Blogs have been written lately with the idea of debunking staffing industry myths – but from a job seekers point of view.  I thought it would be interesting in this edition of The Snelling Blog to address some of the myths that swirl around our industry – but from a client’s point of view.

What exactly are the misconceptions that keep companies from achieving an immediate and profitable impact on their business through the use of flexible staffing solutions?  Let’s look at a couple.

  • Contingent workers consist of simple support staff and lower qualities of workers.  Otherwise, why would they be contingent workers?

This myth takes a very archaic view on employment.  The contingent worker of today is not the stereotype of yesterday.  Staffing Industry Analysts predicts that “professional/specialty” temporary staffing is expected to grow 7% in 2013, as more IT, healthcare, finance/accounting and creative professionals begin to realize the benefits of flexible work arrangements.

Finally, it is important to remember that everyone needs to start somewhere.  Most (if not all of us) began our work life in “simple support” positions.  For example, McDonald’s Corporation has reported that more than 40% of their corporate executives began their careers as crew members in their restaurants.

So do not overlook these people.  Your next superstar could be standing right in front of you.

  • Loyal workers can only be had through an employment contract. 

Today, the opposite is true.  Employment is increasingly viewed – by many – as an extremely rigid way to run a business.  It saddles the business with lopsided liabilities and requirements and creates a high level of dependency for the employee.  Dependency is different than loyalty or engagement. It creates different feelings towards the workplace – one of reliance and (perhaps) even subordination. Professional gratification, rewards, achievement and a pleasant work environment are the true identifiers of loyalty and engagement.

  • The safest way to avoid any compliance illegalities is through employment. 

Misunderstandings around co-employment, worker misclassification issues, wage and hour disputes, etc. cause many managers to believe that employment is the only safe solution available to them.  However, many positions, if scoped properly, managed and monitored appropriately, are capable of being filled by contingent workers.  The risks of employing people directly are far greater than the risks of using temporary workers.  Many large companies have a significant portion of their workforce as contingent workers – by design.

  • If I employ contingent workers, then I will have to institute term limits in order to mitigate worker misclassification concerns. 

Term limits seem to be a reaction to several high profile court cases regarding worker misclassification….the most high profile being the case of Vizcaino vs. Microsoft….and benefits participation.  If a worker feels that he should be classified as an employee, he might file suit in order to gain access to the company’s benefits package.

Term limits are not the way to go since they offer little protection against misclassification suits and can add substantial costs to any flexible staffing solution. There are more effective ways to mitigate co-employment risk.  Simply have your benefit plan reviewed by a forward-thinking, proactive attorney in order to ensure that your participation rules and definitions are clearly and carefully spelled out.  Term limits will provide no protection if your plans are poorly written – which was the case in the Vizcaino vs. Microsoft lawsuit.

As the statistics show, contingent workers are going to continue to be a major factor in workforce planning.  Contingent workers help drive efficiency and productivity in today’s business environment of fluctuating demand and slow economic growth.   I invite you to further explore the Snelling website to find more ways that Snelling and our flexible workforce solutions can help you grow efficiently today and tomorrow.

NOTE:  A full-color, downloadable PDF is available.