According to new research announced today, the segment of the U.S. workforce that includes contract workers, such as independent contractors, is growing at more than twice the rate of traditional employment, requiring human resources and procurement professionals to collaborate in order to maximize investments and manage contract talent strategically.
The study, released today by global professional association and think tank Human Capital Institute (HCI), and leading industry research partners, closely examines the state of Contract Talent in U.S. organizations. Contract talent is defined as contractors, consultants, freelancers, temporary help, interim executives and others who are not part of an organization’s full-time or part-time workforce — a group that currently comprises almost one-third of the U.S. workforce.
More than 90 percent of organizations surveyed for the study, “The State of Contract Talent Management and the Role of HR,” reported that they use contract talent. Additionally, 34 percent said that their use of contract talent has increased or increased dramatically in the past three years, while fewer than 20 percent reported a decrease.
As for the future, a full 85 percent of respondents believe that their use of contractors will remain about the same or grow over the next three years. The composition of the contract workforce is also changing. More than half are skilled technicians, specialists and professionals engaged in core and critical work for organizations. Indeed, identifying high-quality contractors is the number one challenge cited by survey respondents.
I am curious to know if any of you are surprised by this trend?