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Are Contingent Workers Right for My Business IT Needs?

Before you decide whether contingent workers are right for your business, it’s important to understand what they are. Contingent workers can bring flexibility, agility, and expertise to your projects, but only if you approach them with a strategy and work plan that will keep them—and you—engaged.

Contingent workers are temporary workers. Like other types of temporary workers, e.g., independent contractors, contingent workers are:

  • Hired for contract work
  • Paid according to the number of hours worked
  • Not usually eligible for regular employee benefits


Contingent Worker vs. Independent Contractor

How are contingent workers different than independent contractors? The answer comes in how you find them. Independent contractors engage with your business directly—submitting invoices to your AP department and negotiating their milestones and deliverables. Contingent workers, on the other hand, are employees of an IT staffing firm. You hire them to accomplish a job or task. You pay the IT staffing firm, and they pay them.

Why Work with Contingent Workers?

Navigating the challenges of running a business is hard. You have to predict the IT staffing you’ll need, forecast the contracts you’ll land, and budget for labor expenses like onboarding and training employees to cover the workload. But, what happens when the work dries up, and you have idle employees?


With contingent workers, you can:

  • Easily flex their hours or unwind their contracts to navigate workload spikes and troughs.
  • Gain the workforce agility traditionally held only by large companies
  • Accommodate highly skilled resources who live elsewhere or are not available full-time
  • Save money in benefits, insurance costs, paid vacations, and taxes
  • Access expertise, specialized skillsets, and fill skill gaps immediately
  • Try out a proof of concept or a new strategy with less risk
  • Hire and onboard contingent workers more quickly, with less red tape and orientation costs

Another key benefit: You may be able to vet the skills and expertise of contract resources before converting them to full-time employees later.


Bottom Line: We are witnessing a paradigm shift in today’s workforce. The newest generation of workers seeks freedom and flexibility over the stability and structure of the past. More millennials and Gen Y workers are seeking contingent work than ever before. Tap into this new generation of workers to get fresh ideas and perspectives.

When Are Contingent Workers Not Right for You?

Contingent workers may not always be the right solution for your business. You may need to grow your team with full-time employees. When you need a candidate who reflects your company’s culture and values and is fully invested in your growth goals, we recommend that you pursue direct-hire instead. Or perhaps you need a more flexible option that allows you to reduce risk, such as trying out a resource for an initial period of time before deciding to hire long-term. In this case, you might consider a contract-to-hire IT staffing solution.


  • Bottom Line: While contingent workers have a tremendous amount of added benefits, other options available may be better suited for your hiring needs and your business’s long-term goals.

Why Use an IT Staffing Company to Find Contingent Workers?

If you decide to explore the contingent IT labor market, you’ll be in good company. Recent data from leading research and advisory firm Gartner indicates that nearly one of every three companies has considered moving toward a contingent workforce. As more and more workers have warmed up to contingent work arrangements and their advantages, the market to source them has grown. Between 2012 and 2019, the staffing and recruiting market surged more than 30%. Post-COVID, it’s expected to grow 14% in 2021.


Companies see the advantages too. Many decide to engage with IT staffing companies instead of hiring contractors directly. Why? IT staffing companies can:

  • Bring scale to sourcing and vetting of potential contract candidates
  • Perform candidate pre-contract due diligence work for you
  • Lower your company’s overhead and risk through outsourcing hiring and contractor management
  • Reduce your risk of co-employment, i.e., of your contractor being considered a ‘permatemp’ because they perform the same work as an employee

Finding the Right IT Staffing for Your Business

Is contingent labor right for your business? The answer is: it depends. Knowing what contingent workers are, the advantages they bring, you can consider what will go a long way toward determining your workforce strategy. While the ultimate decision will be yours, finding the right IT staffing company can bring new insights and informed considerations into your analysis and decision. Your IT staffing firm can, and should, be your partner in formulating an IT staffing strategy for you, your business, and its goals.

Download our eBook, The No Hassle Guide To Talent Acquisition, to learn more about talent acquisition and how to find the right candidates for your company.


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