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FAQ: Managing contingent workers in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central

Using and managing contingent labor is a growing trend in the workforce. In order to manage these contingent workers as part of your workforce in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP introduced the Contingent Workforce Management (CWM) feature. Additionally SAP offer SAP Fieldglass Vendor Management System (VMS), a fully-fledged system for managing all aspects of contingent labor, including, sourcing, procurement, vendor management, invoicing, and more. In this blog, I aim to answer some of the common questions around the CWM feature, as well as where SAP Fieldglass VMS fits into the bigger picture.

What is contingent labor?

Before we get started, I thought it pertinent to clarify the definition of contingent labor. Contingent labor is a group of workers who provided services to an organization on a non-permanent basis. These workers are often known as independent professionals, temporary contract workers, labor hires, freelancers, contractors, or consultants. These type of workers are commonly known as contingent workers.

Why manage contingent workers in your SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central system?

Managing contingent workers in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central system enables a complete view of the workforce and the ability to include contingent workers in select HR processes. This enables executives, HR professionals, and managers to identify how many contingent workers are used in their organization and how they are distributed across the organization. It also enables them to track information such as where they are located, whom the vendor is from where they were procured, and what type of training they may have received, etc.

What can I do to manage contingent workers?

CWM gives users the ability to manage contingent workers in a number of ways. The key features are:

  • Add a contingent worker
  • Create and maintain list of vendors
  • View contingent workers in the Org Chart (and toggle them on or off)
  • Convert a contingent worker to an employee*
  • Convert an employee to a contingent worker*
  • View reports with or without contingent workers included

*these processes require some extra steps and further capabilities are due in a future release.

Contingents that are not mastered in SAP Fieldglass are added in Employee Central using a wizard, although they can also be added through data imports. The Add Contingent Worker wizard is similar to the New Hire wizard, although it has been tailored to include only fields and portlets relevant to contingent workers. Note that the Add Contingent Worker wizard is only available in the People Profile (PP3) UI. Figure 1 below shows a contingent worker being added.


Figure 1: Adding a contingent worker

The Add Contingent Worker wizard is only available if you are using the People Profile UI (PP3).

Once created, you can view contingent workers just like employees. However, the portlets and fields available will be limited compared to a normal employee, as one would expect for a contingent worker. A business rule can be created to hide fields that are not relevant to contingent workers, so only those that are relevant are displayed. In PP3, to help you identify that the profile you are viewing is a contingent worker you will see “Contingent Worker” above the employee’s name. You can see this in Figure 2 below.


Figure 2: Viewing a contingent worker’s profile

Figure 3 below shows a regular employee’s profile so that you can see the difference between the two profiles.


Figure 3: Viewing a regular employee’s profile

Additionally, in Figure 4 below you can see how a contingent worker looks when searched for in the Action Search.


Figure 4: A contingent worker in the Action Search results

In the Org Chart, contingent workers can be viewed as seen in Figure 5:


Figure 5: A contingent worker in the Org Chart

Employee Central uses a specific Event Reason to identify added and terminated contingent workers.

When a contingent worker is added, details of the Work Order associated with the procurement of the contingent worker is added. This includes details of the vendor, the work order number, the start date of the work order, and when it will end. Once the end date of a Work Order is reached, the contingent worker will be terminated by the system.

Unlike with a regular employee, for contingent workers the Employment Details portlet is managed in the background by the Work Order and is not exposed to the UI. The start date and termination information of a contingent worker is managed entirely by the Work Order and the Employment Details of a contingent worker should not be modified. Additionally, the Is Contingent Worker field in the Employment Details portlet should never be modified manually for contingent workers or regular employees and it should never set to “Yes” for a regular employee.

At present contingent workers cannot be managed in talent processes, but this may change in a future release.

Can I use workflow with CWM?

Yes. Standard system workflows trigger, but you can also setup specific workflows by using the Is Contingent Worker field within your workflow trigger rule.

Do I need SAP Fieldglass VMS?

No. CWM enables you to manage contingent workers without the need for SAP Fieldglass VMS. However, CWM is not a replacement for SAP Fieldglass VMS and it is also important to note that CWM only enables management of contingent workers as part of your workforce for a total view of the workforce and doesn’t enable management of procurement processes, vendors, or work orders.

Is CWM integrated with SAP Fieldglass VMS?

