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As we have reported several times in this blog, contract staffing has continued to grow even as the overall job market has failed to rebound from the recent recession. In light of this trend, Human Resources Executive Online has published a package on contingent staffing that is worth a read if you offer or are considering offering contracting services to your clients.

According to the main article of the series, the Bureau of Labor Statisics has determined that seasonally adjusted temporary employment increased by 16,900 jobs in September. That is 23.4 percent more than September 2009, and the American Staffing Association states that this is the biggest year-to-year increase since the BLS started tracking contingent employment in 1991.

The article cites the following reasons why contract staffing is so hot right now, many of which we have discussed in previous blog posts:

  • In the wake of the recession and still uncertain economy, companies are still reluctant to hire full-time employees to handle increased workloads. Hiring on a contract basis is an attractive alternative because it is easier to end a contractor’s assignment than it is to layoff a direct-hire.
  • Companies can “try out” potential full-time employees. If a contractor doesn’t work out, they can simply end the contract, and they will not have wasted the time and money on recruitment and paperwork they would have if they had hired the person directly. And if the contractor does end up being a fit, they can easily bring that person on full-time… which can result in a nice conversion fee for the recruiter!
  • When human resources and hiring managers experience trouble getting approval for a new position, they can suggest that the worker be hired on a temporary basis to prove that the position is needed.
  • For smaller companies that have trouble attracting workers because they cannot provide benefits, contract staffing is attractive because the contracting back-office, as the employer, can offer benefits. For example, FoxHire offers contractors a full menu of benefits, including Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Insurance.

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