Strategies for hiring seasonal workers

Last week, the US Labor Department’s jobs report showed that the economy added the most jobs in nearly three years in November. A large number of those newly employed are contingent workers—mostly in temporary, seasonal positions for the winter holidays.

Our research shows that companies are using these employees on a massive scale—83% say they are increasing their use of temporary, seasonal, and part-time workers. Use of seasonal employees, especially, introduces management and training challenges to companies looking to run the business efficiently during the busy season.

It is also important for companies to note that many of these employees are looking not just for seasonal work, but for a full-time job that extends beyond the holiday rush. Employers should think about offering better training and incentives to temporary workers—and seriously consider adding the best employees to the permanent staff. After all, they have already been trained and survived the busiest time of year.

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Preparing for the contingent workforce

The 2020 Workforce will be increasingly flexible. An increase in the number of non-payroll positions for consultants, intermittent employees, and contingent workers is forcing change on companies.

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While executives know this will force change on their companies—42% say it is affecting their workforce strategy—they will need to put more thought into policies around compensation, training, and flexible work. To do this, HR management will need an accurate picture of their flexible workforces. Currently, only 39% say they have ample data about their workforce, and only 42% say they know how to extract meaning from the data they do have.

You can read more about the contingent workforce—and what it means for companies—in our research report, and we will drill deeper into the topic in a think piece and infographic to be released in the next month. Stay tuned.

The workforce of the future will be increasingly flexible

When we surveyed over 2,700 executives around the world, we found that 83% are increasingly using consultants, intermittent employees, or contingent workers. The shift from hiring traditional full-time employees to a more flexible workforce demands major changes to the way companies think about compensation and benefits, training, and organizational culture.

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Companies are already responding to the changing workforce, but given the magnitude of this trend and the increased regulatory scrutiny that is likely to follow, they may not be doing enough.

You can find more on the changing nature of work in our research report. If you haven’t checked out our research yet, you can find out more by visiting our landing page.

2020 Workforce news roundup

The Shifting American Workforce: Growing Legions of Freelancers and Independent Contractors (Inquisitr): Dependence on non-payroll workers is growing quickly. Though labor statistics can’t tell us exactly how many freelancers are in the workforce, we’ll need to have a better sense of these figures soon—especially as increasing reliance on these workers changes HR strategy.

Women should ‘man up’ for male-dominated fields (Economic Times): According to researchers from Michigan State University, women who described themselves with masculine traits in an experiment were more likely to be considered fit for a job than those who used traditionally feminine descriptors.

New graduates still prefer to work for state-owned firms (South China Morning Post): An annual survey of about 48,000 people conducted by ChinaHR.com shows substantial changes from last year’s results. Among them? This year, many more say they would rather start their own business than be employed by someone else, and salary expectations are rising. Despite changes, new graduates are still quite likely to say state-owned firms are their first choices for employment.

The “hidden” workforce?

An increase in the number of non-payroll positions for consultants, intermittent employees, and contingent workers is forcing change on companies. Our survey suggests that companies are increasingly using contingent workers in addition to their traditional full-time staff—requiring them to rethink strategies for compensation as well as investments in training and technology.

People were talking about the contingent workforce at SAPPHIRE earlier this month, reports Susan Galer in a recap of the 2020 workforce panel posted at the SAP News Center last week:

Sean Kundu, director of Human Resources and Employment Counsel at the San Francisco 49ers, agreed that contingent workers are becoming an important part of his fast-growing, multi-generational organization. “We’re building a new stadium and trying to find the right talent to join a very diverse team. We’re reaching out to people on social media who enjoy technology and sports, and giving them a chance to see if they like the job.”

Adjusting to a more project-oriented, short-term working experience is central to understanding the workforce of 2020. According to panelist Jacob Morgan, Principal at Chess Media Group, companies and employees need to fundamentally change how they work. “You can’t hire somebody based on where you’re going to be in five or 10 years. It makes more sense to hire employees focused on projects they can do across the company.”

You can read more about the contingent workforce and other discussion points from the 2020 Workforce panel here.