Yes. SAP provide a packaged integration to integrate SAP Fieldglass VMS and Employee Central using SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI). HCI extracts active workers (those with worker type of “Contingent Worker”) and confirmed work orders from SAP Fieldglass VMS using a web services call and then uses this data to create contingent workers in Employee Central via an OData API web services call. The architecture of this integration can be seen below:


Figure 6: Integration architecture (Source: Using SAP Fieldglass VMS with Employee Central integration guide)

HCI pulls the following fields from SAP Fieldglass VMS, along with personal information of a worker:

  • Security_ID
  • Company Code
  • Business Unit
  • Location Code
  • Cost Center
  • Supervisor ID
  • Work Order Status
  • Worker Status
  • Worker Start Date

The integration uses the following fields in Employee Central:

  • User:
    • Username
  • Person Information (Biographical Information):
    • Person Id External *
    • User Id
  • Personal Information:
    • First Name *
    • Last Name *
    • Preferred Name *
    • Formal Name
  • Email Information:
    • Email Type [set to “Business”]
    • Email Address *
    • Is Primary [set to “Yes”]
  • Job Information:
    • Start Date
    • Event Reason
    • Company *
    • Business Unit *
    • Division *
    • Department *
    • Location *
    • Cost Center *
    • Manager *
    • Country *
  • Employment Details (maintained in background):
    • Hire Date
    • Original Start Date
    • Service Date
    • Is Contingent Worker [set to true]
  • Work Order (Generic Object):
    • Vendor ID *
    • Work Order ID *
    • Work Order Name *
    • Work Order Owner ID *
    • Work Order Start Date *
    • Work Order End Date *

* fields are required in Employee Central by the integration. Note that the Employment Details is updated based on the Work Order.

Some configuration is required in SAP Fieldglass VMS to enable the integration and necessary fields. The SAP Fieldglass VMS field Security_ID is mapped to Username, User Id, and Person Id External in Employee Central.

Detailed information on integrating and using SAP Fieldglass VMS with Employee Central can be found in the Using SAP Fieldglass VMS with Employee Central integration guide at

What about reporting?

All standard reports in Employee Central Advanced Reporting include a filter to generate reports with or without contingent workers.


Figure 7: The contingent worker filter on a report in EC Advanced Reporting

There are no specific reports for CWM today and nothing is planned. However, product management are open to including CWM reports based on customer demand.

A metric pack for SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics is available that supports analytics for contingent workers. The Fieldglass Contingent Workforce Metrics Pack enables users to measure:

  • End of Period (EOP) Headcount – Total Workforce
  • End of Period (EOP) Headcount – Contingent Workers
  • Staffing Rate – Contingent Workers
  • Average Workforce Tenure – Contingent Workers
  • Average Pay Rate – Contingent Workers

The figure below shows the EOP Headcount – Contingent Workers report.


Figure 8: EOP Headcount – Contingent Workers analytics in SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics (Source: SuccessFactors Q1 2015 (1502) Release: Reporting and Analytics)

What’s on the CWM roadmap?

At present, the following features and functionality is planned:

  • Initiation of request for contingent worker in SAP Fieldglass VMS from Position Management
  • Enhanced job history timeline
  • Process integration with SAP Fieldglass
  • Enhanced contractor conversion
  • Handling of multiple Work Orders (including gaps between Work Order records)
  • Point-to-point integration between EC and SAP Fieldglass VMS

Where can I find more information on CWM and SAP Fieldglass VMS?

More information on the CWM feature can be found in the Contingent Workforce Management implementation guide located at

For information on SAP Fieldglass VMS can be found at:

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  • I have a customer that's interested in this functionality but I heard somewhere that it won't be possible for contingent workers to log into SF, is that correct? Because I can imagine that they might have some management function in which they'd have to be able to do workflow approvals, etc ... How would/could that work with CWM?


    • Hi Bram,

      Although contingent workers can physically log into SuccessFactors, they do not receive welcome emails and are not intended to log into SuccessFactors at present. Product Management are working on it.

      Best regards,


  • Good article. I am especially interested in steps required to:

    • Convert a contingent worker to an employee*
    • Convert an employee to a contingent worker*

    These processes require some extra steps and further capabilities are due in a future release.

    Currently does the individual being converted require a new Person ID? We have instances where an employee converts to contigent but still requires payroll activity. Hence they require a termination and conversion to contigent with new person ID.

    • Hi Laurie,

      The data model has been designed to ensure a contingent worker can be hired using the Rehire Employee transaction. They retain their Person ID after termination as a contingent worker. It is possible to terminate and hire as a new employee; they key blocker is usually the National Id, but a contingent worker doesn't have a National Id defined in EC.

      Best regards,


    • As we can see the system will not allow us to do changes again to is contingent worker field once you selected "is contingent worker" field (mentioned by Luke Above)

      A contingent worker can be converted to regular employee by mean of import employee data option available in admin center.

      Download the employment details template, fill the required details of the template (required in template depends upon your instance settings) and setting 0 in place of 1 for field isContingentWorker and upload the template.

