How we negotiated market rates for the contingent workforce in the energy sector

How we negotiated market rates for the contingent workforce in the energy sector


Varying rates for contingent workers

Last year the energy sector employed approximately 6.7 million Americans – nearly 5% of the US workforce and an increase of 2.3% since the previous year.

As the sector continues to grow, the need for highly skilled talent around the world will be even more important.

The ability to understand this talent market and the cost of obtaining and retaining this talent is a critical factor to ensure continued success for the businesses operating in the energy sector.

Our customer – a diversified energy company headquartered in the US – was experiencing varying levels of rates when bringing on contingent workers onto their teams.

The challenge

Understanding of talent in the energy sector

Our customer wanted to better understand this talent market and identify areas they could capture savings within their MSP programme.

They also wanted to attract and retain the key talent needed to drive their business into the future, so they reached out to us.

We quickly got to work and built out a solution to arm the MSP programme team and customer with the processes and tools to capture market-competitive pricing for the contingent workers that were being hired.

How we helped

A 3-pronged approach to capture savings

This solution was made up of 3 critical pieces:

  • Rolled out a sales training to the MSP programme team – empowering them with the tools and data to negotiate with both the supply chain and customer hiring managers on what competitive market rates they should target for the roles being hired
  • Pontoon’s team evaluated all customer job descriptions and worked closely with the customer lines of business to enhance and improve the level of detail in these job descriptions
  • Pontoon implemented mandatory hiring manager intake calls and collective calls with the supply chain for new positions – this gave suppliers the opportunity to ask questions directly with the hiring manger to better qualify the role as well as the hiring manger to understand the skills they could find in the competitive market space

With this approach our team was able to quickly build trust with both the supply chain and the customer hiring managers.

This allowed for negotiated and market competitive rates across the MSP programme.


Over $6 million in programme savings invested into tech enhancements

Our programme has realised a YoY negotiated savings percentage of 3.72% which increased from 1.37% prior to our solution being implemented.

This ultimately gives the customer over $1.5 million in savings each year.

With the additional $6 million in savings realised from this programme being in place for four years the customer has been able to invest in enhancing various technologies across their business including a multi-regional ERP system upgrade.