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Tuesday November 13, 2012

U.S. Companies Bullish on a Contingent Workforce

David Markiewicz, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For employees, it can mean less security, but more freedom.
 
For employers, it means having more financial  flexibility, if and when conditions change.
 
Contingency staffing--temporary or contract workers--is growing, a new study has found. And with the economy stuck in neutral, at best, it may become an even bigger factor in the creation of a workforce.
 
Two out of three companies use contingent workers now, according to the Randstad Workforce360 Study, for which 225 human resource managers and 2,035 employed adults were interviewed.
 
And 71 percent of organizations cited the flexibility that contingent staffing gives them as a help during economic ups and downs.
 
That has them looking to do more contract hiring. One in five companies plans to increase its percentage of temporary or contract workers in the next year.
 
“The recession brought such significant operational and financial duress for U.S. companies that the business model of the future will rely heavily upon the ability to be insulated from economic downturns,” said Jim Link, of Randstad. “We live in a world now that rewards financial flexibility rather than fixed-cost business models, and agility, cost containment reign supreme.”
 
Link added that, “What used to be viewed as a temporary stop-gap measure, the utilization of a contingent workforce alongside full-time talent is no longer a contingency plan. We believe this integrated staffing model will be fundamental to operational and fiscal success for the foreseeable future.”
 
Workers, the study says, choose contract gigs for something more than the hope that it will lead to a full-time job.
 
– 31 percent liked the flexibility of their schedule.
 
– 28 percent said the money was better.
 
– 21 percent said it gave them more control of their career.
 
By and large, most contract workers  are pleased with their lots, the study found.
 
For example, 73 percent  rated their growth potential with their current employer as good or excellent.
 
Also, a higher percentage of temporary/contract employees reported high job satisfaction than did permanent workers.

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