The shift toward a contingent workforce will have a long-term impact
The job market is changing – that’s no surprise. The recession made its impact felt across nearly every sector of the workforce. However, one of the greatest alterations to the workforce accredited to the recession didn’t even begin to pick up speed in the mid-2000s. The presence of contingent professionals in the workforce has been growing since the mid-80s.
However, as we’ve all experienced, the growth in contingent staffing is definitely one of the more lasting impacts of the recession. It prompted a strong increase in the percentage of workers who claim to be part of this less-traditional workforce. CBS News reports that the increase in the number of contingent workers in the nation signifies a historic shift from the traditional, long-term employment opportunities that most individuals sought out – especially amongst the middle class.
Because of the growing presence of contingent workers amongst professionals, companies have more flexibility. CBS News reports that 40 percent of employers plan to hire temporary workers in 2013 – and out of that number, 42 percent want to turn those contingent workers into permanent, full-time employees. The contingent workforce is expected to grow to 23 million over the next five years – up from the current 17 million.
“What’s changed in the last 20 years is that there’s been an unraveling of job security in the labor market, as well as a diminishment of benefit packages and a deterioration of stable, reliable wages and promotion pathways,” Katherine Stone, a labor specialist and law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, told the news source. “There’s been a really fundamental shift in the nature of employment – it’s a sea change. Whether you’re talking about the expanded use of short-term employees, temporary workers, project workers, contractors or on-call workers, the use of workers who don’t have regular jobs has increased a lot.”
This switch has prompted a change in perception in both employees and employers. Many workers are no longer expecting to gain or keep permanent positions. However, this situation is hardly like a bad dating sequence, as employees are finding that mobility allows them to pursue the projects they wish to work on and the companies they want to work with.
“The perception has shifted,” Stone said. “You see that with younger people who are entering the workforce. There’s a change in employee expectations of what the labor market has to offer them.”
For companies, the change has created both positive and negative net results. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, human resource professionals are working hard to keep up with the changes in the makeup of the workforce. After all, unlike you staffing and recruiting agency professionals, an HR department isn’t outfitted with specialized recruiting software that has been designed to recruit, comb, grow, track and manage candidates for short or long term projects or assignments – especially at the volume that is being seen in the current marketplace.
You know how to make the strategic contingent staffing choices that will boost a client’s performance. Instead of looking at the problem with a set perspective, you’ve cast your recruiting net wide and have a variety of tools at your disposal to make your processes cost-effective and productive. You know that the average worker may not be likely to stay in a position for long, even if he or she is hired to fill a permanent position. So, you find the professionals that can come in and have a positive impact right away.
You can select the right worker for the job because you know how to effectively manage contingent professionals and can track them using staffing software as they grow and move throughout their career.
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