While the effects of the Great Recession are still being felt in many areas, it is safe to say that in the United States the worst financial crisis in decades is now over. Companies are ready to begin hiring again and, according to a recent study by CareerBuilder, they will be filling many more positions with contingent workers.
Main Street reports that temporary employment is expected to increase by 3 percent in 2015 from last year, with the trend continuing through at least 2019. By the end of that five-year period, the contingent workforce will have grown by as much as 19 percent among computer systems analysts, with gains in the low teens in many other industries, including everything from highly specific IT jobs to manual laborers and registered nurses.
Overall, contingent work is more popular than ever before among both employers and workers. Especially when it comes to IT, companies increasingly make hires for specific projects and then scale back once the project is complete. However, it is also the case that many temporary employees transition to long-term roles after a project's completion. For many people just entering the workforce, contingent work affords them a degree of flexibility that full-time positions do not.
For businesses, one of the biggest contingent workforce management challenges is balancing the expectations of employees from different generations, especially regarding communication. Whereas veteran workers tend to prefer face-to-face or at least over-the-phone interaction, younger employees are often most comfortable communicating exclusively via email. Companies that can adjust their hiring practices to workers' preferences while meeting their own goals will be well suited to manage the workforce of the future.