real terms! Plus to blame an employer brand is to say there is no shortage when there is a strong amount of data now supporting the reality of talent shortages at a sector and country wide level. It is happening.

    The engineering sector can follow these great tips laid out in the article, they all make sense but these should just be the beginning.

    Hiring retirees will extend a skills base for a few years. Looking for gender diversity will take a few years to implement before it bears fruit and building a contingent workforce will certainly allow flexibility on a project basis especially on ultra niche skills that you don’t want to bench at any time (they’re expensive right).

    The real issue is long term supply of qualified (or part qualified) workers. Governments, schools and universities are the real creators of the workforces of tomorrow. If they look at how they can attract more students into doing more engineering based studies then the supply chain could be more viable for industry in the future.

    Apply the same principles that Google use in their employer brand to attract students to certain areas of academia and tuition and whilst we’re at it, give them valid career advice too. Advice driven by data analysis rather than sentiments of what our fathers and grandmothers did. It may sound quite radical but left-field thinking will prevent us from further storing up skills debt in our emerging workforces.

    Click the following link to read ‘Tackling the Skills Shortage in the Engineering Sector

    James Griffin

  • Preparing-our-kids-for-future-jobs

    How do you prepare children for jobs that don’t exist……yet?

    Childhood passions that seem like fads, sometimes even totally unproductive, could be mediums for experiencing the virtuous cycle of curiosity: discovering, trying, failing & growing.

    The above is great statement I came across on an article entitled ‘Preparing Our Kids for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet’

    As global skills gaps widen resulting in a shortage of talent or an explosion in hiring costs it is encouraging to see a slightly alternative take on how to influence, educate and perhaps nurture the workers of tomorrow.

    Most children display endless enthusiasm for new concepts. Whether that is a toy, piece of sophisticated technology or made up game that drives a parent to distraction; their drive to learn and absorb is incredible.They have so many skills and pick up new ones so quickly it is breathtaking. Then we send them to school and this creativity is muted as teachers and policy makers search for the balance that general curricula apparently need if they are to hit their targets  across the broad spectrum of abilities seen in classes and year groups.

    By the time children arrive in further and higher education they will have started to specialise in areas that supports their performance to date via this homogenised education system. The result is often a young adult saddled with debt and no viable route to employment. Their skills are not saleable. Some have lost that innate ability to quickly learn and are already afraid of failure and never reach their potential.

    Employers, schools, universities, politicians and parents need to wake up to the changing world of work and how the new dawn looks nothing like the old. We need to harness individual ability to learn and understand pretty damn quick that pushing students through the current flawed system is saving up a skills bomb for the future.


    Hobbies and interests are too often dismissed as a waste of time or an eccentric irrelevance when they could in fact just be the skills needed to bring real happiness and worth to our children’s adult lives. We just don’t know which ones they are yet……

    James Griffin.

    You can read the original article ‘Preparing Our Kids for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet’ here:

  • Keep calm call Human Resources

    Scope for HR to add More Value to Contingent Workforce Management

    A recent article on, explains how ‘The search for talented contingent workers can benefit from closer involvement of HR professionals’.   Currently large aspects of Contingent Management fall under the responsibilities of procurement and line managers.  As technology makes freelancers increasingly more accessible, it can often be the case that line managers are attracting and managing contingent staff remotely, without the rest of the firm even having visibility of the process.  The wealth of recruitment, onboarding and engagement knowledge HR possess positions them to unlock extra value in the contingent hiring supply chain.

    However, the article highlighted 3 main concerns relating to Legal, Territory, and Value, that HR professionals need to overcome to contribute more to contingent worker management.

    In addition to these concerns, we thought it might be useful to complement this advice by thinking about how HR professionals could go about gaining more confidence in this area.  Broadly speaking, if you are a HR professional who wants to get more involved in CWM, then think about researching the following CWM areas in more detail:

    1) Legal – Understand the specific issues around co-employment and compliance when it comes to hiring contingent workers.

    2) Contingent Worker Platforms – Familiarize yourself with the various online marketplaces and platforms where you can source and evaluate contingent talent against your projects.

