Cordant Focus

Category: Employment Landscape


The Permanent Contingent Workforce

Mastering the management of today’s modern workforce is no simple task.  The turbulence of an uncertain economy continues to dominate both finance and human capital decisions within organisations.   One of the most prevalent changes, due to economic instability, has been the increased use of a flexible workforce. 

Woven into the very fabric of current workforce models, the benefits of a temporary workforce are being witnessed globally.  Human resources (HR) practitioners’ overarching responsibility for human capital demands that they maintain a keen awareness of the workforce itself, traditional and contingent workers alike.

Generation Y’ers are predicted to make up a large proportion of the contingent pool in the next 15 years – their motivation being they want to be their own bosses. So growth of a permanent contingent workforce is almost guaranteed, and organisations need to have processes and systems in place to be able to adequately recruit and manage this workforce.

Shifts in the economy, talent shortages in various industries and geographies, and seasonal talent requirements have accelerated the use of the contingent workforce and it is expected to increase to 40% over the next 10 years.

Contingent Workforce Definition
Used to describe work arrangements that differ from regular/permanent, direct wage and salary employment.  Contingent workers most often include temporary employees provided by an outside staffing agency or independent contractors/consultants.  Contingent workers may also include temporary workers from an internal pool (such as summer students) employed directly by an organisation for an intentionally limited period of time.  They do not include work done by consulting firms or by part-time regular employees, and are primarily distinguished by an explicitly defined tenure.  Outsourcing also falls outside of the contingent work definition, because it defines a vendor-supplier relationship, not an employer-working relationship.

Organisational contingent needs are based on demand, some industries will primarily require a PAYE contingent need, whilst others will be heavily focused on contractors.

Rationalisation will create new organisational structures in many businesses.  These will be built around a core of permanent employees with a much larger group of activity and people located around the periphery of the organisation, of which a temporary agency workforce will play a pivotal role.