  • Hi Luke

    I have a client who has permanent employees but they also work as sessional workers on zero hours contracts.. Concurrent employment does not fit here so can an employee have a permanent role and be a contingent worker as well?

    Many thanks


    • Hi Jane,

      In theory someone could be both an employee and a contingent worker. The key identifiers for matching employees are Date of Birth and National Id (e.g. Social Security Number). A contingent worker has neither of these in the system.

      I'm not 100% sure if this is the right solution for your requirement, but technically it is possible.

      Best regards,


      • Thanks Luke

        The challenge we have is - is we have employees with 3 contracts of employment. So they can have one main employment, one concurrent employment and as the last type of work they do is zero hours based sessional work this is the only solution I could think of.. What I am not sure of is how the integration will handle it



        • Wouldn't the zero-hour contracts still need to be paid via payroll (whenever the hours were non-zero)?  Without a national ID in EC that would be a bit difficult to achieve for a Contingent Worker (per Luke's statements above)

          Isn't the Zero-hour contract just another 'concurrent employment' - but with zero standard hours and with an hourly pay-rate (generally)?  I wasn't aware that CE was limited to just two (else there will be problems across the board in a lot of countries where CE is normal)

  • Very informative write up.

    we are interested to know in handling a scenario where a contingent worker changes his

    vendor but keeps working for us.

    Is the recommendation rehire?

    • It's not really recommended to change the vendor of a contingent in the middle of their contract. You would end the work order and then issue a new work order. It's not totally straightforward as of today, but there are plans to extend the end dating functionality of Work Orders.

  • Thanks Luke. Yes the order is changed , but we bring him in as rehire currently.

    quick question - please advise the best way to exclude the contingents from

    headcount reporting.

    Also, is there a standard mechanism to export employee/ contingent info to say Concur

    to facilitate expense claims?

    • Standard delivered reports include the Is Contingent Worker field, although if you have been live for a while you may need to modify the standard reports to add it. You can add this field to other reports too to filter contingent workers into or out of reports.

      You can use an ad-hoc report to export contingent worker data, again by using the Is Contingent Worker field. It's part of Employment Info.

  • Hi Luke,

    Small question on Contingent Workforce!!

    One of our client needs to have Contingent workers users same sequence which we have given for Regular employees.

    Regular employees have sequence number - 1000 and we want Contingent users to fall under the same sequence.

    Is this possible? if yes, do you have a document for our reference? Please advice


  • Dear Luke,

    Great article! Very interesting. I have one question regarding the worker types, so we can have different worker types (like contractor worker or SOW worker).

    Basically I would like to decide the information visible when hiring a contractor in the wizard based on the worker type. So if I select "Sow Worker" then I would not see position (for example), but position would be visible for other worker types.

    How can I achieve something like this?

    Thank you very much!

    Best Regards


    • Hi Rita,

      I have a similar question and wondering how you accomplished this. Can you provide any more details on different worker types and visiblity in the wizard.  I am curious about using position for some worker types and not for others.




      • Hi Luke,

        I also have a similar question to these two. Is the "Add Contingent Worker" form configurable? I.e. can you hide certain fields? We are implementing SF now, and need a mechanism to add contingent workers that is VERY simple. We only need some core info for the person, and having all the fields on there will confuse the people who need to use it.

        I really would appreciate some advice - we're in the middle of our implementation and struggling to find info on this topic.



        • In a recent release it is possible to configure the Contingent Worker new hire form. Has that helped meeting your requirement?

  • Hi Luke,

    Great article! I have question about the Work Order End Date, is it possible to add a business rule to this so that managers cannot set the Work Order End Date more than 90 days from the Work Order Start Date? We are required to have managers "recertify" Contingent Workers every 90 days, notifications for recertification are triggered by the Work Order End Date, so we want to make sure we limit the end dates managers are setting to 90 days to ensure every CWs are "recertified". Appreciate your insights on this.



    • Hi Michelle,

      It should be possible to do this using the Alerts & Notifications functionality. This is actually new in the 1802 release so can be used for this type of requirement.

      Best regards,


    • Hi Karen,

      It should be included in the current release of Q1 2018 which is currently released in preview. It should be supported with employmentInfo, homeAddress, nationalIdCard, jobRelation and phoneInfo from what I can see, so it seems to be a good release for Contingent Workers.


    • Hi Dharmin,

      Yes, this should be possible by tying the workflow to a change on the work order end date.

      Best regards,


  • Hi Luke -

    When we terminate a contingent worker and rehire as an employee, the record still shows as a contingent record. Any insight?


    • Hi Jayme,

      Do you mean the new hire record shows as a contingent worker, or a contingent worker record shows in the history in addition to the new hire record?

      Best regards,


  • Hi Luke,

    Thank you.

