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The increased use of contractors over the past few years is more than just a knee-jerk reaction to the recession, according to a recent survey by Randstad.

The Randstad Workforce360 Study found that companies are beginning to view blended workforces – those that include a mix of traditional employees and contingent workers – as a long-term business strategy.  Of the 225 human resource managers surveyed, 67% are using contractors in some capacity. In addition, 71% of companies with blended workforces reported that the flexibility provided by their contractors has allowed them to “remain nimble” in the uncertain economy. Twenty-one percent of the companies surveyed plan to increase their contract worker population in the next year.

“What used to be viewed as a temporary stop-gap measure, the utilization of a contingent workforce alongside full-time talent is no longer a contingency plan,” Managing Director of Human Resources for Randstad US Jim Link said in a press release. “We believe this integrated staffing model will be fundamental to operational and fiscal success for the foreseeable future.”

This is no surprise to us at FoxHire. We have noticed that companies are taking their use of contractors beyond what is typical in an economic recovery. In fact, many are implementing a whole new workforce strategy in which they maintain a core group of employees supplemented by a more flexible outer ring of contractors. As a result, FoxHireexperienced a 22% increase in commercial contract placements in 2011 and is seeing a continued upward trend this year.

This is good news for recruiters as it represents a whole new crop of placement opportunities. If you have previously only placed direct hire candidates, now is the perfect time to pursue contract staffing job orders.  The process for placing contractors is essentially the same as placing direct hires. In many cases it is actually easier because contract placements typically happen much quicker as companies try to meet an immediate need or deadline.

To learn how to add contract staffing to your business model, download our FREE Contract Training Kit.

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