November 9, 2017
In today’s On-Demand Economy (ODE) the term “contingent worker”, “agile workforce” or “contractor” are common terms to hear in a workplace or see in a job posting. This terminology refers to temporary employees within the corporate world. Just like a subcontractor may be hired to complete a maintenance or repair problems, these contingent workforces are commonly hired to complete a specific project. It is also known as contingent work.
Businesses can hire contingent workforces at Field Engineer. We are a platform that is uniquely designed for organizations to find skilled freelance labor who can work on an hourly basis. With over 35,000 freelance engineers from 170 countries across the globe, it is a platform where businesses can have options for highly skilled technicians. With Field Engineer it is an easy process to hire a technician with specific skills and certifications that suit his requirement. Field Engineer also gives an option to work remotely which proves to be cost-effective for both the parties.
Known as independent contractors, contractors, temporary workers, freelancers or consultants, the contingent workforce differs from regular employees. They are not true employees of a company. Often hired through staffing agencies, they can be hired directly by the company.
The contingent worker definition according to the U.S. Department of Labor is: independent contractors in a global freelance marketplace. In an on-demand, freelance marketplace contingent workers are independent contractors, consultants, or other outsourced and non-permanent workers hired on a project basis. Contingent employment is considered the best freelance platform as you can see huge growth in terms of monetary benefits as well as career growth.
In a nutshell, according to the contingent worker definition, contingent work means that you are providing services for an employer, but you aren’t technically an employee. Contingent workers sign a contract agreement to carry out the specified work and then leave once the job is complete. The majority of contingent workers agree to work for a limited period of time while being compensated with an hourly wage, or piecework or commission, or by a lump sum stipulated in the contract subject to other factors or policies governed by the employer.
The main advantage of contingent employment is flexibility. As a contingent worker, you can set your own hours and are often trusted to do your work without close supervision from your employer. Contingent employment offers flexibility to employers as well, as it makes it easier for them to adjust their workforce to account for economic or seasonal fluctuations in the marketplace.
The majority of the contingent workforce is in customer service or operations, which are the areas where most of the volatility will be. Temps can be hired in other areas though. A marketing department may hire a freelance writer to help during a launch or a new product. Likewise, web designers may be hired on a contingent basis to redesign the website or employee intranet.
Despite some disadvantages, both the worker and the company benefit from the contingent workforce. The nature of the contingent employment allows for flexibility on both sides. Not only does it allow more freedom for contingent workers, but it also provides financial benefits for the employer.
There are varieties of reasons why a company would prefer contingent workers. Since contingent workers are not permanent, the workforce can rise and fall according to the workload. Hiring a contingent worker is also a tax deduction as it is considered an expense, especially if a staffing firm manages the workers. In addition, employers do not have to pay payroll taxes, unemployment taxes or benefits for these workers, which can save the business money.
For an employee working as a contingent worker allows for a better work-life balance. Many positions allow for remote work and flexible hours. Additionally, because the nature of the work is temporary, the person can move from job to job without it being negative on their resume. It can also give someone the opportunity to work in a variety of industries and gain valuable skills that can turn into a permanent position in the future.
It is important for a business and its human resources department to correctly classify the contingent worker, even if the worker is not full time. According to guidelines by the Department of Labor, an independent contractor is different than a temporary employee. While the business does not have to offer benefits to a temporary worker, they do have to follow other employment laws that pertain to permanent employees, such as overtime pay and minimum wage.
On the other hand, an independent contractor can be paid with one lump sum at the end of the project OR in equal payments. A business can’t be held to the same requirements as the independent contractor is legally self-employed. The difference in the two distinctions lies in how the worker is treated. A temporary employee may have set hours and duties and answer to a supervisor, working in a similar fashion to an employee. Whereas an independent contractor may set his/her own hours and does not have a direct boss who oversees their work.
The benefits and disadvantages of this type of employment need to be examined carefully. What works for one business may not work as well for another. If you have a project or need to ramp up a workforce for a promotion, then, temporary help may be right for you. If you have regular rises and falls in demand, then these types of workers are an advantage.
Discover the benefits and ease of contingent employees yourself on Field Engineer. FE is a user-friendly platform for engineers as well as businesses, in just a few clicks you will become a part of a global network of over 40,000 on-demand workers. Sign up today for free!