New White Paper Reveals the Rise of the Contingent Workforce

Job-SearchMaybe one of your parents or even their parents can remember working for the same company for 25 years.

Well, that was then and this is now. Even working for the same company for five consecutive years may feel like an eternity (and a milestone).

According to a white paper released by Execu|Search, an executive recruiting firm,  the contingent workforce isn’t only here to stay, it’s on the rise. Per the paper, data from NBC News revealed 33 percent of all wage-earners in the U.S. are technically freelancers or contract workers. Let’s repeat that for emphasis — 33 percent!

This number will probably increase even higher in 2014 as more people pursue employment opportunities that aren’t your traditional brick-and-mortar full-time “permanent” position.

Execu|Search managing director Jesse Siegal explained the rationale in particular for the media industry.

“Often times, employers in the media industry today are more apt to rely on a contractual temporary employee to fulfill employment gaps while working on a particular project. Digital Designers, in particular, are in demand, along with professionals with advanced knowledge of HTML 5, CSS, and Adobe Creative Suite.”

Plus, from a hiring perspective folks in management can review profiles and portfolios of potential candidates that are “ready to go on a staffing agency’s bench and pay for talent as they need it.” It makes sense for the employer’s bottom line when you think about it rather than employing someone full-time and having to keep them busy the entire year. Siegal added, “It is often much more cost effective for them to pay on demand.”

On demand indeed. He’s seen an increase in the number of candidates and companies in advertising, media and tech industries relying on temporary staffing firms to meet their freelancing needs. Chalking this up to technology, Siegal said, “This is due in large part to the rate at which technology is evolving, which is often faster than the companies and industries that they are intended to support.”

He’s seen a disconnect between skill sets of the employers’ technical needs and their employees. It sounds like a win-win to us — temporary and contract workers get to develop new skills and revamp their resume as a result, make new contacts and leverage their experience on a project basis so they’re not sitting idle.