Contract Talent Offers Alternative Solution During Economic Challenges

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Employment Growth and Landscape Shift Confirmed with Research

flexibility in work schedules, a choice of projects, more money on an hourly basis

New research shows that contract talent is the fastest growing area of employment (i.e. independent contractors and consultants, freelancers and contingent workers) by more than twice that of traditional employment, offering a bold new strategy for embattled employers as well as new prospective job opportunities for today's workforce.

In a recent Contract Talent study conducted by Human Capital Institute (HCI) and Allegis Group Services, findings show that companies are leveraging contract workers to meet their business demands and navigate through the dynamic economy. The report also shows that contract work is a viable employment opportunity for workers who typically only considered traditional employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, contingent staffing will double in growth compared with the overall work force between now and 2012 and 85% of the companies surveyed in this report believe their usage will remain the same or continue to increase in the next three years. 90% of companies that use contract labor cite "flexibility" as their main reason, while being more competitive and "responding quickly to the ever-changing market environment" are also important factors. As far as the workers are concerned, contracting has several advantages including "flexibility in work schedules, a choice of projects, more money on an hourly basis," and the potential to achieve more control over their own future.

As a sponsor of the Contract Talent study, Allegis Group Services President, Chris Hartman commented, "the shift from traditional employment relationships to a contract workforce provides mutually beneficial opportunities for both organizations and workers. With the downturn in the economy, organizations are recognizing how contract labor provides flexibility and access to a very skilled, specialized workforce. Contract positions are also growing in popularity for workers, providing them with opportunities for challenging work and flexible scenarios. Organizations that use contract talent as a strategic way to achieve business objectives can realize competitive advantages… contract workers who are accustomed to changing assignments may not worry as much about being laid-off, and companies who use more contract workers have increased flexibility during tough times."

Looking closer at the results of the HCI report, these contract workers are mostly filling technical and professional positions. 80% of the companies report their primary contract assignment is doing technical/professional "White Collar" work. Another report, released last week from Staffing Industry Analysts, shows that despite the downturn, IT salaries are still increasing. The average salary for information technology workers rose 4.6% over the past year (Dice Holdings Inc.) to a national average of $78,035. Many of the workers choosing to work as freelancers or independent contractors are still in demand because they possess skills that are unique and can be used in a certain project and then move on to other assignments. This flexibility is becoming particularly important for companies in the highly competitive fields of engineering and information technology.

About Allegis Group Services:
Allegis Group Services is an industry-leading workforce management solutions provider and human capital management consultancy that is renown in the industry for its comprehensive talent acquisition solutions, strategic program design and experienced operations. With service offerings ranging from contingent workforce managed services to recruitment process outsourcing to VMS technology selection to diversity supply chain development and mentoring, Allegis Group Services is known for its consistent high performance and talent acquisition success. Our clients reap the benefits of strategic sourcing strategies that target both passive and active candidates and result in improved quality of placements, services that fulfill enterprise-wide needs of exempt, executive-level and non-exempt talent, higher performing suppliers, cost saving solutions and more.

About HCI
The Human Capital Institute (HCI) is a catalyst for innovative new thinking in talent acquisition, development, deployment and new economy leadership. Through research and collaboration, their global network of more than 138,000 members develops and promotes creativity, best practices, and actionable solutions in strategic talent management. Their Contract Talent Research Practice Area and web-portal brings together industry research, best practices and the latest articles on this fast growing segment of talent management.


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Joanne Grim
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