Where Does Contingent Labor Fit in Today’s Workforce?
Not long ago, the ideal situation for most workers – whether legal secretaries, IT specialists, project managers or any of dozens of other careers – would have been to find a company that was compatible with their goals and values and devote their working life to the success of that company.
If they worked hard and didn’t make any enemies along the way, their years of devotion might be rewarded by a series of promotions leading, eventually to the day of their retirement party. The party would, of course, include a nice gift and the thanks of the CEO (who as the labor force shifted, seemed to become younger and younger).
It used to be that numerous job changes or a limited amount of time with any one employer was something that would cast doubt in the mind of any prospective employer.
That was then, this is now.
In May 2019, Gad Levanon, vice president, labor markets for The Conference Board, looked at what’s new in the U.S. labor market. “According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), it is harder now to find qualified workers than at any other period during the survey’s history which dates to 1973,” Levanon reported. “There are anecdotal reports from our members that a growing number of job candidates simply do not show up to scheduled interviews. A larger share of workers is switching jobs—the voluntary quits rate is growing and is well above the 2007 rate—and the time needed to fill positions has reached historical highs. Companies are operating with many unfilled positions and the burden on the existing workforce is growing.”
The current situation has made questionable quality something that many employers are forced to live with. In fact, Levanaon says, “According to the NFIB, the share of businesses that cited labor quality as their main concern rose from 7 percent in 2013 to an all-time high of 23 percent in the past 12 months, making labor quality the highest-ranked concern among independent businesses.”
Those concerns are among the factors that are driving the growth of the contingent workforce. If you are in labor management and are concerned about the quality of your employees, we hope you will contact us to see if contingent labor may be a good option for you.