- Seventy-one percent of managers in a new Accountemps survey said they consider applicants with consistent temporary work experience on par with having held a full-time job. The poll included over 2,800 senior managers at companies with at least 20 employees across various industries.
- Survey results also showed that a greater number of respondents (35%) were "neither more or less open" to hiring contingent workers while looking to fill full-time permanent positions, compared with 21% who were much more open and 32% who were somewhat more open. Only 7% were somewhat less open and 5% much less open. More than half of respondents said they’re more willing to bring in an interim worker while waiting to fill a permanent position than they were two years ago.
- "With very low unemployment, it's challenging to find candidates for open positions, but the work still needs to get done. Temporary professionals can bridge gaps during full-time hiring searches and leaves of absence, ease workloads, and help prevent burnout," Michael Steinitz, senior executive director of Accountemps, said in a media release. "Firms can also benefit from bringing in new employees on a temporary-to-hire basis. During the 'trial period,' managers can better gauge a candidate's fit for the position and the company's workplace culture."
Other studies confirm companies' growing openness to hiring contingent workers. A Paychex study released in January found that small businesses are more reliant on contingent workers than on hiring permanent staff. A study released by consulting firm North Highland a month later found that these workers account for 20% of the labor force at almost 60% of U.S. and U.K. companies.
Companies are realizing that they need to adjust staffing levels to weather economic fluctuations and shifting labor market conditions. Hiring contingent workers allows companies this type of agility, while keeping the workflow moving and overhead low.
The tight labor market is influencing hiring managers to rethink some of the resume entries that once would have served as "red flags." For instance, recruiters are weighing skills and experience over degrees for some positions. Several short-term jobs, gaps in employment history and contingent work are no longer necessarily "red flags."
Some employment experts don't believe contingent workers will ever reach the number of full-time permanent positions in the workforce, but as employers hire more temporary workers, they must understand and abide by the laws distinguishing contractors from employees. Companies must also understand how contingent workers want to be treated.