- Contingent Workforce Strategies 3.0 - http://cwstrategies.staffingindustry.com -

Plan to grow your contingent workforce? Understand its components first.

Temporary staffing in the US is expected to grow 6% in 2015 according to the U.S. Staffing Industry Forecast [1] by Staffing Industry Analysts. Buyers reported 18% of their workforce was contingent in 2014 and projected 20% will be contingent in 2016.

Other industry experts agree the US economy in general is poised for growth despite lingering worries in Europe and elsewhere.

“The employment trends index increased in every single month of 2014, capping the year off with strong growth, 2.3 percent, in the final quarter [2],” said Gad Levanon, managing director of macroeconomic and labor market research at The Conference Board. “The strengthening in the ETI suggests that rapid job growth is likely to continue throughout the first half of 2015. And as the labor market tightens further, acceleration in wage growth is soon to follow.”

This situation will drive companies to seek talent through all the channels available to them and that means contingent workers in all various shapes and sizes.

What plans do you have to grow your contingent workforce? The answer may depend on how you define and count it. Most experts agree that anyone who is not engaged as a regular employee by an organization can be considered contingent. So let’s revisit the formal definition of contingent workers from the Staffing Industry Analysts’ Contingent Workforce Lexicon of Terms [3]:

Contingent Worker — Used to describe work arrangements that differ from regular/permanent, direct wage and salary employment. Contingent work and workers are primarily distinguished by having an explicitly defined or limited tenure.

Based on this definition, are you counting everyone? Where does your company draw the line in the sand when it comes to flexible workers? Are internal temp pools used and do you count interns and freelancers?

Where do outsourced workers, PEOs and SOW workers fit in and when do you count them?

The “contingent worker” label applies to all workers of any skill type or experience level who meet this definition, including those in professional, blue-collar, or office/clerical roles.

The idea is to have a strategy prepared for growth in 2015 and beyond. Growing interest in flexible workers and work arrangements by millennials, GenXers, baby boomers and smart companies is fueling demand for contingent workers. Make sure you know who is in your contingent workforce, what motivates them and how they fit it into your total talent management strategy.

Wondering what total talent management is? Check out this article Integrate total talent management business initiatives now [4] and the latest SIA webinar Total Talent Management: 2015 – The Journey Continues [5] and harness the potential of your contingent workforce as it grows in 2015 and beyond.