Contingent Workforce Management Sourcing Models

Know which service you need?

Great! Why not get in touch today to discuss your needs? We’re looking forward to working with you.

Contact us

In context of Contingent Workforce Management, a sourcing model refers to how the CWM provider works with suppliers to find contingent talent. It covers everything from choosing and hiring contingent workers to handling related services and payments. This article will give you an overview of common CWM sourcing models.

Master Vendor

Contingent Workforce Management - Master Vendor-1

The CWM provider will designate a single supplier as the primary source for fulfilling the client’s contingent workforce needs. This supplier is given the first preference when it comes to filling positions. However, if the master vendor is unable to meet certain requirements, the CWM provider may subcontract the work to a second-tier network of vendors.

This model streamlines vendor management by relying heavily on one trusted supplier while providing backup support through a network of secondary vendors, ensuring consistent service quality.

Primary Suppliers

Contingent Workforce Management - Primary Supplier Network

The Primary Supplier model is similar to the Master Vendor model, but instead of relying solely on one supplier, the CWM provider distributes workforce needs among a selected group of primary suppliers.

The Primary Supplier model offers the advantage of controlled diversity in supplier relationships, allowing organizations to manage workforce needs efficiently while maintaining a trusted network of primary suppliers for critical roles.

Structured Tiers

Contingent Workforce Management - Structured Tiers

In a structured tiers model, organizations categorize their suppliers into tiers based on factors like performance, capabilities, and pricing. Orders are then allocated to suppliers in a tiered manner, with Tier 1 suppliers receiving priority. The shift between supplier tiers often reflects the complexity of filling positions and the need to engage different parts of the supplier network to find suitable talent.

Structured Tiers enable organizations to manage supplier performance effectively and ensure that challenging positions are addressed by suppliers with proven capabilities.

Vendor Neutral

Contingent Workforce Management - Vendor Neutral

The vendor neutral model allows suppliers to bid on individual requirements. Suppliers compete based on factors such as the quality of candidates, pricing, and availability. The suppliers who demonstrate the best outcomes and offer the most suitable candidates for a particular role are selected.

This model promotes fairness and objective evaluation of suppliers. Further, it ensures cost-efficiency and quality by encouraging suppliers to provide the best candidates at competitive rates.


A hybrid model combines the strengths of various sourcing models. A common approach blends aspects of the Master Vendor and Vendor Neutral models. The primary benefit of a hybrid model is flexibility, as it allows organizations to address specialized roles through trusted suppliers and less specialized positions through competitive sourcing, ensuring an adaptable approach to workforce management.

CWM eBook - Blog CTA

Integrating Sourcing Models Through a CWM Program

Contingent Workforce Management - Integrated Sourcing Models

When various roles are at play, a CWM provider excels in combining multiple sourcing models into a single program. This allows for specialized roles to receive dedicated attention, while less specialized positions are sourced efficiently. This adaptability optimizes contingent workforce management to meet evolving organizational needs.

The above sourcing models offer organizations the flexibility to tailor their contingent workforce management strategies to their unique requirements. Through comprehensive assessments, in-depth analysis of risks and costs, and the utilization of their industry expertise, your CWM provider can effectively recommend the sourcing model(s) that aligns most effectively with your specific needs.

Ready to talk?

Simply fill out the form and a member of our team will be in touch.

Contact us

Ready to talk?

Get in touch by filling out the form and a member of our team will contact you.