    I have a doubt, In our Client a contingent worker contract end date is over and in the Job Information the employee status is showing as Terminated,but now can we again rehire the same employee as Contingent worker and change the status as Active for that employee as the client wants the same and if possible how? Can you Please guide me on the steps to be followed.

    • Hi Surain,

      Yes, you can rehire the worker as a contingent worker again using the Add Contingent Worker wizard. Please see the implementation guide for more information:

      Note that you can also rehire them as an employee using the Add New Employee wizard. Please see the implementation guide for more information:

      Best regards,


  • Luke,

    Excellent information here. A question:

    If a company is managing Contingent Workers in SuccessFactors and are now introducing Fieldglass, does the HCI also work the other way and transfers the existing contingent workers from SuccessFactors to Fieldglass?


      • Luke thank you.

        Clarification required: You mean migration is not required?

        If Contingent workers lose access to SuccessFactors, and are required to timesheet in Fieldglass, how do their data from SuccessFactors go across to Fieldglass?


        • Luke,

          I have since found out that when a company has an existing contingent workforce and are implementing Fieldglass for the first time, the implementation team do a migration of the contingent workers from SuccessFactors to Fieldglass.


  • Hi Luke,

    Here is the definition of contingent labor from your article.

    Before we get started, I thought it pertinent to clarify the definition of contingent labor. Contingent labor is a group of workers who provided services to an organization on a non-permanent basis. These workers are often known as independent professionals, temporary contract workers, labor hires, freelancers, contractors, or consultants. These type of workers are commonly known as contingent workers.


    Our situation is that. Most of employees are contract based, that means all employees start with a fixed term contract instead of permanent contract. The main difference between employees and contractors are that:  The contract employers are different, and the payment method are different, we pay to a third party company instead of paying to contractors directly.


    Based on your experience, shall we use contingent worker functionality?



    • Hi Elva,

      It sounds like you have a large amount of contingent workers. If you want them to be visible to employees and HR, then I would recommend using the Contingent Workforce Management module. Likewise, for sourcing I'd recommend taking a look at Fieldglass so you can manage the end-to-end sourcing and management process.

      Best regards,


  • Hi Luke,


    Great Information.  Just a quick question.  Can we set up a field level error validation via business rule for Email address while doing “Add contingent Worker transaction”.  When manager continues without updating email address an error should pop up.  Is it possible?



    • Hi Vidya,

      This doesn't seem to be supported at present. You can refer to section 9.2 (Using Business Rules for Field Customization in the Contingent Worker Wizard) of the CWM implementation guide to see what is supported:

      Best regards,


  • Hi Luke,

    Very helpful information , I have a question , When i add new contingent Worker it give me an error when i rich the work order section , So i went to Configure Object Definitions and i didn't find the Work Order and the  VendorInfo , My question is should i create a new Work Order Generic Object and  VendorInfo Generic Object when i start to implement contingent Worker or not?



    • Hi Mostafa,

      If you have activated Contingent Workforce Management in Provisioning or Upgrade Center, then you should have these objects in your system. You should not create them. You do need to create records for these objects once they are active in the system as a contingent worker usually comes from a vendor on a specific work order and the system uses these objects as part of the contingent worker record.

      Best regards,


      • Thank you Luke,

        No i activated Contingent Workers from Manage Employee Central Settings tools , So maybe this the reason, i try deactivate it and then make the activation from Provisioning but still didn’t see work order and vendor objects.

        I didn't  enable SAP Best Practices for SuccessFactors Employee Central: Administer Contingent Workforce.



        • Sure Jaison.

          You would need to create one or more new Permission Groups for the employees you do and don't want to see. You'd then create Permission Roles for the Org Chart and then assign your Permission Groups to the Permission Roles. You should make sure your All Employees (or similarly named) Permission Role doesn't have the Org Chart assigned as a granted permission.

          Best regards,


          • Thanks Luke.

            I have tried the solution. Just elaborate my requirement.

            I have created a Employee Sub Group for Vendor associates. I don't want these employees listed/displayed in org chart. They are not contingent workers. Is it possible.



          • Hi Jaison,

            The Employee Sub Group should be a permission group that contains all employees but excludes the Vendor associates. You set the role that contains the Org Chart (the permission is Organization Chart Navigation Permission under General User Permission) to have the target population as the Employee Sub Group permission group.

            Best regards,


  • Hi Luke,

    I am facing a user connector error -Term date cannot be in future  for contingent workers who have future termination date passed over from work order end date . The employee record is not getting updated. Can we try removing the termination date mapping as mentioned in



    • Hi Krishna,

      I'm afraid I haven't come across this issue. You could try removing the terminate date mapping for contingent workers or all employees and see if that works. I would recommend opening a support ticket with SAP Support.

      Good luck!