A recent article from Staffing Industry Analysts confirms what we have been saying for a long time: the flexible workforce is here to stay.
The use of contract staffing has surged in this uncertain economy, a phenomenon that is not uncommon following a recession as employers use contractors to test the hiring waters. But according to the article, 69 percent of consultants working on a contract basis stated in a survey by M Squared Consulting that the use of the flexible workforce is not just a response to the economy but a permanent change.
This correlates with what we have been seeing and hearing in the industry. Companies learned in the recession that they can run lean and are continuing to do so by using contract staffing. Using contractors allows them to quickly bring in talent and then just as quickly reduce their staff when the need passes. We are seeing companies maintain a small core of traditional, direct hires supported by a much larger outer ring of contractors.
Another reason for this change is that workers also need flexibility and are gaining it by working on contract. This is also reflected in the survey with 81 percent of the consultants saying they are satisfied or extremely satisfied with their career choice. Additionally, 73 percent would remain consultants even if they had the opportunity to return to traditional, direct-hire positions.
As the need for flexibility for both companies and workers continues, we can only expect the growth of contract staffing to grow indefinitely.