Onboarding the conntingent workforce

Whether you’re a large or small business, the contingent workforce is coming to you.

According to technology firm Mavenlink’s 2012 infographic, The New Independent Workforce, the contingent workforce–comprised of self-employed individuals, independent service firms, solopreneurs and temporary workers—has grown by an estimated 4.3 million workers since 1995. By 2020, 40 percent of American workers, or nearly 65 million people, will be contingent, and shortly thereafter that percentage is expected to rise to 50 percent.

Why this explosive growth? The biggest reason is that companies in all industries–especially in technology, management consulting, marketing, education and journalism–are on board. Mavenlink reports that 90 percent of firms have used contracted talent, and a recentEconomist Intelligence Unit study found that 61 percent of senior executives anticipate a growing proportion of functions to be outsourced to contingent workers.

Here at Culture Beat, of course, the key question is: What do contingent workers have to do with your organizational culture, and how can you as an owner or manager help them assimilate so that they’re positive additions to your team?

Recognize their value. The first thing to keep in mind is that using contract workers is good for business. Sure you’ll save on benefits and other full-timer expenses, but contingent workers also provide a fresh perspective that can help you hone your offering. Furthermore, because they’re removed from office politics, they have the ability to focus on the work without a lot of fanfare, which means that every minute counts as double.

Remember that contract workers want to make a contribution quickly–they know their livelihood depends on it. So read their status reports and results summaries and illustrate the big picture so they can see how their work is fueling a greater mission.

Treat them like employees.

Continue Reading…American Express

By Alexandra Levit

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