woman standin and juggling with statistics and graphsThe talent sourcing model is shifting and we are moving into an era of temp and contract hire. For example, consider the statistics from a recent TNLT analysis of Department of Labor data, which has revealed that temp worker hiring in the U.S. is growing five times faster than the overall economy, suggesting that firms are using temp workers to help get ahead of the game.

I guess I am asking a lot for you to adjust your resourcing strategies based on the findings of one survey, which is why it’s worth me mentioning that there are several other surveys highlighting this trend toward increasing usage of temp workers.

For example, Manpower showed that use of temp workers increased between 2010 and 2012 from 1.47 percent of the workforce to 1.88 percent of the workforce, meaning that over 625,000 U.S. workers have moved from permanent to contingent workers. The company also found that 58 percent of companies are looking to use more contingent workers at all levels of the organization over the next five years.

But, it is not just the case of blindly following the crowd, there are compelling reasons why businesses should get on the bandwagon and start building more agile organizations based on a more flexible, contingent labor strategy.

The overarching reason is that as the business climate becomes more unpredictable as a result of emerging markets and new technologies enabling disruptive new entrants to the marketplace, organizations need to be more agile than ever in order to both respond to threats and leverage opportunities that the market may present. An agile organization based on a flexible labor model will be best equipped to do this.

But at a more granular level, there are three ways that a contingent labor model can contribute to a more agile organization.

First, if you want to branch into a new market or area you have two resourcing options. Either you can train or hire permanent staff or you can immediately/quickly hire fully capable specialists, but contingent expertise that can get up to speed quickly and rapidly reduce the time to market of your new initiative or product, meaning your organization can be far more responsive to market changes.

Second, it’s easy for an organization to go stale and become devoid of ideas or simply to become locked into one way of thinking, making it rigid in its outlook. Using contingent labor on an ongoing basis or for specific projects can help to bring a fresh perspective and introduce approaches from organizations that can lead to innovations that can help to give your organization an edge on its peers.

And finally, an added benefit of making use of contingent labor is that it can be a hothouse, incubator or observation lounge where you can watch professionals performing over a period of time in a variety of situations. This helps you cherry pick the most talented and attempt to convert them into permanent employees, strengthening your organization and making it better equipped to handle the market from a standing start, by raising its core competency baseline.


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