Randstad Workforce360 Study: U.S. Companies Elevating Contingency Staffing Plans to Permanent Policy

  • workforce insights
  • September 09, 2012
The Rise of the Contingent Worker

As employers develop financial flexibility through a broader mix of temporary, contract, and full-time employees, contingent workers are experiencing higher job satisfaction through better growth potential and perks, according to Randstad’s Annual Workforce 360 Study.


Staying Flexible While Cutting Costs

After the financial crisis of 2008, companies valuing financial flexibility through decreases in fixed cost structures are increasingly turning to contingent labor as a method of increasing employee populations. In the recent Workforce 360 Annual Study by Randstad, two-thirds of employers indicated that they currently employ contingent workers, and 21 percent plan on further increasing their contracted positions over the next year. Throughout 2011 and 2012, the contingent workforce expanded by 25,000 jobs per month, eventually accounting for 8.3 percent of all employees. That trend is expected by many to continue with some predictions as high as 50 percent of all workers by Littler Mendelson.


Jim Link, managing director of Human Resources for Randstad US, notes, “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.”


Contingent Workers are Happier

Surprisingly, worker sentiment about contingent or temporary employment is evolving as-well with the vast majority (78 percent) expressing their time as a contingent worker as a positive experience. These workers are additionally expressing higher career satisfaction in many areas in respect to their full-time counterparts. For instance, the majority of contingent workers express high levels of current job satisfaction, advancement opportunities, and compensation ratings. In addition, many enjoy other perks such as flexibility of schedule (31 percent), better compensation (28 percent), and career ownership (21 percent).


Not Your Father’s Contingent Workforce

Furthermore, it is not just entry-to-mid level positions being filled by temporary and contract labor; nearly one- third of temporary workers are currently holding supervisory or managerial positions. In addition, 40 percent of companies report finding their top talent through the contingent labor force. With companies continuing to value financial flexibility and experiencing success with placing high levels of responsibilities on contingent labor, career opportunities for those workers valuing independence and flexibility will continue to rise long after the economy fully emerges from 2008.


Find more of our thought leadership at Workforce360.