That’s right. Things are changing around here. Well, to be more precise, things are evolving. And progressing.
You keen to know why? First, let’s go back 30+ years.
The Early 90’s
Way back in the early 90’s, before CXC was borne, there was an IT contractor named Dave Thomas. Dave was working in Sydney on a new software for a UK recruitment firm. The owner of the firm asked Dave what he thought about the concept of managing and paying contract workers for offshore third-party companies. In response, Dave was straight up.
“It’s not legal, and as the only Australian director in this business you could end up in jail.”
You see, at this time, there was a rising trend amongst some Australian management and recruitment firms, who were working hard to avoid payroll tax and other statutory obligations. They’d pay foreign contractors outside of Australia, in places like the Isle of Man, Crete, Delaware, Monaco and others.
And as a contractor himself, this didn’t sit right with Dave.
So, it was right there and then, that the recruitment firm asked Dave if he could help solve this problem, by finding a way to pay and manage contractors. But it had to be compliant. Efficient. And ethical.
And did he ever.
The genesis of Dave’s initiative included the support of this recruitment firm, coupled with his network of contracting colleagues. And so began a business, focused on paying contract, freelance and non-employee workers, offering tax-effective salary packaging solutions all while paying the required taxes in Australia.
The business came to be known as Consultant’s Exchange. It was a hit. The 90’s IT boom meant Dave’s timing was spot on. Contractors could come together, exchange ideas, experiences, knowledge and skills with recruitment firms and their clients, all while being paid compliantly.
The Late 90’s: Hong Kong and Beyond
Fast forward 5 years or so, and CXC’s growth was going strong. In 1997, the first international office opened in Hong Kong; at that time, Hong Kong was a hub of IT talent coupled with a growing recruitment industry with parent companies based in the UK.
And as fate would have it, CXC Relationship Manager Amanda Collins, was looking to do a working holiday in the UK.
“Do you have a job lined up?” Dave asked Amanda.
“Not yet,” Amanda responded.
“You do now!”
With a thriving business in Hong Kong thanks to the strong IT contractor market, it made complete sense for the UK to be CXC’s next opening.
From there, Amanda set up CXC’s UK operations. These were humble beginnings – Amanda worked from a desk propped up against a storeroom in Caterham. The UK business grew quickly. CXC was paying contractors via a compliant tax model, while also navigating several legislative changes of the time.
The 2000’s: Things Get Interesting
The noughties brought about rapid growth for CXC.
In Australia, offices were opened in Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Perth. These were followed quickly by offices in New Zealand, and the USA. The premise remained in each country: compliantly paying and managing contract workers, mostly for recruitment firms. This also meant understanding and abiding by local employment laws, and ensuring protection from risk, for all parties.
Notable events for CXC in the noughties included:
- Leading Australian recruitment firm of the time, Morgan and Banks, were looking to send contract workers to Seattle, USA, to work for Boeing. But they had no idea how to manage this, especially in relation to employment legislation and compliance. Enter CXC.
- Microsoft in the US lost legal proceedings in a class action taken by the company’s contractors who claimed they were entitled to share options, just like their employee counterparts. This cost Microsoft millions. On the back of the case, Microsoft refused to hire contractors directly, and would instead engage recruitment firms, where they faced margins of 20-50% simply to access contractors. They sought a provider who could act as an employer to their contractors. Enter CXC.
- CXC’s enterprise client roster grew. This was thanks to CXC’s model for managing the entire contractor population in corporate entities. At the time, CXC managed 1,900 contractors for Origin Energy – the largest contractor workforce management program of its time.
Ownership Change: The Evolution Continues
By 2012, two long-standing employees of CXC undertook a management buyout of the Australian operation. Peter Oreb and Ingrid Webber were now in charge.
Pete and Ingrid brought fresh ideas, an unwavering drive and passion and an unrelenting focus to be the best contract workforce management provider in Australia: this was their mission.
Meanwhile, Dave Thomas focused on expanding CXC’s global markets. Rapid growth in Asia, Europe and the Americas ensued with initial focus on the recruitment agency offering, before evolving to be the premium provider of contractor management services to enterprise clients.
By 2017, Dave entered semi-retirement, so Pete took over as CEO. And soon enough, Pete and Ingrid were running the entire international operation as well.
Dave remains as chairman of the CXC Board of Directors and as mentor for the management team. But Pete and Ingrid direct all day-to-day operations, supported by Bo Medved and the global directors.
We’ve shaken off our robotic, corporate personality of the past, with endearing and engaging characteristics, where minor flaws may even show. Our character is now humanly relatable.
As a service business, our character is always selfless, not selfish. We aim to inform, guide, and demonstrate to our clients, the best workforce solutions for their unique needs. We do this through the power of storytelling from our wealth of experience. Our character places our clients, and our willingness to serve them, first.Ela Matesa Desai, Marketing Manager, Asia
But our brand is much more than a logo. It’s how we look, act and what we say at every touchpoint with our customers and the wider world.Marie Thomson, Marketing Manager
So Here We Are Today…
Today, CXC offers the full scope of contractor workforce services to suit the needs of every type of workforce or engagement. We operate in over 100+ countries (continuously expanding to meet our clients’ needs and have 30+ global offices payrolling over 20,000 contractors every year.
As you can see, our brand and our business have evolved. But so have we.
Our business has come a very, very, very long way over the last 30 plus years. We are now truly a global brand, an increasingly integrated worldwide team always ready for whatever’s next.
So, it’s important that our brand comes along on this journey of growth and strategic development.Ingrid Webber, CEO, Australia
We continue to lead the way in whole-of-workforce management solutions, where all workers are managed under one governed program.
Contractor management and payroll remain our core business. But as our evolution continues, we are looking to expand our technology offering, our MSP program, and our compliance and talent sourcing services. Above all, we remain focused on making the new world of work, work for everyone.
For over 30 years, we’ve consistently worked on creating a workplace that creates experts.
People that are supported, nurtured and cared for. People whose career aspirations come to fruition in tandem with our business growth.
We are a team that gets along; respects each other’s differences and celebrates each other’s successes. We are happy and engaged as a team in both work and social settings. We respect each other’s opinions and actually encourage our team to challenge the status quo.
We thoroughly enjoy our work relationships, and this translates into the services we provide.
And so, it only made sense that our brand reflects this.Peter Oreb, Global CEO
We’d like to thank our clients, partners, and valued contractors for your support. Without you, we could not have made it this far.
With you, we look forward to the next 30 years.