    3) Technology – In addition to the CWP’s, it’s good to understand the wider contingent worker recruitment technology ecosystem, the available VMS’s and pre-employment screening tools that could help streamline your contingent management process.

    4) Resources – The likes of Staffing Industry Analysts, Spend Matters and Contingent Recruitment Tips, are great resources for keeping up to date on the latest trends.

    5) Management – Building and managing teams that integrate permanent employees and non-permanent hires (onsite and remote), can be tricky.  Investing time in yourself to address any management or project management concerns might be a good idea.


    The original article on CWP can be found HERE

  • Managing-Contingent-Costs

    Are You Measuring Your Contingent Workforce Costs?

    A recent article on the DCR Workforce Blog, called ‘Who is Managing Your Contingent Workforce Costs?‘ highlighted that as much as “60% of all contingent labor is unaccounted for in financial planning, forecasting, and budgeting within the average company”.  A truly shocking statistic if it’s true.


    From our perspective operating a Contingent Recruitment Platform, understanding and tracking contingent worker spend is definitely no trivial matter. The info sits across various systems in different parts of the business which will vary further for different types and different locations. Add to this the often reactive nature of contingent hiring and you can start to see why forecasting and budget control on CWs isn’t anywhere near the established level seen with perm staff who are simply measured via payroll systems with further comp and bens on top.

    We have seen recently the major ERP players have invested heavily to provide useful HCM solutions which can counter this inefficiency in business process . This will work for big business but for startups and SMEs I think the challenges and risks are still being understood.

    A recent CW event in Amsterdam laid bare the five stages of CW programme maturity with the crucial driver being to understand where your company is on that spectrum. Be realistic and don’t try to accelerate too quickly or you will find these type of forecasting and budget issues stored up, hidden and overlooked as the business finds a way to flex the checks and processes you put in place.



  • Contractor Signup

    How many people will you have in your talent pool by 2020?

    A recent techcrunch article quoted that by 2020, there may be hardly anyone working as an “Employee” any longer; the trend towards non-permanent work is increasing at such a rate Employee’s may become a thing of the past! I don’t personally believe it will be quite that severe but it does get you thinking, if you agree in principal with the concept, how are you going to be accessing that worker pool?

    We put together a Chord chart recently, which plots the contractor jobs hiring between FTSE companies. In this example we’ve just displayed the top 15 firms. It show’s a particularly high “recycle” rate between companies’ who “re-hire” contractors often. In the Barclays example we can clearly see almost half their contractors have worked for them before, similar for Lloyds Banking Group.


    NB. The Chord chart above is interactive, move your cursor over the outer disc of the various chords to examine moves between each unit.

    Click toTweet: How many people will you have in your talent pool by 2020? via @elevatedirect #recruitment this article

    Without a centralised talent pool for these large organisations to access all their contingent workers, they are paying again and again for resources they have already acquired. If you take an average “applicant per vacancy” volume figure of circa 100 (I am only talking about UK Contract Technology roles in this example) had these firms been building their own talent pools by capturing “every” applicant that wanted to work for them they would have, by now, a talent pool in the millions, potentially capable of fulfilling the overall proportion of their Contingent hiring needs. Currently agencies filter the candidates and send over their best 2 or 3; the actual hirer is not benefiting from the other 97 or 98 people that applied and who may in fact be very good for a different role or something similar in the near future.

    It’s not just FTSE companies that could be benefitting from this; suppose the NHS had all their Doctors and Nurses in a talent pool, that automatically matched them with needs; all of a sudden, the NHS has reduced its need for agencies to supply staff, thereby saving the NHS maybe £1billion a year. Suppose central Government whose spend on Contingent labour is more than all those companies put together could start to benefit from a singular talent pool – consider the savings there – into the Billions, to spend on more interesting things like schools, hospitals, nuclear submarines, 4th plinth sculptures etc J

    By more efficiently matching specialist skills with needs, Corporations, Governments and in fact any organisation that uses Contingent labour on scale should be immediately considering how they are going to build their Talent Pool, what technology they can leverage to do this and ultimately, how soon they can get started, because the quicker you start, the bigger your pool is going to be by 2020.

    Click toTweet: How many people will you have in your talent pool by 2020? via @elevatedirect #recruitment this article