Employment is on the cusp of a transformation. Both employers and employees are modifying their attitudes and expectations for where, when, and how people work and what amount of flexibility is to be available to each. As more companies – up from 28% in 2009 to 36% in 2012 – are choosing to employ temporary workers, the workers also seem to be choosing flexible schedules and temporary work over permanent jobs.
The need for flexibility today is not something restricted to any specific gender or age group. Retirees, recent college graduates and everyone in between are clearly expressing the need and preference for flexibility at work. Professionals and skilled workers are choosing the benefits offered by temporary assignments, be they in Finance, Marketing, HR, or Legal. Of the different types of knowledge workers, IT has been the early adopter of temporary work assignments. Often, these jobs also allow people to work remotely, avoiding time-consuming commutes to the workplace which encroach into the time a person could use on the job, improving productivity and efficiency.
This need for flexibility on the part of employees coupled with the need of companies to build an economic, dynamic workforce that can rapidly expand or contract is increasing the number of employers planning to offer more contracted positions. Predictions run as high as 50% of all staff being contingent workers within the next decade.
The fact that contingent work is not limited to entry-level functions, with some of the top talent – all the way to some CEOs being sourced from temporary workforces, is an affirmation of the assumption, which we set out to validate – Is Contingent Hiring a Permanent Strategy for U.S. Companies? The answer, therefore, is: Yes, of course.
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