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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Contingency Plan

As business leaders continue to be conservative with investments in talent, utilization of contingent, temporary and flexible workers continues to grow.

As many as 41% of employers have used more independent contractors over the past two years, according to recent survey of 430 senior human resource executives conducted by Right Management.

Nearly all companies are re-examining their talent management practices in order to align their workforce with their business strategy. This has required a behavioral shift that includes the greater flexibility afforded by independent contractors.

Many of the contractors eventually become full-time employees. But just as many workers these days prefer their independence and organizations must accommodate the goals of these people to stay competitive in the marketplace. Flexibility employment practices will help to attract the best and brightest talent available.

Individual employees want flexibility – in how, where and when they work. And employers are adjusting their human resource policies and practices to meet this demand. We also asked survey respondents if their organization had seen an increase in flexible working practices over the past year. Twenty-three percent said “Yes, a lot” and 54% said “Yes, somewhat.” Only 22% said no.

Such HR policies and practices are on the increase. One study reports that as many as 85% of organizations have flexible practices in place for employees. These might be more flexible work hours, telecommuting, or even a greater use of temporary or contingent workers for specific projects or short-term assignments. Companies that create more flexible options for workers typically foster higher levels of engagement and commitment, as well as build their brands in order to attract the best talent available in the market.

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