Randstad Unveils New Workforce360 Study: U.S. Companies Elevating Contingency Staffing Plans to Permanent Policy

Randstad's latest research uncovers the trends and dynamics shaping the new world of work

Sep 10, 2012, 07:50 ET from Randstad

ATLANTA, Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study released today by Randstad finds many U.S. companies are more committed to utilizing a mix of permanent and contingent workers as a long-term business strategy in the post-recession economy. The study also found many workers are choosing to work in a contingent capacity and finding higher job satisfaction from doing so. These new findings are part of the first annual Randstad Workforce360 Study of 225 human resource managers and 2,035 employed adults, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad.

According to the study, 67 percent of companies indicate they currently use contingent workers in some capacity and most indicate that contingent workers comprise a steady or increasing percentage of their overall employee populations.  Driving the increased adoption is the fact that 71 percent of organizations who utilize a mix of contingent and full-time workers say the flexibility of the contingent workforce has allowed their organization to remain nimble during economic ups and downs.  

In addition, nearly one-quarter (21 percent) of companies surveyed plan to increase their percentage of temporary or contract worker population in the next 12 months, and 39 percent plan to increase their percentage of full-time workers. Given the forecast for hiring of both contingent and full-time hires, it is not surprising that nearly eight out of 10 companies (76 percent) say they would find access to specific information and resources to help determine the right mix of full-time and contingent labor for their organization valuable.  

"The recession produced such significant operational and financial duress for U.S. companies that the business model of the future will rely heavily upon the ability to be insulated from economic downturns. We live in a world now that rewards financial flexibility rather than fixed-cost business models, and agility, cost containment reign supreme," said Jim Link, managing director of Human Resources for Randstad US. "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. We believe this integrated staffing model will be fundamental to operational and fiscal success for the foreseeable future.

"This is in part why we have launched a new online thought leadership platform, 'Workforce360,' which expands on these issues based on proprietary research, including the growing prevalence of contingent workers and how to integrate this valuable talent segment to drive business success."

Not Your Dad's Temporary Workforce Anymore

The study finds many workers are choosing to work as a temporary or contractor, and their experiences contradict many previously held beliefs about the world of contingent employment.  Overall, 78 percent of temporary and contract workers agree their experience as a contingent worker has been a positive one. Specifically, the study finds:

  • Sixty-three percent of temporary and 73 percent of contract workers rate their growth potential with their current employer as good or excellent
  • Eighty-six percent of temporary/contractors agree their current level of job satisfaction is very good/excellent compared to 73 percent of permanent workers
  • Fifty-four percent of temporary/contract workers strongly agree with the statement "I am paid what I'm worth" compared to only 42 percent of permanent workers

Workers choose temporary or contract employment for a number of reasons beyond the hope that it will lead to permanent employment. Three of the top reasons include:

  • Flexibility of schedule (31 percent)
  • Money is better (28 percent)
  • To be in charge of my own career (21 percent)

Finally, temporary and contract workers are accounting for many higher-level positions and are considered top talent by numerous organizations. For example, the study found that 40 percent of employers report that many of their top talent got their start as temporary workers in their organization. Nearly one-third of temporary workers (32 percent) are currently holding a managerial or supervisory position.

The Workforce360 Study will be conducted annually to monitor changing management trends and to track employer and employee mindsets. Additional information, including a full executive summary of the Workforce360 Study findings, can be found here. For more information, as well as other research insights, advice and career resources, visit www.randstadusa.com/workforce360.

About Randstad
Randstad is a $22.5 billion global provider of HR services and the second largest staffing organization in the world. From temporary staffing to permanent placement to inhouse, professionals, search & selection, and HR Solutions, Randstad holds top positions around the world and has approximately 28,700 corporate employees working from its nearly 4,700 branches and inhouse locations in 40 countries. Founded in 1960 and headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands, Randstad Holding nv is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. Learn more at http://www.randstad.com.

Workforce360 Study Methodology
The 2012 Randstad Workforce360 Study was conducted within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad Corporation between May 16th 2012 and July 6th 2012 among 225 Human Resource Managers. Results were weighted as needed to reflect the composition of US companies, based on company revenue. A survey of 2,035 employed adults was also conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad between May 10, 2012 and June 8, 2012. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income to represent the target population. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

SOURCE Randstad