The popularity of contracting has increased substantially in recent years and for good reason – namely working flexibility, the ability to earn more money and also gain life experiences.
At CXC Global we have witnessed this expansion and wanted to take a deeper look at the reasons behind this increase and why today’s workforce are so open to the contracting way of life.
An individual often has to make the choice to either accept a contract or permanent position based on their personal situation, personality type and industry specialisation. Traditionally, people have favoured the permanency approach, considering the contingent workforce as too risky. However, today there is a healthy division between the contract and permanent workforce. Varying economical, governmental, technology and lifestyle factors having played a part in this shift and increased the popularity of contracting or consulting positions.
The Generation Gap – Generations have formed in to age groups of people who lead the way in the contracting market. In Australia, Smart Company reports that the Millennial Generation (or Gen Y) and Baby Boomers often display a preference when it comes to working independently, with a third of young people and over 55s working independently. This is in comparison to one in four for other age groups (www.smartcompany.com.au). This could be attributed to the life stage of these two generations, with the Millennials having low responsibility levels and a carefree nature, whereas Baby Boomers have lower or stable outgoings, children who have flown the nest, a need to take control and have increased working flexibility.
Going Mobile – Technology has also played a massive part in making it easier to contract or freelance, and for employers to utilise larger contingent workforces. The internet and mobile devices have proven especially effective, giving contractors the ability to work anytime, anywhere and any-place and with increasing efficiencies and notifications. We have also seen an increase in mobile analytics platforms, providing businesses with a greater ability to track and monitor their contingent workforce. The connected age is removing barriers for our workforce, with a more diverse and flexible workforce now becoming the norm.
Economic & Government Influences – Government changes and economic downturns also give rise to changes in employment options. Many employers replace permanent roles with contract positions due to the uncertainty ahead and cost saving benefits. Permanent employment and contracting have typically had an inverse relationship. As the economy turns down, permanent employment opportunities decrease and contracting picks up. However, we are seeing a break from this pattern and even as the economy picks up, freelancing continues to be on the rise!
One thing is certain – the contingent workforce is here to stay and will help shape the way we work in the future. Businesses and individuals who embrace these changes and can adapt will be best prepared to take advantage of the new and improved world of working.
CXC Global™ is a leading supplier of compliant contingent workforce solutions. With an unmatched suite of managed services for employers, contractors and recruiters, CXC Global helps thousands of organizations and individual contractors decrease costs and increase profits by providing innovative contractor management, compliance, payroll and remuneration solutions, risk mitigation and salary packaging solutions.