Many job seekers often skip over contract employment positions if they're searching solely for full-time employment, but hiring experts say this is, in fact, the direction in which the U.S. workforce is shifting, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
According to the news source, employers are increasingly turning to temp labor to maintain flexibility in their operations. This may include using contract workers to perform projects, fill open positions quickly and other staffing needs.
"We are definitely seeing a shift in the labor market with more businesses relying on temporary employees," said Dawn Fay, district president for one U.S. staffing firm.
The media outlet noted that other staffing professionals around the country say contract workers are in huge demand right now, whether it's for temporary stand-ins or to meet a need for a specific skill. One recent survey found 72 percent of employers say temp labor has made a positive impact on their businesses, especially when it came to tapping into unique skill sets that may only be needed for a short-term basis or specific projects.
Tim Whitney, author of "The Fast Track 50: The Get-Ahead Guide for Temporary Employees," did note, however, that this form of employment has its downside. If a contract worker is not properly managed, it can result in high turnover rates and even higher labor costs - the opposite of what contract employment it touted to help. But if a contract worker has the right attitude and is managed appropriately, it can mean major productivity gains for the business.
"[These workers] achieve a higher level of security, which means a regular paycheck, a steady pay rate, possible benefits, and a reduced level of stress," he said.
According to a separate study conducted in Alabama, many staffing firms are also finding that older workers are also turning to contract staffing at higher rates, as the jobs climate continues to remain cloudy.