Contingent Workers

AuthorDenise Tanguay, Marcia Simmering

Page 126

As a category, contingent workers may include temporary employees, part-time employees, independent contract workers, employees of the temporary help industry ("temps"), consultants, seasonal employees, and interns. In contrast, full-time, permanent employees frequently are referred to as core employees. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) defines contingent workers in a more selective way. The BLS differentiates between workers with what it calls "alternative work arrangements" and contingent workers, who have no explicit or implicit contract and expect their jobs to last no more than a year.


There is much discussion in the literature about just how the term contingent worker should be defined. Following are descriptions of common contingent worker categories.


Temporary employees, or temps, generally work for temporary employment agencies that place workers in companies for short-term assignments. While most temporary employees earn less than their full-time counterparts and do not receive benefits, that has changed for some job specialties, particularly in the computer and information systems areas. Milwaukee-based Manpower Inc. and Kelly Services Inc. of Troy, Michigan, are two of the largest temporary agencies.

Page 127


Part-time employees work fewer than 35 hours a week. They often receive fewer or no benefits from their employer, which results in a cost savings for the company. Additionally, these employees may be scheduled to meet particular peak needs of the organization. For example, clothing stores have higher night and weekend demand for staff than during the week daytime hours.


Contract workers are employees who negotiate a relationship directly with an employer for a particular piece of work or for a specific time period. Contract workers generally are self-employed and determine their own work hours. These employees may be more productive than in-house employees because they avoid much of the bureaucracy of day-to-day organizational life.


College interns are students who work for a company for either no salary or a reduced salary to gain work experience. These interns may work full-time or part-time, but they are likely to work for only a short time period, usually a semester or a summer. Interns are contingent workers because they provide a company with staffing flexibility. In...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT