What Is a Contingent Worker to You?

Have you ever really thought about it? Take a moment and try to answer that question. Have you really thought about it? Over the years I have heard contingent workers referred to as just another commodity that is managed by procurement. Unfortunately, unlike the pens, paper and CDs that you are getting off the shelves, there are usually limited contractors with the  required skillsets.

I have also heard them referred to as a necessary evil by HR executives. This one particular executive passionately felt that full-time employees were being hurt by these “maverick workers who could not maintain real jobs.”  He believed that contingent workers would come in to his company and be assigned to the latest cutting-edge projects, taking the glory away from the company FTEs. He did not want to discuss the fact that maybe his existing workforce did not have that knowledge and expertise that was needed.

Whatever your definition or thoughts are of contingent workers there is one thing that cannot be disputed. Contingent workers are here to stay and are actually increasing in numbers. According to the latest surveys, over the last year the percentage of contractors hired increased and over the next couple of years that percentage is anticipated to rise. Another thing that is true is that they are very valuable and they help all of us get the job done and make money.

If you are a consulting company/staffing agency, these workers are your bread and butter, they are the ones that are really making the money for you, not just your sales folks or recruiters. If you are a hiring manager, these workers are the ones that help you meet your deadlines and in turn help improve your company’s bottom line.

So the next time someone asks you what a contingent worker is to you, I hope you take a moment and really think about the full impact they have on our lives.  I consider myself fortunate that not only did I recruit them and at another point was able to hire/manage them, but in a previous work life I was a contingent worker.

Sanjay Shah

Sanjay Shah
Sanjay Shah is president of StaffingLogic, which specializes in VMS/MSP services. He can be reached at sshah (at) staffinglogic (dot) com or 610-617-1536.

Sanjay Shah

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