5 Motivations Behind the Contingent Workforce

The growth of temporary and contract workers is undeniable. The statistics show that employees can enjoy the flexibility of a contract position while employers prefer the reduction in risk that comes from avoiding FT overhead. But do temporary workers really prefer these jobs? This article will review the findings from the Staffing Industry Analysts survey of more than 5,500 American temporary workers to find out what attracts them to this kind of work. Here’s what the survey discovered.  

Understanding the Temp Worker  

The survey took a look at a variety of work segments under temp or temp-to-hire contract arrangements in the following fields:  

  • Administrative support  
  • Architecture and engineering  
  • Business and financial operation  
  • Computer and mathematical  
  • Healthcare  
  • Management  
  • Production  
  • Transportation or material moving  

The survey reached more than 5,500 workers in these fields. They found five key insights for employers to consider:  

1. Temp Workers are Interested in Permanent Work  

The survey found that most temporary workers would prefer to work in traditional full-time work. Often, they take these jobs when life circumstances require some flexibility in their job situation. Or, they’ve been laid off from a full-time role. Nearly 50% of the workers surveyed said their number one reason for choosing a temporary job is because they hoped it would lead to a full-time position. About 13% said they choose the temporary lifestyle for the flexibility, better income, and travel required for the job.  

2. Temp Workers Want Full-Time Hours   

The survey found that 57% of temp workers say they want at least if not more than 40-hours each week. Material handlers and other production-type workers said they wanted even more than 40-hours. Healthcare workers said they were the opposite; they’d actually prefer less than a full-time week. The survey also found that younger workers and those that are at the lower end of the pay spectrum are more likely to choose temporary work as a way to get to a permanent position. Younger workers saw these jobs as a valuable way to earn new skills.  

3. Temp Workers Can Take or Leave Staffing Agencies  

About one-third of the temporary workers surveyed said they prefer working with a staffing agency. Another one-third said they would prefer working directly with an employer. The only worker category that said they wanted to work closely with a staffing agency were healthcare workers. Just over 60% of those surveyed said they would prefer full-time work over working with a staffing agency. About 9% said they liked the 1099-lifestyle and would like to stay a contractor or freelancer.   

4. In the Next Decade, Temp Workers Will Search for Full-Time Employment  

Interestingly, it was the younger workers that said they were searching for full-time roles. Older and higher-paid workers said they prefer temporary work. This is particularly true for those with a mid-range salary of around $45 or $50 per hour. Higher paid workers at over $60/hour were less likely to prefer temp work.  

5. Experienced Workers, Not Millennials, Prefer Fewer Hours  

Despite the data that shows millennials prefer contract roles, this survey discovered that older and higher-paid workers, particularly in the healthcare field, said they would prefer fewer hours and not more.  

Work With the Experts. 

Organizations seeking temp workers should pay attention to these motivations when considering expanding their labor pool. FoxHire can help you by becoming an employer of record for your organization and handle the liability and risk of building your contract labor pool. FoxHire’s name was recently published in the SIA Contractor Payroll and IC Evaluation and Compliance Landscape 2020 Report as being a top vendor for offering Contractor Payrolling (Employer of Record) and ICEC services globally.  Contact us today to find out more.