Contract Employee Workforce Growing
It’s hard to imagine, but there are a growing number of “contract” workers who are choosing not to sign up for long term roles with many companies. This seems so contrary to what many used to think was the goal of finding a job. Which was … to find a position that provided long term security, benefits, and a chance to move up the ladder.
Greater Work – Life Balance; Expanded Skills
What is taking place is that more workers are shunning full-time traditional employment and instead are working on a contract basis and jumping from project to project. This is being driven by a desire to have greater work-life balance and the employee’s distrust of employers whose track records with layoffs leaves them skeptical. It is also based on the need and desire to continue to expand a person’s skills and experience base, making them more valuable to their next employer.
In his book Labor Rising, The Past and Future of Working People in America, Richard Greenwald refers to this growing trend as the “Gig Economy” where workers “jump from job to job, career to career, project to project working as consultants.” He contends that this could be “the most fundamental economic shift of the past 50 years”. Greenwald estimates that 50% of all workers will be working on a contingent basis by 2020.
Employers have long recognized the value of using contingent workers as a component of their workforce management strategy. The trend to staff using temporary employees continues to grow today as The Fordyce Letter predicts that the all-time record of 2.66 million temporary workers (set in August 2006) will be surpassed this summer.
Improving Their Market Value
What is changing is that today’s workforce is recognizing the benefits of taking a variety of contract/temporary positions. By doing so they are finding ways to improve their market value and create a life style that offers them more flexibility and personal rewards.