The contract worker or independent workforce as I prefer to refer to is growing as employers focus on project based work that offers great liquidity of the largest business expense which is the employee. I mentioned last week that the IRS has recently said that 40% of all taxpayers have contract or contingent jobs. I myself am a card carrying member of the independent workforce. It was a transition that took about two years to establish a flow and a comfort level for myself and my family. The biggest benefit for myself and my family is the flexibility. While I am available for my clients, usually when they need, I don’t have to look over my shoulder worrying if my boss will be upset because I took a long lunch on Thursday afternoon because it was the only day my hairdresser could see me. Not all independent workers have flexible schedules. Not all of them work by the hour. Some work by the project and some are temporary or seasonal staff during the busy season. In retail, I hired seasonal workers during the busy holiday shopping season. I hired temporary administrative staff to cover leave of absences, vacations and special projects like the time I was charged with hiring 350 inside sales representatives in two weeks. That was an experience I hope I never have to relive. I literally felt like I was interviewing candidates in my sleep.
As the need for top talent also increases, so does the need for recruiters and sourcers who can source, select and ultimately close talent for the organization. The talent market is tough and great recruiters are in demand also resulting in an increase in demand for contract workers as sourcers and recruiters regardless of the industry. Keep in mind that agency recruiters and staffing agencies are not the same as a contract recruiter or sourcer. They are different things.
The top 5 industries for contingent workers might surprise you. The data comes from a recent Accenture study. Industries like retail, financial services and healthcare aren’t surprising. However, professional services and publish service agencies were confusing.
Professional services are occupations in the tertiary sector requiring special training and often professional licenses like architects, auditors, engineers, doctors and lawyers. Public service agencies are provided by government to people living within its jurisdiction, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing provision of services. The use of independent workers makes sense for the government especially when you consider the length of the hiring process for federal and state government employees.