HR professionals in today’s ever-changing workforce climate are told to accomplish more with less. Tightening talent pool, changing technologies and trying to keep your employees happy are calling for more flexible and creative ways to solve your workforce challenges.
Fortunately, becoming more strategic is in our DNA. For many, that increasingly means who we hire to help build the future of our companies. The contingent or contract worker has exploded in the last few years, growing from 10% of the workforce in 2010 to a predicted over 40% of the workforce by 2018, according to reports by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. This can certainly be credited to the rise of the gig economy in global markets.
There are many categories of contingent workforce, below I drill down and try to categorize 3 common members of this labor pool.
The Temp Worker
This category of the contingent workforce solves the problem of on-demand growth, project base assignments or seasonal workloads. These workers range from lab assistants to quality assurance testers and sales associates, added to help teams achieve their goals. Their assignments are precise in length and scope. HR professionals often partner with Temp Agencies or Staffing firms to fill these positions. Given the short length of these assignments, expect to pay a premium to Temp Agencies or Staffing firms that identify and payroll the temp worker. Some of the advantages of using this model are savings on administrative cost, lower liabilities as an employer and the ability to terminate their employment once the work requirement is met.
This category of the contingent workforce helps businesses offset a skills gap. These workers are equipped with the skills required to execute a project efficiently and add tremendous value to your team. HR professionals often partner with specialized Staffing firms or self-identify these workers. If workers are self-identified, you can partner with an Employer of Record to relieve your organization from the administrative tasks of managing these workers, ensure compliance and mitigate risks involved with becoming their employer. Often businesses utilize this model as a trial employment with the potential of hiring the consultant at the end of their assignment.
The Independent Contractor
This category of the contingent workforce also helps businesses cover skill shortages and provides a high level of knowledge and expertise to your organization. Trying to engage these workers comes with its own slew of risks. From methods for determining a contractor vs. full-time employees to federal and state views of applying separate tests that weigh differently on worker classification. It’s best to partner with a knowledgeable vendor that can vet these workers correctly and suggest the best solution.
With more organizations relying on contingent workers, HR professionals armed with the knowledge and understanding of this disruptive category of workers will succeed in meeting the future workforce challenges.