Talent and staffing flexibility top reasons to hire contingent workers

|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/30/2001

The vast majority of U.S. firms — 93 per cent — use contingent workers to get the job done, according to recent research conducted by the American Management Association (AMA).

The rationale for hiring such high levels of contingent workers seems to have more to do with the need for talent and staffing flexibility than with the bottom line. In fact, 73 per cent of companies cited the need to attract “specialized talent” as either “very” or “somewhat” important reasons to use contingent workers. And a full 91 per cent placed “flexibility in staffing issues” in those categories. Only 63 per cent indicated that “payroll reduction” was “very” or “somewhat” important.

The findings were part of a study conducted by the AMA in co-operation with the Seton Hall University Institute on Work in South Orange, N.J. The use of contingent workers has grown in the U.S. since the issue was last researched in 1996 by the AMA — 49 per cent of firms surveyed now employ more contingent workers, 23 per cent employ the same amount, and only 20 per cent employ fewer.